Bumbershoot – The Plays of Jeffrey James Ircink

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“Chromosome 21”

Joshua has Down Syndrome (DS) and lives at home with his mother, Doris. Compared to others with DS, Joshua functions at a level somewhere in the mid-range as it relates to his verbal, social and cognitive skills. He works at Wal~Mart, volunteers at the local recreation center, and loves to sing and play the guitar – a passion he acquired from his father, Roger, a jazz guitarist, who abandoned the family when Joshua was 10 and has not been seen or heard since. Living a life compounded with DS presents a unique set of circumstances for Joshua. Not unlike most children, Joshua confides in a make-believe friend, “Del Rey”, a hefty, black, street musician. Del Rey mentors and advises Joshua on music and life, while providing an unconditional ear for Joshua to vent to.

C21 title pic

Joshua’s older brother, Eric, is devoted to Joshua. Having taken a year off his senior year in college to help at home after his father left, Eric’s resentment toward his father’s abrupt departure is deep-seated, though he hides his hatred by immersing himself in his work.

As Joshua’s 21th birthday nears, Doris decides to throw a surprise party – and invites Joshua’s father, Roger. What ensues is a birthday party unlike any birthday you’ve ever attended…and Joshua Cinrik is about to celebrate his 21st birthday on his terms – warts and all.
Full-length, drama (4M, 1W)

NEW! Emerging Playwright’s Reading Series, BITE Theatre, Spring 2011

“I read the play on a jet to Kansas City and loved it. I think DS is represented very well.” – Gail Williamson, President, Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles.

“…very engaging, and the way you handle the interactions between people with mental handicaps and those around them was quite intriguing…” – Timothy O’Neal, Westport Playhouse, Connecticut.

“Outstanding.” – Ed Hale, personal friend in Wisconsin whose son has Down Syndrome.

CHROMOSOME 21

A Play in Two Acts
by
Jeffrey James Ircink

© Copyright 2005, Jeffrey James Ircink
6405 blossom ct.
greendale, wi 53129
c: (262) 806-2808
jeffbumbershoot43@gmail.com
irc_64@hotmail.com
http://jeffircink.blogspot.com

Cast of Characters

JOSHUA CINRIK: 20 – JOSHUA has Down Syndrome (DS) and ranks in the middle tier as it relates to his intelligence, motor skills, hearing, vision, etc. He works full-time at Wal-Mart and lives at home with his mother, DORIS. He loves to play the guitar and sing and has quite the imagination. When he is alone with DEL-REY, he appears “normal” – void of any of the characteristics associated with Down Syndrome.

DORIS CINRIK: 57 – JOSHUA’S mother – DORIS has raised JOSHUA and ERIC by herself for 11 years, while holding down a full-time job as a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­false teeth ceramist. She’s a busy-body, very down-to-earth and blunt. She draws a fine line between doting on JOSHUA and recognizing his independence (think ANGELA LANDSBURY in the movie, “Blue Hawaii”).

ERIC CINRIK: 31 – JOSHUA’S brother – ERIC is the creative director for an advertising agency. ERIC and JOSHUA are very close and he is extremely protective of JOSHUA, working hard to treat JOSHUA as if he had no disability. ERIC is resentful that his father abandoned the family, not only because he lost his father, but also because he was forced into a position of taking care of his family while he was in college. Has a sarcastic sense of humor and is an avid triathlete (think JAMES SPADER).

ROGER CINRIK: 59 – JOSHUA’S father – ROGER is a professional guitarist whose bohemian lifestyle caused him to be on the road throughout much of his marriage. His inability to cope with the responsibilities of raising a child with DS – and his traveling – took its toll and he abandoned his family when JOSHUA was 10. He’s never really been able to shed the guilt and has finally gathered the courage to go home and face his demons. Big in stature – salt-of-the-earth, simple. quiet man (think SAM ELLIOT or JAMES GAMMON).

