Front Porch Chronicles by Sidney Ryan text copyright 2005 Sidney Ryan. Free performance of this play for high school and college level competitive forensics is permitted. All other rights reserved. The Intriguing Interp Series is published by Mushroom Cloud Press Orlando, FL For more information and performance rights, contact Mushroom Cloud Press 278 Leslie Lane Lake Mary, FL 32746 [email protected]
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FRONT PORCH CHRONICLES BOBBY: Every morning for the last 50 years I have stood here on my stoop with my neighbor Sam Jones and watched as the nighttime became the morning. From this stoop, we'd grab our pails, walk down the street to the factory and be home by six to have dinner with the Mrs. and homework with the kids. Now my boys live in the city, and my wife passed a year ago today, and a new family is moving in house next door. Life is changing…I’m not sure that I’m ready for where it’s going.
SAM: Hi Mister. BOBBY: Who are you? SAM: I’m Bobby Lantzy. I’m your neighbor. Who are you? BOBBY: I’m the mean old grump who doesn’t want to talk to you…don’t you have a box to move or something? SAM: No. I’m not allowed to help. I keep breaking things. BOBBY: Well, you’re breaking things here too. My silence. So go play in the street or something….see how many cars you can dodge. SAM: What's that? SAM: What's this? Is this a pirate ship? BOBBY: Don’t' touch that. It is a rare antique…took me five years to put that together. SAM: Where'd it come from? BOBBY: Where'd it come from? Why do you…..(thinking)….well, I got it when I was a boy and I lived on a pirate ship…. SAM: Really? I’d like to live on a pirate ship. INTRO SAM: Mr. Grump, tell me one of your stories. BOBBY: Arrgghhh there boy. What are ye bloody doin? SAM: I’m swabbing the deck captain. BOBBY: Yere doin a bad job, Ill toss ya overboard! SAM: Look captain, a ship! BOBBY: Argh…set sail, it's a British ship…she's probly full of treasure…Set sails, man the guns! SAM: Captain, they’re twice our size. BOBBY: Aye, but where there be size there be lots of gold. SAM: Did you get the gold Mr. Grump? BOBBY: Mr. Grump? SAM: Yea, you said you were old Mr. Grump? BOBBY: Haha…so I did. Sure we got the gold, but then another pirate ship came and took it away. SAM: Wow, that's cool.
BOBBY: I try everything to get rid of this kid…so I started playin these games with him…plays sort of…they make me laugh… But he’ll get bored and stop comin round soon…they all do. I remember we would sit….
SAM: Mr. Grump…well that’s what I called him, was this really cool old guy who lived next door to me when I was growing up. I didn’t really have a lot of friends in my neighborhood. I was really small and not much of a cool kid. BOBBY: And then he would leave me. SAM: So I use to sit on his porch and play games. I’m not sure what else I would have done growin’ up without him BOBBY: And I haven’t had a friend like that since.
SAM: Mr. Grump! Its my first day of school.. BOBBY: I can see that SAM: Im getting on the school bus today. The school bus! BOBBY: Well, you better buckle up. SAM: Im afraid that the big kids are gonna pick on me though. BOBBY: Here…take this. SAM: What is it? BOBBY: It’s a magic laser gun. SAM: It looks like a pen…see I can BOBBY: DON’T PUSH THAT BUTTON! SAM: Why not? BOBBY: That is the trigger. If you point that at somebody, you’ll vaporize them. SAM: Wow (holds it away) Where did you get this? BOBBY: I got it when I was an astronaut on a secret trip to the moon. SAM: You were an astronaut? SAM: This is mission control. How ya doin’ out there, Grump? BOBBY: I’m doing fine. I can see the moon. It looks like a big wheel of cheese. Lots of holes. Ok I've landed. I’m' stepping out of the ship. SAM: You stepped out of the ship? BOBBY: SHUT UP, YOU'LL RUIN THE STORY! SAM: Sorry BOBBY: This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. SAM: Wow. You are the one who said that? BOBBY: Yep, but the first mission was top secret, so Armstrong repeated it the next time. SAM: Wow. I’m gonna cross out his name in my social studies book and write yours.
