Written by Joe Janes
170 of 365
(Lights up on Wally, sitting in a chair in his living room, reading a Tom Clancy novel and listening to softly playing classical music. Next to him is another chair and next to it on the floor is a sewing basket. Fran enters and sits in the chair near him.)
FRANThe kids are all in bed.
WALLYI think this is my favorite time of the day.
WALLYDid you read them a story?
FRAN (opening up her sewing basket)I did. I read them The Emperor’s New Clothes.
WALLYOh, really? I didn’t know we had that. Hmmm.
FRANDon’t worry. I left out the part where he parades around in his underwear.
WALLYOh, good. I think they’re just too young for that.
(Fran begins to roll a joint.)
FRANI just left it at the emperor getting some fancy new duds that only smart people can see. I showed them the pictures in the book and they pretended they could see his clothes, too.
WALLYI like that. Bet it made them feel special.
FRAN (lighting up)Honey… (She snaps her fingers and points.)
(He picks up a remote and switches the classical music to The Grateful Dead.)
FRAN (exhaling)That’s better.
(She passes the joint over to Wally. He takes a toke and passes it back.)
WALLYTime to get comfortable.
(He takes off his pants, tosses them aside, sits back down and resumes reading.)
FRANOur kids are so lucky.
WALLYThey sure are.
FRANWe’re happily married. We’re not on welfare. We have a college fund. Complete coverage.
WALLYOther kids should be so lucky.
CONNORMom, Dad, can I have a drink of water?
WALLYWhat’s the magic word, Sport?
FRANThat’s better. No, Connor. You cannot.
WALLYYou’ll wet the bed.
CONNORBut I’m thirsty.
WALLYI’m counting to three. One-
CONNOROkay, I’m going back to bed.
(He kisses Fran on the cheek and hugs Wally.)
WALLYThat’s a good boy.
CONNORI like your pants, Dad.
CONNORJust like the emperor’s.
FRANThey are very handsome trousers, Wally.
CONNORDid you sew them, Mom?
FRANWhy, yes, I did. Now, off to bed, with you.
WALLYSweet dreams, Sport.
FRANAnd don’t wake Dakota, Tiffany, Shane, Zac, or Trig when you get back in bed.
FRANThey are so lucky to have us.
WALLYI do like these pants.
(They continue to pass the joint as lights fade.)