DEL-REY: 50-70 – JOSHUA’S make-believe friend; a rotund, black man-of-the-streets who plays blues guitar and acts as a mentor to JOSHUA. DEL-REY appears only when JOSHUA is alone, though he sometimes makes his presence known by quietly sitting in the corner and observing. (NOTE: If no African-American actor is available, you may substitute a Caucasian “blues man” from the South. “Rotund” is just a guideline.)

SCENE:
A Midwest town in the United States.

TIME:
The present.

(All scenes take place in the Cinrick home
unless otherwise noted.)

Act I

scene i Sunday evening.
Scene ii Monday morning.
scene iii Monday. Later that morning. Wal~Mart.
scene iv Tuesday evening.
scene v Friday afternoon.
scene vi Saturday evening.

Act II

scene i Saturday evening.
scene ii Saturday evening.
scene iii The next day.

Author’s Note:
Joshua’s speech patterns and physical attributes will vary depending on to whom he’s talking. This is extremely important so that the audience can make the distinction between Joshua’s real world and the world his imagination creates. If Joshua can be heard by anyone other than Del-Rey, he speaks with a speech impediment. When he’s alone – speaking to Del-Rey – this is the state in which Joshua views and sees himself…a world where his is “just like everyone else”. Through the perfect world of his imagination, the audience has a deeper understanding of Joshua’s thought processes unencumbered by his DS.

There are instances where Del-Rey serves as a “witness” – observing events as they unfold – but only when Joshua is present. Del-Rey represents a “normal” Joshua, studying the “abnormal” events occurring within Joshua’s reality.

At various points in the play, JOSHUA, DEL REY and ROGER play the guitar. The expertise with which the actors play the guitar will vary on the actors. At the very least, they should learn to play the basic chords to the songs – and “fake it”. Even DEL REY and ROGER, who are proficient guitar players, can just play chords and that approach will work in each scene.

Additionally, for music between scenes beginning at the end of ACT I, SCENE IV, use the instrumental music from the song, Velvet, which appears at the end of the play. In this way, the audience can following along with Joshua’s progress as he constructs his song, or “assignment”, given to him by Del-Rey. The melody to Del-Rey’s Lament = pick any blues melody and apply.

ACT I, SCENE I

(Sunday evening. JOSHUA’S bedroom. Over the loudspeaker, a recording is heard of JOSHUA CINRIK, 20, playing his guitar and singing, *“Big Rock Candy Mountain” – with his speech impediment. JOSHUA is dressed in his work clothes – white golf shirt, dark pants, tennis shoes, prescription glasses with thick lens and a blue Wal~Mart vest with plastic name tag, big yellow smiley face and “Good Job” pins. With his back turned slightly on an angle toward the audience, he practices his greeting speech in front of a double-wide, full-length mirror. JOSHUA’S mother, DORIS CINRIK, 57, is in the living room talking on the phone. The recording fades as JOSHUA is heard practicing – with his speech impediment. The lights dim back and forth between each scene.)

JOSHUA
Hello. Welcome to Wal~Mart. Is there something I can help you find? Would you like a flyer with today’s store specials? There you go. Enjoy your visit to Wal~Mart. Hello. Welcome to Wal~Mart. Is there something I can help you find? Enjoy your vis – oh, here’s a flyer with today’s store specials. Enjoy your visit to Wal~Mart. Thanks for stopping by. Hello. Welcome to Wal~Mart. Is there something…

DORIS
(Loudly, on the phone. JOSHUA can still be heard in the background.)
I told you, Estelle, you plant daffodil and tulip bulbs in the fall to bloom in the spring. Read your Burpees™ magazine. Daddy used to say, ‘Think tulips – Easter. Easter – Spring. Spring bulbs in winter.’ Oh-h he always said that. We did ours already. Joshua helped. He’s so wonderful in the garden- very meticulous. I mean the spacing between the bulbs is perfect. Everything’s fine, Estelle…

JOSHUA
(Doing the Wal~Mart cheer.)
Gimme a “W”! “W”! Gimme an “A”! “A”! Gimme an “L”! “L”! Gimme a squiggly!
(He bends over and wiggles his posterior.)
Squiggly! Gimme an “M”! “M”! Gimme an “A”! “A”! Gimme an “R”! “R”! Gimme a “T”! “T”! What does it spell?! “WAL~MART”! Who’s #1?! The customer…always…Uh!

