I Wanna Babysit Lola! By Remé A. Grefalda
Scene 2. A week later. Calendar change.
(Television is off. Old lady is at the table munching her food, chewing and spitting out chunks and washing it down with water. She has her hat and scarf on as if about to leave. Boy enters from the wings with a plate full of food.)
Why don't you take off your hat? Unka Ben won't be here for another two hours.
No. I want to go down after I finish eating. If I'm late, he will shout at me again.
Unka Ben doesn't shout. He just...he just ... He's just impatient when he's waiting too long. I'll watch the time. Go on, Lola, take 'em off. You'll be sweating and then you'll get dizzy. Where are you guys going anyway? Can I come?
(Starts removing her scarf and Boy comes around to her side and takes her hat off. She reaches over and steals some of his food)No! It's a secret place. They have guards there. With guns. Big guns. (spits out food she can't chew.)
Don't do that! Spit it out on your plate. So what kind of a place is this? You been there before?
nods) Junior and I visited someone. And guess what? They even let me drive their chair. Their chairs are better than the airport ones. You push this button and it goes. You push this other button and it stops. I didn't have to walk. Mmmm, nobody walked ...
What do you mean nobody walked? Was it a fun park like Disney World? Is it far from here?
Very, very far. You won't like it.
You just don't want me to go with you. Be that way, Lola. I won't ask you to come to Kings Dominion next time we go.
I don't like King DominSHUN.
That's what you always say. But you like eating there!
Belgin Wafpuls I loove Belgin Wafpuls
Bel-joom! Bel-joom! Any Beljoom waffles in your fun park?
I forgot to ask!
(PHONE RINGS. Boy picks it up)
(Hands phone to Lola)
Hi, Unka Ben! Yeah, she's right here!
(She grabs scarf and hat and juggles the phone) I'm ready, Junior, I'm coming down right now. (pause)Huh? Why? How about after your meeting? (pause)Ohhh, okay... (about to put the phone down and changes her mind) Junior, what is the place called? Oh, he's gone.
(Lola walks away pulling at her scarf and throwing her hat. Boy picks up after her and stands beside the sofa where she lies down and groans, then rubs her eyes.)
Good, I'm going to sleep. I won't wake up even if Vanna White is on. G'nite.
Wait, Lola. You can't sleep. Unka Ben will be here soon.
(through closed eyes and mumbling)'Not coming.
What do you mean?
(Sits up)Meeting. Always a meeting. I hate meetings. (pause)Call me a Red Top cab. I will sit outside his meeting. Hurry yup, hurry yup! If he sees me there and I am all ready, we will go. (Yanks at boy's sleeves and reaches for the phone, handing it to him)
(ignoring her)You mean he's not coming? But you can't stay. I have soccer practice and the car pool will be here in an hour.
Good, I want to play sucker too. Let's go.
No, Lola. Wait, let me think. What am I gonna do? Mom's not in the office. I can't leave you here.
Leave me here. I want to watch Vanna White.
(paces up and down. Automatically, Lola follows his pacing. He backs into her and steps on her foot. She hops around.)
(Leads her to sofa)Okay, okay... Here let me massage your toes. (She sticks out her leg. He massages to the sound of her groans.)
Sorry, Lola, sorry.
(pause)What are we having for dinner, anak?
(Picks up phone and dials)Hullo, may I speak to Mrs. Graham, please? . . . . Mrs. Graham, this is Toby Reyes. Yes. Yes, but I can't make it today. Oh, no, I'm not alone. My grandma is here. Yeah, I'll be fine. Could you tell the coach. Thank you, Mrs. Graham. Sure, here she is. (cups the phone)Lola, just tell her hullo-goodbye.
(Feigns social niceties)Hello, Madame. Yes. Berry pine, thank you. And you, how are you? Oh, good. Goodbye. Okay. Bye. (Puts phone down)I'm not your grandmother. You lied to that Missus Grayam.
What's the diff, Lola? At least she can't say I'm home alone. Now, tell me what Unka Ben said.
(Threatens)We're having salad for dinner.
Bur-jer 'n' fies and I'll tell you.
(Silhouette on both as they talk animatedly on their way to the wings. CURTAINS)
Scene 3. Three weeks later. Calendar change.
(Walking with phone) No, Ma. They're not here yet. What time? Okay. Do I have to? No, I won't forget. Yeah, yeah. Don't mix whites with the coloreds . Will you bring lunch, Ma? Hey, Ma, what kind of park is Cherry Orchard Gardens? Lola. She says it's a great fun park. How come you don't take me there? It's a what? (Buzzer sounds)They're here, Ma. Gotta go. (EXITS to wings. After 5 beats, ENTER Lola and the Boy carrying her paraphernalia.)
(Flustered and upset)Why did you kick that man, Lola?
