Guess Who’s Bringing The Chicken

  Guess Who’s Bringing The Chicken

A play in two acts

By Kim Morrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Characters

Harry Morrison      A tall lean man with cold blue eyes who is a bit of a trickster.

Ward Wilsey           A fat beady eyed man of very limited intelligence

Frank Simpson        A short dirty, but wealthy little fellow wearing round spectacles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess Who’s Bringing The Chicken By Kim Morrison

 

 

 

The play takes place during the early fall of 1935, give or take a year or so, in the small town of Cairo up in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.  We fade in on a close up of two men driving home from a county work project in their Model “A” Ford truck.  The driver is Harry, “Hank” Morrison a tall lean man with chiseled facial features and cold blue eyes.  His manner is always cool and deliberate, no matter the situation, but he is also a very clever trickster and a masterful liar.  The passenger is Ward Wilsey a tall heavyset man of very limited intelligence with beady brown eyes that look as though they would touch each other, if it were not for the large nose in the middle of his face preventing it.  His manner is amiable and good-natured even when he is drunk, which is usually most of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 1

Scene 1

 

(We fade into to Harry and Ward going down a rural country road in upstate New York in Harry’s Model “A” truck.  Harry is at the wheel as usual and Ward, as usual, has already had a good snoot full of hard cider that Harry always kept a jug of in his truck.)

 

WARD

Ain’t it about time for the yearly town supper Hank?

HARRY

As a matter of fact it is Ward.  The boys have decided to have it this weekend.

WARD

How come you didn’t tell me sooner?

HARRY

I did, I told you over two weeks ago.

WARD

Well I don’t remember.

HARRY

Well maybe you weren’t paying attention when I told you.

WARD

I know I would have remembered something as important as that.

HARRY

Oh, bull!  You suck up so much of my hard cider every day you wouldn’t remember what day it was, if there were only three days in a week.

 

(Ward mumbles, leans back in his seat, shuts his eyes, and dozes off.  After a brief pause, the audience hears a clucking noise and Ward wakes up abruptly.)

WARD

Wha… What was that you said Hank?  I didn’t quite hear you.

HARRY

(With a slight grin on his face)

Why I haven’t uttered a word Ward, you better quit pulling on that hard cider jug of mine; you’re starting to hear things.

WARD

Damn it Hank!  I know I heard something.  I thought it was you.

HANK

Well maybe you heard something rattle on the truck.  My truck is getting kind of old you know.

WARD

I reckon that could be.

 

(Once again, Ward leans back, closes his eyes, and briefly dozes off.  The audience hears the clucking noise more clearly and it sounds like some kind of animal.  Once again, Ward wakes up.

 

WARD

Huh! What was that you said Hank?  I didn’t quite catch it.

HANK

(Grinning like the proverbial cat that just ate the canary)

Now Ward, if you keep going on like this, I’m going to have to carry you over to old Doc Parson’s.  You’re starting to sound like a man on the edge.

WARD

Now goddamn you Hank!  I ain’t going crazy.  I could have sworn you said something to me.

HANK

(Still grinning)

Now I know you’ve been pulling hard on that jug today because I haven’t said one word.

 

 

WARD

I’ve had a few snorts today, but I ain’t drunk.

 

(Once again, the audience hears what sounds like a clucking noise over the sound of the engine and so does Ward, but he clearly does not know what to make of it.)

 

WARD

(In a more hushed voice)

Did you hear that?

HANK

What?

WARD

I think you got some varmints in your truck Hank.

HANK

(Grinning)

What kind of varmints?

WARD

How in the hell should I know what kind of varmints?  It’s your truck.

HANK

(With more of a smile than a grin)

Well Jesus jumped up Christ Ward!  First, you are hearing voices.  Now you are hearing varmints.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.

WARD

Do you mean to tell me you didn’t hear that noise?

 

 

 

 

 

HANK

(Still Grinning)

I haven’t heard a thing.  I am glad we’re almost to your place because if I have to listen to any more of your nonsense, I’m going to get as wacky as you are.

WARD

(With an irritated expression Ward Folds his thick arms and turns toward the door window)

I ain’t crazy neither.

WARD

(After a long pause)

Hey Hank!  Where did you go during lunch today?

HARRY

Oh!  I had a little chore to tend to.

 

(Harry turns up into Wards steep driveway with a bump and a jerk)

WARD

(Before opening the door)

Are you going to pick me up and bring me to the town supper tomorrow?

HARRY

Well I suppose so, if you don’t mind riding with varmints.

WARD

Oh!  What was I supposed to bring for the supper?

HARRY

You and old Frank Simpson are contributing the chickens this year and I am bringing a pig to roast.

 

 

WARD

(Surprised)

Frank Simpson!  Why that old skin flint ain’t never brought a thing to any of these town suppers.  What in the hell makes you think this year will be any different?

HARRY

(With a slight chuckle)

Well let’s just say a little birdie told me that he was going to be a bit more charitable this year.

 

ACT II

(It is the day of the town supper and about three quarters of the people of Cairo and the surrounding area are there gathered around the crudely made picnic tables set end to end in rows of five.  The tables are covered with everything from linen sheets to hand made bedspreads.  There is every kind of meat you can think of, cooking over a pit filled with a bed of cherry red coals.  However, the aroma of fresh pork and chicken turning on spits is the most prevalent.  The first person to join in the food part of the festivities is old Frank Simpson.  Despite the fact that he was one of the wealthier individuals in that area, Simpson always looked like he never washed, and could be best described as a dirty little man who wore small round spectacles.)

 

FRANK

(looking over all the food)

Boy!  Everything looks so good this year I don’t know what to try first.

HARRY

(watching Frank)

Why don’t you tear a piece off that chicken on the end right there?  It looks nice and plump.

FRANK

By God I think you’re right Hank that chicken there does look like it might be just a bit tastier than the rest; I think, I will try some.

 

(Frank fills his plate, sits down next to Ward and Harry, and begins to gnaw on a chicken leg.)

FRANK

(After chewing the last piece of meat off the bone)

My goodness that was the finest chicken I have ever tasted.  I can’t remember when I had better, Hank.

HANK

(With a huge smile and talking loud, enough to be heard by everybody seated there)

Well it ought to be Frank.  It was one of your prize winning laying hens.

 

(There was a loud roar of laughter that shook the tables.  Some people laughed so hard they choked on their food while others just rolled off the picnic tables.)

 

FRANK

(Waving his fists violently in the air)

Damn you Hank!  Damn you all!

(Frank exits mumbling and cursing)

 

WARD

(With a smile)

Well I reckon I won’t be hearing any more varmints in your truck Hank?

HARRY

(With an even more devilish smile)

Well not for a spell anyway Ward, not for a spell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by

kinnycut

I have been writing quite a number of years. I have been published numerous times and I have won several writing awards throughout the years. I won one for poetry just last year from a state contest through my college, the College of Central Florida. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from that same college in 2015 with a degree in Mass Communications. I now have a BA in Psychology from Saint Leo University.

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