(JOSHUA vocalizes people cheering.)

DORIS
(On the phone.)
What’s that? That’s Joshua – he practices his greeting speech every Sunday evening in front of the mirror. No – just Sundays. He says he needs to be refreshed should they ask him to fill in greeting people at the door. What? It’s some cheer they do. Oh-h he stocks shelves, mops…whatever they need him to do. What’s that? Of course he can cashier, Estelle – he’s not retarded…

JOSHUA
Hello. Welcome to Wal~Mart. Is there something I –
(He stops and stares at his reflection in the mirror. Children and adult voices are heard giggling and whispering over the loudspeaker – voices JOSHUA is hearing in his head. He studies his face and touches it. Without his speech impediment.)
Why don’t I look like everyone else? What’s wrong with me? Everything about me is wrong – my face, my eyes, my body. It’s not fair. Why did this happen to me? Why not someone else? I see people staring at me – at the way I look, the way I act.
(Beat)
I don’t feel any different on the inside.
(Beat)
I know what they’re thinking. They think I’m retarded. I can hear what they’re whispering.
(Beat)
All I want is to be treated like everyone else.

(As he continues studying himself in the mirror, an audiotape is heard of people making comments as if toward JOSHUA. The comments overlap slightly.)

GIRL
Why do you look like that, Joshua?

BOY
What’s wrong with you, Joshua?

ADULT MALE
Stay away from him.

GIRL
What are you looking at?

BOY
Joshua, are you retarded?

ADULT FEMALE
I don’t want him around my children.

BOY
We don’t want to play with you.

GIRL
Joshua, no!

BOY
Get out of here!

GIRL
Don’t, Joshua.

ADULT MALE
I’m sorry but we can’t have you work here.

(JOSHUA covers his ears.)

GIRL
Get away from me!

ADULT FEMALE
Joshua, no!

CHILDREN
Joshua, no!

ALL VOICES
No, Joshua!!

JOSHUA
(Defiantly, with his speech impediment.)
JOSHUA NO!!
(The voices abruptly stop. Without his speech impediment.)
All I want is to be treated like everyone else.

DORIS
Joshua!

(SPOTLIGHT FADES UP on DEL-REY, JOSHUA’S make-believe friend, who is sitting on a stool in the corner of the room. He’s a hefty, black street musician who plays for change in the streets. He has a tin cup for spare change, a backpack and sleeping bag.)

DEL-REY
It’s the voices again, ain’t it?

JOSHUA
Someday’s they’re louder. What are you doing here, Del-Rey?

DEL-REY
I’m always here.
(Rising.)
I can leave if you want me to?

JOSHUA
No – stay.
(Beat)
My 21st birthday’s coming up.

DEL-REY
Shor’e is. Lordy…ben a long time since I was 21. Uh-huh. Dem’s was da times, dat’s for shor’e…from what I remember.

JOSHUA
I guess I should feel lucky to hit 21.

DEL-REY
Luck had nothin’ to do wit it. Joshua. You a survivor. Hell, der’s people all over da world in da same condition as you living longer lives. Times has changed, thank da Lord for dat.

JOSHUA
Then why do I feel like I’m a square peg in a round world?

DEL-REY
Dat’s ‘cause you are – in a way. We’s all tryin’ to fit in somewhere, Joshua.

