The Day Perception Met Reality

By Glenn A. Hascall

Summary

One morning Judy meets three sets of parents, but which set is her real parents and why hadnít she noticed them before? A lesson in gratitude and contentment.

Characters

Mom
Dad
Tommy
Judy
Phil (voice only)
(NOTE: Mom, Dad and Tommy need to dress circa 1950s for the opening dialogue, then make a simple change to appear more modern (hurried and harried) for the second set. In the final set of dialogue make them appear as normal as possible. It is possible to even have different actors fill each set of family (Mom, Dad, Tommy)

Script

MOM: Good morning everyone, itís time for breakfast. Judy, Tommy Ė Carl!
DAD: (Comes in kisses Momís cheek) Morning, Marg.
MOM: Good morning, dear. Your newspaper is on the table.
DAD: You are so thoughtful.
MOM: Why thank you Carl.
DAD: Looks at a glass of juice) Fresh squeezed?
MOM: Only the best for my sweetheart Ė oh, yes and the coffee is just the way you like it.
DAD: A little cream.
MOM: And two lumps of sugar. (Both Mom and Dad chuckle)
TOMMY: (Walks in) Good morning, mother.
MOM: Good morning, Tommy. Did you make your bed before coming down for breakfast?
TOMMY: Yes, maíam. I also had enough time to alphabetize all of my penny loafers according to brand names Ė and mint marks.
DAD: (Looks up from paper) Iím so proud of you, son.
TOMMY: Thanks, Dad.
DAD: What are you having for breakfast, Son?
TOMMY: Well, I ordered pancakes, sausage links and eggs Ė sunny side up.
DAD: Woah, Tiger, better watch your cholesterol.
TOMMY: Oh, this is a splurge day. Iíve had nothing but plain oatmeal for the past 26 days, so I figure I can have something a little bit risky today.
MOM: (Chuckles) Oh, Tommy. Youíre a growing boy, you need all the nutrients possible. Here you go (Places food in front of Tommy and looks off stage) JUDY!
JUDY: What?
MOM: Arenít you coming to breakfast, dear?
JUDY: (Walks in, in modern clothes) Iíll pick up something on the way to school.
MOM: Oh, Judy, dear, Iím just afraid it wonít be balanced or nutritious.
JUDY: (Rolls eyes) I donít know whether you are aware of it or not, but you guys do not fit the profile of a typical family.
TOMMY: Come on, Judy, all the fellas are into penny loafers and good nutrition.
JUDY: (Tosses down a back pack and sits at the table) Itís like you guys are stuck on the set of ďLeave it to BeaverĒ.
DAD: Why, Judy, thatís the nicest thing youíve said to us all week.
MOM: Now come on dear, just have a seat and Iíll fix whatever you like.
JUDY: I just wish I had a normal family Ė is that too much to ask?
MOM: (Smiles) Be careful what you wish for Judy.
DAD: It could come true.
JUDY: (Said quietly) If only I was that lucky.
MOM:  (To Judy) Just sit down and have some fresh fruit and English muffin Ė I made the jam myself.
DAD: Thanks, Marg. A wonderful morning Ė as usual (Walks off stage).
TOMMY: This really was good, Mom. Youíre the best!
MOM: Thanks Tommy, now hurry up, you donít want to be late for school (Tommy runs off stage)
MOM: (Clears dishes from the table) I sure wish you were happier, Judy. Iíve got to go make a call to Mavis Taylor and then maybe we can talk.
JUDY: Sure. (Mom walks off stage Ė Judy is alone. Tommy, Mom and Dad should all change into modern clothes as Judy continues at the table). I donít know what weíre going to talk about Ė my parents are so different from everyone I know. I feel like Iím living in a TV sitcom.
DAD: (Enters in a modern business suit Ė Yells) See ya tonight. Itíll probably be a late night again.
TOMMY: Wait, Dad Ė (Dad is off stage as Tommy says more quietly) What about my game tonight?
JUDY: What did you do to yourself, Tommy.
TOMMY: OK, whatís the punchline?
JUDY: You look so different.
TOMMY: Whatever. (Pause) Hey, would you do me a favor?
JUDY: Whatís that?
TOMMY: Leave my stuff alone. We have separate rooms for a reason.
JUDY: I just went in to pick up thatÖ
TOMMY: I donít care. Itís my room Ė STAY OUT.
JUDY: Sorrrrry.
TOMMY: Mom, Iím tired of waiting, Iím walking to school (Walks off stage).
MOM: (Off stage) Tommy, you wait for me (Arrives on stage looking very modern day in work clothes) That boy. Oh, hi Judy.
JUDY: Mom?
MOM: Whatís that supposed to mean?
JUDY: Iíve just never seen you look this way before.
MOM: Very funny. Youíll need to start the dryer and put the dishes in the washer before you leave. And donít forget to get home right after school to take care of your brother.
JUDY: Youíre kidding, right?
MOM: Judy, I donít have time to play games. Could you just do what I say for once without hassle? Both dad and I will be late tonight so youíll have to figure out something for super. Order out if you want to and make sure your brother gets to bed by 9.
JUDY: I was going to go out tonight with my friends.
MOM: We donít always get to do what we want, Judy. Iím relying on you. Call me on my cell phone if thereís a problem. See ya.
