Written by Joe Janes
16 of 365
(Lights up on a living room. Dana is seated in a chair with an overnight bag at her feet. Nancy stands next to her. Jackie sits off to the side, drinking a can of beer. A car horn is heard outside. Nancy puts her hand on Dana’s shoulder.)
NANCYIf he wants to see you, he’ll get out of his car.
(Dana’s cell phone rings. She picks up.)
DANAHi, Dad…I’m ready, but you have to come to the door… Because mom says so.
(We hear a car door open and slam shut. A moment later, there is a knock at the door.)
NANCYWho is it?
PHILLIP (off)You know who in hades it is, Nancy. Stop playing games.
(Nancy opens the door.)
NANCYWhy, Phillip, how nice of you to stop by.
PHILLIP (entering)What’s the big idea? What’s going on, Dana?
DANAAsk mom. She’s the one having a fit.
NANCYI wanted to make sure that before you took your daughter away for the weekend that you know for a fact that I had nothing to do with this.
(She holds up Dana’s arm and shows that Dana has a tattoo on her forearm.)
PHILLIPA tattoo! Oh, Dana. Oh, dear. Oh, my. Why did you get a tattoo of all things?
DANAIt was my eighteenth birthday. I wanted to mark the occasion.
NANCYHoney, that’s why people buy birthday cards and stuff. That marks an occasion. This marks your arm. For life.
PHILLIPYour mother’s right. This isn’t some blouse you can return to Sears. What is that?
NANCYAnd that’s the other thing.
PHILLIPIt looks like a… saddle on a dinosaur? Oh.
NANCYSo, you recognize it. I had to pry the story out of her.
PHILLIPCouldn’t you have just gotten a crucifix or something more traditional?
JACKIEYeah. So what the hell is a Creation Museum, any way, Phillip? What are you doing dragging our little Dana to places like that? A Creation Museum. Sounds like they should have lots of pictures of people doing it. Not statues of dinosaurs wearing saddles.
NANCYIt’s some freaky Christian thing. They believe the world is only a few thousand years old and that dinosaurs used to roam around in the Garden of Eden.
DANAThey even had a really cool display of them on Noah’s Ark.
JACKIEIdiots. Noah’s Ark would have made a good explanation for dinosaurs disappearing. Them and unicorns. These Christians, just not thinking right.
NANCYYou’ve been filling up my daughter’s head with all that religious right Sarah Palin Christian stuff and look what she does to her beautiful arm.
PHILLIPDana, honey. A tattoo, no matter how you feel about it right now, is something you’re probably going to regret later. Although, that is really good. How much did that cost?
DANAIt was free. Aunt Jackie did it.
JACKIEGuilty! Aunt Jackie picked up a few handy skills at the state prison.
PHILLIPYou’re not her aunt, you lesbo!
JACKIE (getting up)You want to step outside, fag bag?
NANCYYou two knock it off. Don’t even talk to each other. What are you going to do about your daughter?
PHILLIPWhat are you going to do about your tattoo wielding live-in lover? Why is she giving my daughter tattoos?
NANCYWhy are you filling my daughter’s head with crap?
(Nancy and Phillip start yelling at each other.)
DANAHey! Time out! I said, time out! (She separates Phillip and Nancy.) You go over there and you go over there! Now, one thing you both seem to be forgetting, mother and father, is that your daughter turned eighteen last week. I can get a tattoo if I want to. I can believe in any religion I want to. And I don’t care if my Aunt Jackie isn’t really my aunt, I think she’s cool and if she puts her mind to it and goes back to school, she can get a degree and become a real tattoo artist.
DANAAnd I also think a dinosaur with a saddle tattooed to my arm is also really frickin’ cool looking regardless of where I got the idea from. So, get over it.
PHILLIPYou're right, Dana. Of course, you can do what you want.
NANCYI’m sorry, baby. I know you’re all legal, now. I’m going to have to get used to that. You’re still my little baby. I just can’t help caring so much.
DANAI know, mom.
NANCYYou should show her.
PHILLIPOh, no, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
DANAShow me what?
PHILLIPWell, Dana, when I was your age, I did a foolish thing. I got a tattoo. One that I really, really regret.
DANAI want to see it.
PHILLIPOh, sheesh. Okay.
(He untucks his shirt in the back and shows them the upper part of his lower back. They all three look at it, Dana and Jackie quizzically.)
DANAWhat is that?
JACKIEIt looks like Satan vacuuming.
PHILLIPThat’s exactly what it is.
JACKIEI think he needs a better vacuum. He’s missing a lot of butt hair.
NANCYProbably clogged up the nozzle.
PHILLIP (tucking in his shirt)Ha, ha. It was my rebellious way of saying “Satan Sucks!” Cost me $150 and hurt like hell. Wish I never did it. Looked in to getting it removed, but that costs 10-times more. So, you see, your mom and I, we just don’t want you to make the same mistakes we did. Like getting a regretful tattoo.
NANCYOr marrying an ultra-Christian man when you really want to be with a not-so-Christian woman.
DANAThanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad.
(They all three hug.)
JACKIEWell, ain’t this fucking special, I’m going to go switch from beer to wine.
PHILLIPWhy did she go into the bathroom for wine?
NANCYSomething else she learned in prison.
DANAShe makes it in the toilet.