(Pause. DORIS rises from the couch and goes over to JOSHUA’S door. DEL-REY puts his finger to his lips to quiet JOSHUA. DORIS knocks and as soon as the door opens, the SPOTLIGHT FADES on DEL-REY.)

DORIS
Time for bed.

JOSHUA
(With speech impediment.)
I’m going.

(DORIS closes the door and the SPOTLIGHT FADES UP on DEL-REY.)

DEL-REY
Ya outta be careful wit yor momma ‘round. She gonna think yor’ crazy for talkin’ to yor’self.

JOSHUA
(Without speech impediment.)
But I’m not talking myself. I’m talking to you.

DEL-REY
Like I said…she gonna think yor’ crazy.

(Pause.)

JOSHUA
Did you know that the 21st chromosome – the one that made me the way I am – is a misnomer? It should’ve been called, “Chromosome 22”.

DEL-REY
I did not know that. And I do not know what a misnomer is either.

JOSHUA
Yeh. Chromosomes are numbered from largest to smallest. The
Down Syndrome chromosome is the smallest.
(Beat)
It should’ve been numbered 22.
(Beat)
I wish my family was all together. Maybe things would be different. Or at least a bit easier for me.

DEL-REY
Nuthin’ mor’ important den family.
(Beat)
Tell ya what – how ‘bout I wave my magic gui-tar and den you’ll be able to wish fo’ anythin’ you want.

JOSHUA
If you had a magic wand you wouldn’t be playing for quarters on the street corner.

DEL-REY
Touche, Joshua. Touche. But ya do have some magic right up here.
(Points to his own head.)
Anythin’ can happen as long as ya got your imagination…and dat surely is intact.

JOSHUA
I suppose.

DORIS
Joshua?! What’s going on in there?!

JOSHUA
(To DORIS, with speech impediment.)
WHAT?!
(To DEL-REY, without speech impediment.)
I gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.

DEL-REY
I’ll be here.
(Beat)
Da day you lose yo’ imagination, Joshua, is da day you ain’t long for dis world. You remember dat.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES on DEL-REY.)

DORIS
Joshua?!
(Yelling into the phone.)
How’s your hip coming along? Yeh? What’s more important – your hip or the flower beds? Estelle, I have to go. I think Joshua’s finishing up and I’ve got to get him into bed. Well just dig’em up and start from scratch. OK. I’ll talk to you later. And stay off your feet! B-bye.
(Hanging up the phone.)
Joshua! Come out here for a second!
(Beat)
JOSHUA! Come here!
(JOSHUA enters the living room.)
What are you doing in there?

JOSHUA
(With speech impediment.)
Nothing.

DORIS
What’s with all the screaming?

JOSHUA
I was practicing my speech.

DORIS
I know you were practicing your speech. Why were you screaming?

JOSHUA
I don’t know. I’m tired.

DORIS
It’s late – you need to get ready for bed. Wait a second. Come sit by me.
(JOSHUA sits down on the couch and lays his head on DORIS’ shoulder.)
Your Aunt Estelle says, ‘Hello’. That was her on the phone.

JOSHUA
I know – I heard you yelling at her from my room. How’s her arm?

DORIS
It’s her hip and she’s doing fine. And I yell at her ‘cause she’s going deaf. Did you put your dirty clothes in the laundry hamper – the ones you were wearing when we were digging in the flower garden?

JOSHUA
Yes.

DORIS
What about that bicycle that’s lying all over the sidewalk out front? Did you clean it up like I asked you to?

JOSHUA
Yes.

DORIS
No you did not – I just checked. Who told you to take it apart like that?

JOSHUA
I was fixing it.

DORIS
It’s in a million pieces.

JOSHUA
I’ll put it together tomorrow.

DORIS
Someone’s gonna trip over it and break their neck and sue us for everything we don’t have.

JOSHUA
I’ll pick it up tomorrow.

DORIS
You better pick it up tomorrow.
(Beat)
Why are you dressed in your work clothes?

