Actors Father, Mother, Daughter (Christy), Son (Donald)
Equipment The setting is the breakfast table. Everyone except Christy is seated. Father is reading the paper, Mother is pouring coffee, and Donald is toying with his cereal. Christy hasn’t come in yet.
Mother: Quit playing with your food, Donald. You’ll be late for school.
Father: I’ll have some more coffee, dear.
Donald: Speaking of being late, what about Christy last night? Man, if I came in that late, I’d be flogged till daylight.
Father: You let us worry about your sister. Anyway, you have to be able to get a date first.
Donald: Funny, funny!
Mother: You know, I am worried about Christy. This is the third time this has happened and— (Christy enters and interrupts.)
Christy: And every time there was a perfectly good excuse. Just like last night.
Donald: Some reasons! Out of gas, flat tires—what’s it going to be this time?
Christy: It’s none of your business, smart aleck.
Father: Well, it is my business, Christy. You know how worried your mother and I become when you are late.
Mother: Yes, you could have at least called and let us know you had problems.
Donald: Kind of hard to find a phone booth out at Folsom Lake.
Christy: Knock it off, bird brain. I couldn’t call. Coming home from the game we stopped at Eppie’s and the service was just terrible.
Mother: Could you have called from there?
Christy: No, Mom. We left in plenty of time—11:00. But we hit some traffic downtown because of the big fire. Just no way we knew that was going to happen.
Donald: Ha! That greaser you were with probably planned the whole thing.
Father: That’s enough, Don. Christy, you know the rules around here. We’ve asked you to be in by 12:00 and this is the third time you’ve been late. I’m just going to have to ground you for one week.
Christy: But Dad, you don’t understand. We couldn’t help it!
Father: I know you have a good reason, but rules are rules. And this isn’t the first time.
Christy: So what if it’s the fifteenth time? I couldn’t help it and I don’t think it’s fair that I get grounded.
Donald: Fair? It if had been me, I would have been chained and muzzled to the bed post for a month!
Christy: Yeah, you should be chained and muzzled with that mouth of yours.
Mother: Regardless, Christy, we must have some rules, and both of you have to obey them. I think your father is right. Anyway, I don’t know if I like you dating that. . . that. oh, what is his name?
Donald: You mean Greasy Gary?
Christy: Shut up dummy! Now I know why I’m grounded. You never have liked anybody I’ve dated. If it wasn’t him, you’d find something else—
Father: (Interrupts) Now just a minute. The matter of liking who you’re dating has nothing to do with it. I might say, however, you could be a little more choosey.
Christy: Choosey! Who would you want me to date? One of those creeps at the church?
Mother: Creeps? Where did you pick up that language?
Donald: From Greasy Gary. I think that’s his middle name.
Christy: O.K., Smart-mouth—
Father: Both of you calm down. If this is going to be your attitude, Christy, you can forget about going anywhere for the following week as well. Your mother and I could use a little help around here.
Christy: What? You can’t be serious! What about Donald? All he does is sit around and flap his mouth making corny jokes.
Mother: Now, Christy, that’s enough. There’s no need to bring your brother into this. I think it is time we be just a little more considerate of each other.
Christy: Why don’t you start with me? I come in a lousy forty-five minutes late, and you act like it were three hours. Then you start harping on whom I date. All you’re concerned about is your silly rules and regulations.
Father: You don’t need to raise your voice to your mother. And rules and regulations are something to be concerned about. But more important is your behavior within those rules. Either you shape up or else.
Donald: Or shape out … that shouldn’t be hard for you.
Christy: (in tears) I’ve had enough! I’m leaving! Nobody understands me. You just don’t care.
Mother: We do care Christy. You are the one who doesn’t understand. Why, when I was your age—
Christy: Now comes the second lecture! Well, times are different, and you are not my age!
Father: I think I’ve heard enough. Both of you get off to school, and Christy, I want you home at 4:00 sharp.