From an Off-Broadway Performance

(continued from front page)
Father (coming into kitchen): Every morning the same goddamn thing. Shouting, screaming. I can't stand it!

(enter daughter Marilyn)

Mother: ....And your sister Muriel, huh? Some jewel, huh? A real bargain, that one.

Father: I don't want to hear Muriel. Why is it always my sister?

Mother: That's right, that's right. Take her side. (Smiling. at Marilyn.) Sid, look at your daughter, hair like honey. Nose like a shiksah. Look at that face, look how pretty....Bernice, get in here and eat like Marilyn. Your eggs are ice cold. Siiiiiid!

Father: Bernice. Let's get this show on the road. Your mother's making ice cold eggs.

Mother: Ohooo. I married a comedian, a Jack Benny. Sure, Jack Benny, a cheap-skate just like your sister Muriel. She's so well-off, she couldn't afford to give us an electric juicer for our 10th? This facoctah thing -- I gotta squeeze by hand.

(enter Bernice)

Mother: Oh, Ring the bells. The Shiksah Goddess has arrived.

Bernice: The egg is busted.

Marilyn: Yeah. Mine is busted too.

Mother: Instigator. And you, Miss Add-A-Word. So they're busted. Once they're past your teeth, what difference does it make? They'll go down the same pipe. Start eating girls.

Father: Evelyn, I can't hear news.

Mother: So whatya want me to do? Huh? Have I got ten hands? I'm busy squeezing. I'm always squeezing. Your sister Muriel, she comes in here parading her Stone Martin and your mother, Queen Tut, doesn't have the sense to say to Muriel: "Muriel, Sid is your only brother. Have a heart. You should love him. What else have you got to love? That bum you're married to? Your Stone Martin? When we go -- that's it. It's just the two of you, you and Sid. Muriel, give him electric" But, does your mother say that? No.

Father: Marilyn, you've got egg in your hair.

Mother: They're jealous of me, those two.

Father (cleaning out egg): Again with the jealousy.

Mother: I'm not going to your mother's tonight. She'll be in the grave then I'll...

Father: Evelyn, I can't hear the radio. Can I please hear the radio?

Mother: So? You got legs, Captain Hornblower, Mister Interrupt! That's right, defend your mother who cares more about your sister than you and always has. And always will.

Father: Marilyn, stop staring and drink your juice.

Marilyn: I don't wanna.

Father: You don't wanna?

Marilyn: There's pits in it.

Father: Evelyn, you picky daughter doesn't want to drink a juice that has pits in it. What should I tell her?

Mother: You can tell her that her cheap Aunt Muriel wouldn't give electric so her mother has to squeeze by hand. That's why there's pits.

Father: Marilyn, spit out the pits.

Marilyn: They're slimy.

Mother: So split them out if they're slimy. Sid, you see what I have to contend with?

Father: Marilyn, you're aggravating your mother.

Mother: Look at the veins in your father's head. Sid, you see? You don't know what I put up with.

(Bernice rises...)

Father: Bernice, where are you going?

Bernice: I have to pee.

Mother: Look who has to pee. Can you believe this?

Father: I don't want to hear.

Mother: That's right. Take a big interest in your daughter. Look at her. She's green and skinny like a stringbean. She wont eat. Bernice, you'll sit and you'll finish, like a human being. You'll finish the white part and the milk and then you can leave. No tricks today.

Bernice: I gotta go.

Father: Let her go.

Mother: Sid, you don't have to l live with this. You got to work. She can hold it in. I fight to get crumbs down her throat.

(Marilyn spills juice)

Mother: Hey Spillinger, stop with the dreaming. Get up and get the paper towel.

(Marilyn crying and wiping)

Mother: Don't cry, just keep wiping. Her head isn't screwed on right. A Red Cross disaster. Trippinger. She trips over dust.

Marilyn (having risen to her feet): I swallowed a pit.

Mother: So that's terrific. You'll grow a tree in your stomach and next Spring you'll have nice oranges growing out of your ears and we'll send a box to your Aunt Muriel for her anniversary.

Father: Would you lay off Muriel?

Mother: Of course, she'll squeeze them by electric.

Father: The same theme over and over again, like a broken record.

Mother: Oh no! Didn't you know I'm on the "Hit Parade." (Sings) Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows my juicer.

Father: Evelyn, lay off!

Mother: Sid, you know from books. I know from people. I know a sneak when I see one. Stop squirming, Bernice.

Father: Bernice, stop with the squirming.

Mother: Bernice, stop aggravating your father. You'll give him a kidney stone. A sneak I tall ya that Muriel. You don't see how she plays up to your mother for the stocks? She'll take everything, your delightful sister.

Father: Jesus Chri...

Mother: Who does she care about, hmmm? You? Me? Your mother? Her own family even? I tell ya who she cares about...her cronies from the Concord and to get her hair done twice a week. Does she ever open a newspaper? Huh? The first floor of her house is everything matching, coordinating, the orange rug with the orange painting...

Father: Blue. It's blue.

Mother: Blue, schmue. You go's sticks.

Father: French Provincial.

Mother: She's got sticks! Where no one can see, except her husband and children. That's how much she cares about her family. Siiiiid! I don't believe this.

Father: What's wrong?

Mother: Look at the floor.

Father: Where? What? What's dripping now? Bernice!

Bernice: You wouldn't let me pee, so I did it here.

Father (chokes on his rye bread, slams his fists on the table): Evelyn, what the hell is this?

Bernice (crying): I couldn't keep it in!

Mother: Sid, I'm going to kill her. (Father restrains her.) Marilyn, move it. What are you sitting like a lump? Get a mop.

Marilyn: I can't. I'm not finished eating.

Mother: You're not finished eating? Did you hear that Sid? The princess isn't finished eating. I'll give you a "not finished eating" that you'll never forget. (Raises hand to strike.)

Marilyn and Bernice (cowering): I'll be good. I'll be good.

Mother: Shut up with the crying Sarah Heartburn. Look at Sarah Heartburn. She never misses the chance to perform.

(Father rises, grabs suitcase, storms out the door.)

Door Slams

Mother: That's right. Leave me with the dishes and the pee on the floor. Go ahead Sid, see if your next wife puts up with it! I promise you, I'm not going to your mother's tonight.

Door Opens

Father: Kiss my ass! (Exits.)

Door Slams. Kids huddle in the corner.

Mother: Look what you did to your father. Get out. Both of you! Go to school: Look what you did! Your father works so hard. You aggravate him so. He'll end up with a heart attack. I'll be a widow. Then you'll know from suffering.

(Marilyn and Bernice start to leave the kitchen, desperately clutching one another.)

Mother: Where are you two going? Get back here and finish your breakfast.

Bernice: The eggs are cold.

Mother: So, pretend they're hard-boiled. Ooh, are you spoiled! They're starving in Europe and you complain your eggs are cold. (To Marilyn) Hair like shoe polish...and egg. (To Bernice) What are you doing sitting there? Go inside and change your underwear. Oy. The Knish Sisters...Knish me once and knish me twice...Bernice, gimme a kiss. Knish me once and knish me twice and knish me once again. It's been a long, long time. Haven't felt like this...(fading)...

This story can only be reprinted or performed with the express written consent of Marilyn Sokel.