JOSHUA
I was practicing my cheer.

DORIS
In your work clothes?

JOSHUA
How can I practice my work cheer if I’m not in my work clothes?

DORIS
(Beat – not understanding JOSHUA’S logic.)
Now listen to me for a second. Are you listening to me? You know your birthday’s coming up in a few days.

JOSHUA
I know. I’m gonna be 21.

DORIS
That’s a big deal – 21. It means you’re officially an “adult”.

JOSHUA
I know. I’m gonna be a man.

DORIS
Yes you are. Now, I was thinking maybe we could have a little something to cele–
(Stops herself, not wanting to give her party plans away just yet. Beat.)
Did you know that I love you very much?

JOSHUA
I love you, too. I’m gonna be 21.

(Pause.)

DORIS
21. Where did all the years go? Can you believe there are days when I wish I could go back…to when you were just a little boy? We managed to get through it pretty well though – these last 10 years, didn’t we…you and I?

JOSHUA
Yep.
(Beat)
Tell me a story.

DORIS
Aren’t you getting too old for my stories?

JOSHUA
Nope.

DORIS
OK. Which one would you like to hear?

JOSHUA
The one about Joshua.

DORIS
Oh you’ve heard that story a million times. How about a different story? How about –

JOSHUA
I wanna hear about Joshua and the lady.

DORIS
Fine.
(Beat. From memory.) ‘There once was a boy named Joshua who lived a long, long time ago in a little thatched cottage in Ireland and he took care of his sheep and lambs and chickens and he fished in the stream that ran right along his home and –

JOSHUA
What about the girl?

DORIS
– and he lived in his cottage with a beautiful girl named Ceartha (PRONOUNCED, “KEE-RHA”) whom he loved more than life itself. And the world they lived in was an idyllic one – no wars or fighting or sickness. Everyone lived in peace and was happy. Joshua and his lovely Ceartha would often sit in front of the fireplace drinking tea and eating scones with raspberry jam and goat cheese and Joshua would spin fantastic stories of ancient knights and the lands they lived in. The escorts who accompanied the knights on their journeys would ride out in front holding brilliantly colored banners proclaiming who the knights were and where they were from. And bringing up the rear were bagpipers and buglers and dancers and magicians and servants who entertained the cavalcade as the knights journeyed throughout the countryside and in search of adventure and treasure. Oh – and the knights rode upon gallant steeds that were ten hands high and as beautifully adorned as the knights. Now, after their adventures, the knights would return home, weary from –
(Beat)
Joshua?
(JOSHUA’S asleep. DORIS grabs a blanket and covers him up.)
Yes, Joshua, you are going to be a man. But you’ll always be my baby.

(END OF SCENE.)

ACT I, SCENE II

(Monday morning. DORIS is in the kitchen preparing breakfast. JOSHUA is in his room.)

DORIS
Joshua? Are you ready for breakfast?

JOSHUA
Yes!

(He exits his bedroom with a tattered briefcase in tow and sits down at the kitchen table.)

DORIS
(Holding up two boxes of cereal.)
Raisin Bran or Captain Crunch?

JOSHUA
Um-m…Captain Crunch.
(DORIS sets the Captain Crunch and a bowl in front of JOSHUA and turns away.)
And Raisin Bran.
(DORIS turns back and sets the Raisin Bran down. JOSHUA pours it into his bowl, followed by milk.)
I like them both mixed together.

DORIS
Anything else?

JOSHUA
The business section, please.
(DORIS grabs the morning newspaper, rifles through it and pulls the business section out. She hands it to JOSHUA who opens it to the business section.)
Jesus, Mary and Josephine!

DORIS
Joshua…you know I don’t like that sort of talk.

JOSHUA
My Wal~Mart stock is up two points! I made…$30 dollars and I haven’t even left the house yet!

DORIS
Good for you.