BOBBY: Sometimes I just wish the good Lord would take me…at least somebody would want me then.
SAM: Sometimes I would go over and Mr. Grump would seem kind of out-of-it. Maybe he was just getting old. My mom told me to stop bothering him so much.
SAM: You sure have a big house, Mr. Grump! BOBBY: It’s no bigger than yours. SAM: Yea but I have five people living in mine. Do you live here all by yourself? BOBBY: I do.
SAM: That must be cool! BOBBY: Yea, sure is… SAM: Mr. Grump…how come you have all those little bottles on the table? BOBBY: You sure do ask too many questions… SAM: That’s what my mom tells me… BOBBY: Listen…I think you’d best get home. Ain’t it time for dinner or something? SAM: In a little while. My mom will start screaming out the door…”Bobby! Bobby! Like that…she says, “Bobby, it’s time for…” BOBBY: I KNOW! I know. I’ve heard her… Now I have something I need to do… SAM: Don’t you have to drink water with those pills. My mom always takes her medicine with water. My dad though is so cool, he can take his dry. We just got a lot of this really neat bottled water…its kinda’ like soda, but not…can I get you…. BOBBY: NO! (clear throat) No. I’m fine. SAM: So does your house have an attic? Mine has an attic, but I’m not allowed in it. BOBBY: Yes, I have an attic. SAM: I saw a TV show where a little boy made a fort in his attic with his friends, but I don’t really have any friends to make a fort with…maybe you can take me in yours someday and we can build a fort? BOBBY: (Cough or something) SAM: Mr. Grump, do you ever get lonely? BOBBY: Lonely…I don’t have time for lonely. SAM: You know what I do when I get lonely? BOBBY: What’s that? SAM: I come over here!
SAM: Mr. Grump’s gonna love my new girlfriend. I think. I hope. Oh God. He’s gonna hate her.
SAM: Mr. Grump. BOBBY: Wow. Look at you all snazzed up. Where are you going? SAM: It’s my first date…how do I look? BOBBY: You look clean. You look dressed. SAM: Come on. How do I look? BOBBY: Like a secret agent. SAM: My name is Mr. Golden Leg, and you are? BOBBY: Grump, Forrest Grump. SAM: Well then Grump, what can I help you with? BOBBY: I’m here to stop you from poisoning all the trees on Earth, Golden Leg. SAM: Not today Grump…it's too late. I have already taken over this park…and you can’t stop me from taking over the world. BOBBY: Bang. SAM: Bang. Bang ! BOBBY: Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang! ….wow, I haven’t banged like that in a long time.
BOBBY: Seems like there’s all sorts of boxes over there today…getting packed in the car. I knew it was gonna’ happen… goin’ off to school --- they all do.
SAM: I’m leaving. He’s probably not even gonna know I’m gone. He’s probably gonna like the peace and quiet….
SAM: Mr. Grump, I’m leavin’ for college today. Everything is packed. BOBBY: Cough, Cough, Ok goodbye boy. SAM: Ok. Bye. BOBBY: Franks. SAM: What? BOBBY: Sam Franks. My name is Sam Franks… SAM: I brought you something….to give you…to remember me… BOBBY: What is this? A coin. Boy, I aint needing any money. SAM: It’s not just any coin Mr. Grump….it’s a window…to me. BOBBY: A window. SAM: That way every time you are lonely you can look through that window and see me, and every time I am lonely, I can see you. BOBBY: Well, Ill be. I can see you right there…right there! (wave at coin). SAM: I gotta go Mr. Grump.
BOBBY: And I remember we would sit on my porch and play games and they made me laugh. SAM: Bang! Bang! Bang! BOBBY: But then his mom would call and he would leave me. SAM: Bobby! Get in here Bobby! BOBBY: And then I would get lonely and I realized I really did miss him. SAM: This is mission control, how ya doin’ out there? BOBBY: And now I spend my nights talking to a coin. And I just sit all alone on my porch in my rocker and just think that I haven’t had a friend like that since. End.