JUDY: But, Mom.
MOM: Call me, Judy. Iím late. (Walks off stage)
JUDY: That was freaky. My mom has always been here for Tommy and me. Dad always made sure he could be a Tommyís games - and my stuff too I guess. And whatís up with Tommy. Everyoneís gone crazy around here Ė and whatís up with those clothes.
(Phone Rings)
JUDY: Hello.
PHIL: (Voice) Hello, is this Judy?
JUDY: Yes. Whoís this?
PHIL: Oh, Iím sorry. My name is Philbert Lehl. My friends call me Phil.
JUDY: (Hesitant) OK - Phil. Look We donít buy from phone salesmen.
PHIL: (Chuckles) Oh, Iím not selling anything Judy, this is just a follow up to a request that you made earlier this morning.
JUDY: I didnít call anyone this morning.
PHIL: Not by phone, but you did make a wish and our company decided to grant your request at no charge. Weíre just wondering how you like your new and improved family?
JUDY: What are you talking about?
PHIL: Letís see, the transcript reads: Judy says, "Iíd just wish I had a normal family Ė is that too much to ask?" Mom replies, ďBe careful what you wish for Judy.Ē Dad interjects ďIt could come true.Ē Then you said, ďIf only I was that lucky.Ē There you are Ė you are lucky. Presto chango Ė new family.
JUDY: Youíre trying to tell me that my wish was answered?
PHIL: Thatís right, Judy. I hope everything is the way you wanted it. We used several variables to construct what we feel is a normal family and carefully calculated the differences you seemed to have with your family and sought to alter them accordingly. To be honest though, we really didnít see much of a problem with the way your family was before the alteration.
JUDY: Come on Phil, they were a mixture of every family in 1950s sitcoms.
PHIL: Weíve run a scan on your family and find this to be untrue. Our analysis indicates that in this case, perception has become reality for you. What you believe about your family has only allowed you to see them in one way and frankly the way you see them is not the way they are seen by most people.
JUDY: What do you mean?
PHIL: Take your brother for instance, he has never sorted penny loafers by brand names. Our sources indicate that he doesnít even know what penny loafers are. Youíre dad rarely reads the newspaper until after he gets home from work and sometimes heís the one that makes breakfast. And your Mom? She works hard to take care of your family, but she canít do it all and there are times she gets tired of trying. Both of your parents only want whatís best for you, so they put a few restrictions on you and your brother. Our records indicate that those restrictions have the best of intentions behind them. (Pause and then chuckles) What am I saying Ė I was just calling to make sure everything was OK. (Pause) Judy? (Pause) Judy?
JUDY: What?
PHIL: Is everything all right?
JUDY: I take it back.
PHIL: What?
JUDY: I take it all back. I want my old family back.
PHIL: Iím afraid thatís impossible, Judy.
JUDY: What do you mean?
PHIL: Iíve provided you with a lot of information about your family. Iím afraid they will never seem the way they did to you.
JUDY: Why?
PHIL: Because I think itís highly probable that your perception of them has changed.
JUDY: Is that bad?
PHIL: Look, our firm would be happy to change them back on one condition. You need to be very careful about what you say about your family.
JUDY: (Anxious) OK, just change them back Ė Please!
PHIL: (Pause) Is that what you really want?
JUDY: YES! (Silence) Phil?
PHIL: OK. (Phone click)
JUDY: (Hangs up phone) that was weird.
MOM: (Somewhere in between the two extremes mentioned before) Well, youíre up kind of early, arenít you?
JUDY: Mom! Itís really great to see you (Hugs mom).
MOM: Well, itís good to see you too, Judy.
DAD: Whatís for breakfast?
MOM: (Chuckles) I just got up myself, I think we may have to settle for a bowl of frosted flakes and a bagle.
DAD: And I was dreaming of pancakes and sausage. Ah, well, maybe tomorrow.
TOMMY: (Walks on stage) Has anyone seen my favorite t-shirt?
JUDY: Guys? (Everyone turns to look at Judy) I sure do love you. I hope you donít ever change. To think I almost lost you.
MOM: Lost us?
DAD: Did you stay up all night working on a class project?
TOMMY: She is so weird.
MOM: Well, we love you too, dear.
DAD: Iíll tell you this much, a bowl of corn flakes is not going to be enough. Letís get dressed and head over to Mondo Mc Donís and get a value meal.
TOMMY: All right! (All but Judy exit stage)
JUDY: (Smiles as the following is said in wonder) Perception becomes reality. What a concept.
MOM: (Off Stage) Are you coming, Judy?
JUDY: Iíll be right there. (Walks off stage)
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Copyright 2003 by Glenn A. Hascall
Should you use this script, would you be so kind as to let us know of its use? Email: glenn.hascall<a>gmail.com