JOSHUA
I have to eat first then I have to go to work.

DORIS
I know you have to go to work. Speaking of work – no more getting dressed in your work clothes the night before. You’re getting too big for me to change you. You’re gonna be 21, after all.

JOSHUA
I’m gonna be a man!

(The kitchen door opens and ERIC CINRIK – 31, enters.)

ERIC
(In an Irish brogue.) ‘And a fine man, ‘tis he!’

JOSHUA
Heya, Eric!

ERIC
Morning, brother. Mother.

(ERIC gives DORIS a kiss and then puts his hand up for JOSHUA to give him a high-five.)

DORIS
Morning. What are you doing here?

ERIC
I’m meeting a client at Harvey’s Griddle and –
(Seeing the breakfast spread on the counter.) – o-o-o, cinnamon raisin bagels.
(He grabs a couple bagels, starts spreading cream cheese on them and pours himself a glass of orange juice.)
Big week, this week.
(Looking at JOSHUA.)
Big week for everybody.

DORIS
I thought you’re training for a triathlon?

ERIC
Carbs, baby.

DORIS
What does that mean, ‘carbs, baby’?

JOSHUA
Energy!

ERIC
Exactly. Carbohydrates provide energy. While I’m training, I burn through carbs quickly, so I need to replenish my body with more…

(ERIC looks at JOSHUA.)

JOSHUA
ENERGY! Where’s your race?

ERIC
St. Louis – in two months. Mile and a half swim, 40 mile bike and 10 mile run. Wanna come along and be my cheering section?

JOSHUA
That would be cool!

ERIC
Good. That makes three: you, me and Bianchi Freccia (PRONOUNCED, “FRAY-ZSCHA).

DORIS
You talk about that bicycle as if it’s a living, breathing thing, for heaven’s sake.

ERIC
That’s because it is. I’m in love with her – my Bianchi.

DORIS
You know Harvey just finished remodeling the entire inside of the Griddle.

ERIC
I know – I saw the new signage out front.
(Effeminately.)
I’m very excited to see what he’s done with the place.

DORIS
He’s doing rather well for himself these days.

ERIC
Yah – he got divorced.

DORIS
What difference does that make? He hardly ever spent a minute with his wife.

ERIC
He didn’t need to spend any time with her – she was having an affair with the soup guy down the street.

DORIS
Jimmy Dee?

(ERIC nods.)

JOSHUA
Jimmy Dee makes good soup.

ERIC
That’s not all Jimmy Dee makes these days. He and Mrs. Harvey have a bun in the oven.

(DORIS runs over and places her hands over JOSHUA’S ears.)

DORIS
No-o-o!

ERIC
From Harvey’s lips to God’s ears.

JOSHUA
(Yelling.)
How’s the advertising business, Eric?!

ERIC
A bitch, Joshua. It’s a –

DORIS
Eric.

ERIC
How’s work at Wal~Mart?

JOSHUA
A bitch.

DORIS
(To ERIC.)
You see. You love your job at Wal~Mart, don’t you, Joshua?

JOSHUA
Uh-huh.

ERIC
I’m just saying any job’s a bitch as long as you’re working for “the man”, isn’t that right, Josh?

JOSHUA
You mean, Mr. Wal~Mart? I haven’t met him yet.

DORIS
Aren’t you considered “the man” now – with your new creative director position and all?

ERIC
(To DORIS.)
I still have to answer to three partners.
(Beat)
A half-man, maybe.
(To JOSHUA.)
No, Joshua…”the Man”. Corporate America. The guys in suits you and I address as, ‘Yes, sir’. ‘No, sir’. ‘I’ll get that for you right away, sir’.
(He pushes the paper down out of JOSHUA’S face.)
The guys who look like this.

(ERIC makes a face.)

JOSHUA
Oh, yeh. That’s Harold. He’s head of maintenance. He doesn’t wear a suit though. He walks around with his head up his ass.