That guy. When we came out of the elevator!
(Sits on sofa and removes her hat) He winked at me. Like this. (winks with both eyes closed)
He did not. He was probably sleepy. You know what he can do to you if you hurt him?
(Very seriously and sitting on arm of sofa facing her) He can SUE you.
(points her finger)Bang! He's dead with a bum leg.
I'll chew him too. I'll bite him! And then I'll shoot him. Like this
(Stares at her seriously) It's all that television you're watching!
Gees! How come you're so violent?!
(Snuggling up to him and laughing)I'm sooo violet. No, purple. (looks at her outfit) Whassa matter?This is yellow, not violet.
(Boy rolls up his eyes in resignation. Clicks the remote and both watch TV for 5 beats.)
Why do you want to go to a nursing home, Lola?
What nurses home? I'm not a nurse, silly boy!
Cherry Orchard Gardens. It's a nursing home for old people.
I'm not old. I just don't- See, I don't have any wrinkles.
(ignores her comment) Do you want to live there? ( Lola nods)When? Next year?
After Junior's wedding. He promised me my own TV. I won't watch CNN anymore. Only Vanna White.
(Turns off the TV and picks up phone and dials)Ma- I'll hold. It's important, Ma. (To old woman)Where ya goin', Lola?
That's two weeks from now. After school starts!
(Indignant)'Sus Maryosep! I can't even go to the bathroom without permission! (Exits.)
(continues phone conversation) Ma, how come you didn't tell me- I thought you said we would be honest with each other! Then how come you didn't tell me that Lola isn't coming here anymore after school starts? When were you gonna tell me? ( Lola enters) Who's coming here, then? Who's gonna babysit me?
(grabbing the phone)Who's gonna babysit me?
(Tries to grab the phone as old woman sticks to phone to eavesdrop)Ma, you could have warned me.... I don't want to go to an after-school program... Why, Ma? ... I only said that because she broke my F 61. Ma, we're NOT always fighting! (Insistent)I wanna babysit Lola!.
(grabbing the phone; and topping him)I wanna babysit Toby !
(Gets phone back)You guys are so unfair, Ma. Why didn't you tell us? Don't we have a say in this? (Starts crying. Lola starts crying too. He puts the phone down and they comfort each other awkwardly. She wipes her runny nose with her skirt.)Don't do that! You gotta use the tissue. Here.
(Still sobbing, shakes her head and throws the tissue that he hands her. Then in hushed tone.)You were shouting at your mama. (Scolding)Bad Boy! You're bad! (pushes him away.) You're like Junior!
(Calms down after seeing the old woman's cringing reaction to his shouting)Not you, Lola. I'm sorry ... sorry ... I'm just so mad. I don't know what to do. Don't you sometimes feel like a yo-yo the way they jerk you around as they please? (Old woman shakes her head).
Oh, Lola, I'm sick of it! I hate grown ups! I hate the way they tell us what to do!
(Pulls at a tissue and wipes his face)Don't be angry anymore, anak. It's okay. It's okay. See, I'm using a tissue (Blows her nose noisily into tissue and holds it up)
(Looks at her affectionately) How can you stay in a nursing home if you can't take care of yourself?
(Starts whimpering) Toby, I don't want to go. (Brightens up)You come with me!
(whining)I can't do that....
I will hide you in the closet!
(Suddenly stops whining) Besides we fight all the time.
(Ignores him)Call a Red Top Cab. Let's run away. I have five dollars. (Grabs his hand and is ready to go.)
We can't! Not yet, anyway.
Because it's almost 3 and my Transformers show goes on.
(Both try to get out of each other's way to be the first to turn on the television set.)
Ohhh, yes!! Mine too!
Lola! It's Wednesday and I get to see mine first!
(Old woman gets ahead of him after tricking him by pretending to go to the sofa. Pulls out the remote control from under a pillow and points to the tv set. Turns on the tv set and begins clicking the channel selector. He tries to take it away from her. She hides it in the front of her blouse. Commercial goes on. Both stop, mesmerized at the jingle sound.)
(Concentrating on commercial)I get to see my beginning. You get to see your ending. ( holds out his palm for the remote.) Deal? (She pulls it out of her blouse in Pavlov manner and slaps it on his palm.) And we can have merienda-
(Also mesmerized, retreats to sofa as her soap opera dialogue begins.)Shhhhh. Quie-yet!
(Old woman reclines on sofa and makes herself comfortable. Boy picks up a blanket and throws it on her legs, then with eyes glued to the tv screen, he moves towards the lazyboy chair. Duplicate Scene 1 opening scene. Sound predominates as TV soap dialogue fills the stage. Snoring is heard. Clicking sound of remote being changed, as the screen changes to squeaky voiced animation.)