DORIS
Joshua! Who did you hear that from?!

JOSHUA
Eric…

ERIC
(Overlapping)
What?

JOSHUA
(Overlapping)
…and some of the guys at work. That’s the reason Harold makes those faces, right?

ERIC
Having one’s “head up his ass”, Joshua, is a saying. It means that Harold is incompetent – that he doesn’t perform his job well.

JOSHUA
I think he’s a good boss.

DORIS
Those men shouldn’t talk like that around you. People like that are a bad influence and can only mean trouble.

ERIC
Mother – it’s guys talking.

DORIS
I don’t care. Harold’s nice to you, isn’t he, Joshua?

JOSHUA
Yes. He says he likes to keep an eye on me for my own good.

DORIS
Well that’s very nice of him.
(To ERIC.)
And don’t come in here spouting off about Corporate America and “the man” and using foul language in front of your brother. He repeats everything he hears.
(Watching ERIC eat.)
Aren’t you gonna spoil your breakfast?

ERIC
Probably.

JOSHUA
Who you meeting with?

ERIC
Charles Bouvier (PRONOUNCED, “BOO-VEE-AY”).

JOSHUA
He’s the Donut King. I eat his donuts all the time.

ERIC
He fired his current ad agency and Jackson, Schultz and Jeanpierre is gonna pitch’em.

DORIS
Pitch’em?

ERIC
Yeh – pitch’em. Try and get his business. And if we win the account, it’s worth $10 million dollars to the agency of record and it’ll be my responsibility to turn the Donut King into the Supreme Donut Ruler of the Universe – which is maybe why I’m a bit testy this morning, Mother.
(Noticing JOSHUA’S reading the business section.)
We up or down this morning, Josh?

JOSHUA
(His eyes still in the paper.)
Up two points. I made $30 bucks.

ERIC
Way to go.
(Sits next to JOSHUA.)
Care for a little business advice, brother?

JOSHUA
OK.

ERIC
Expect nothing. That way you won’t be disappointed.

DORIS
What kind of advice is that to give your brother?

ERIC
(To DORIS.)
Sound Irish advice.
(To JOSHUA.) “Cinrik’s” Irish, you know. Ever seen an unhappy Irishman? Never – happy as clams, the Irish. Why? ‘Cause they’re realists, which is what you need to be. So, tomorrow morning, you jump out of bed and find out your stock dropped. Dejected, you walk around work with your head up your ass –
(To DORIS.) – Joshua’s words –
(To JOSHUA.) – do something stupid and end up on Harold’s shit list. Is that how you wanna start out your workweek?

JOSHUA
No.

ERIC
I didn’t think so.

DORIS
(Overlapping)
Don’t scare him like that, Eric – and please don’t use the word, “stupid”.

ERIC
Sorry, Joshua. Now, if you take your elder brother’s advice, either your stock drops but you weren’t expecting anything, so your day’s a wash, or you gain two points, make $30 bucks and you’re set for the day. Either way, you weren’t expecting anything so you’re ahead of the game. Capishe?

JOSHUA
I’d like more cereal, please.

ERIC
Joshua, did you heard a word I said?

DORIS
He would if you spoke English.

JOSHUA
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?

ERIC
(To DORIS.)
See? So…Joshua. The big 2-1’s coming up, eh?

JOSHUA
Yep. I’m gonna be a man.

ERIC
21’s a big day for the Cinrik men. In Gaelic, it’s the day of the “teachd” (PRONOUNCED, “TAWKT”) – which means, “the arrival”.

JOSHUA
What have I arrived at?

ERIC
Umm – manhood, I guess? Being a man – you know, like you keep saying, ‘I’m a man’. It’s a rite of passage. Like a Jewish bar mitzvah.
(Beat)
And you get to legally smoke, drink and go strip clubs.

DORIS
Don’t tell him that, for Christ’s sake, Eric! I don’t want Joshua drinking and lighting up at strip clubs!

ERIC
Mother, he’s gonna be 21. You can’t keep him sheltered forever.

DORIS
I understand that. But being an adult isn’t an automatic passport to a gentlemen’s club. It’s very serious business, especially with Joshua.

ERIC
(To JOSHUA.)
How’s the guitar strumming coming along?

JOSHUA
(Pouring more cereal and milk.)
I learned a new song. Wanna hear it?

DORIS
Joshua, we don’t have time for that right now.

ERIC
What’s the song?

JOSHUA
“Big Rock” –

ERIC
“Big Rock Candy Mountain”? You know, Joshua, maybe it’s time you learned a new song. I mean, don’t you get sick of playing “Big Rock Candy Mountain” over and over and over again?
(Turning to DORIS.)
He’s been playing that song since…

(DORIS motions to ERIC to stop.)

JOSHUA
It’s my favorite song to play.

ERIC
It’s the only song you play.

DORIS
(Yells.)
He likes the song!

ERIC
It’s a great song. I mean – I like…chocolate, too, but if that’s all I ever ate I’d throw up and my teeth would fall out. Is that what you want – for all your teeth to fall out of your mouth?

JOSHUA
My teeth can’t fall out from playing “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, will they, Mom?.

DORIS
No, Joshua. Eric’s funning with you.
(To ERIC.)
There is nothing wrong with Joshua’s teeth. If there were, I’d make him a new set.

ERIC
Who’d a thunk having a false teeth ceramist for a mother would be so convenient? So, Josh, seeing as you’re the donut connoisseur of the family, any words of wisdom before I meet with Mr. Bouvier?
(JOSHUA continues eating.)
Joshua – is there anything you think I should tell the Donut King about his donuts that would make more people buy them?

JOSHUA
Sell them for free.

ERIC
OK, but what do you think I should say in the ads to get more people to come into his stores?

JOSHUA
When I eat my donut I don’t think about anything else. Just how good the custard tastes.

ERIC
“Donuts that make you forget about life”. “The donut you can’t have enough of”. How ‘bout…“The donuts Joshua likes”?

JOSHUA
I like that one. Maybe you can use my picture in your ads.

ERIC
Maybe I will. You’d have to sign a release though.

JOSHUA
OK – after you pay me.

ERIC
Did you hear that, Ma? The world of stocks and speculative trading is turning your son into a first-class capitalist shark.
(Looking at his watch.)
I have to go. Have a great day.
(Gives her a kiss.)
Make good teeth.

DORIS
Good luck with your meeting.

ERIC
It’s the Donut King – what could go wrong?

JOSHUA
He could have his head up his ass.

DORIS
Stop that!

ERIC
You know – he very well could. If he does, I’ll just –
(Pantomiming for JOSHUA.) – jerk it out.

JOSHUA
See ya, Eric! Good luck.

ERIC
Thanks, buddy. See ya later.

(ERIC starts to exit, then reaches over for another bagel. He starts to speak but DORIS cuts him off.)

DORIS
I know – carbs, baby. Goodbye.

(ERIC exits.)

DORIS
Are you ready to go, Joshua?

(JOSHUA sets his paper down, grabs his briefcase and waits at the door.)

JOSHUA
Ready.
(DORIS grabs her lunch and a bagel.)
Mom, we need to make one stop before Wal~Mart.

DORIS
We’re not stopping at the Donut King, Joshua. We’re gonna be late as it is.

JOSHUA
I want a Donut King donut.

DORIS
No.

JOSHUA
(Loudly.)
I WANT A DONUT KING DONUT! I WANT A DONUT –

DORIS
Fine. Let’s go already. Geezuz.
(FADE TO BLACK.)
Remind me to kill your brother the next time I see him, OK?

JOSHUA
OK.
(Beat)
Donut King. The donuts Joshua likes.

(END OF SCENE.)

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