Willie & The Lapdog

A Play By Duncan Wells

"I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of". ~ Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)

Characters

Willie is a lonely man, a grave digger and in his mid sixties. He lives in a shack there in the very graveyard where he works.

Dan is a college student in his early twenties.

Set

Stage right is a ragged chesterfield, a window and an old crate for an end table. Up right is a collection of graveyard work items such as boots, an old push mower and fertilizer. Hanging just above is a collection of assorted tools - shovels, pick, pitch fork. Up center is a quick closing screen door, outside of which is a metal garbage can. Up left against the wall is Willies bed, a cot. Above the bed hangs a shot gun. Left of the cot is a wooden table upon which sits a small refridgerator, upon which sits an old style radio. Along the wall stage left are two wooden tables. The first has a hot plate, cups saucers and an assortment of cutlery. On the wall above are hanging pots, pans, etc. On the second table is a wash basin, soap and assorted cleaning substances. Directly above on the wall is a towel hanging from a nail. Center stage is a wooden kitchen table and three mis-matched kitchen chairs. The walls are partially covered with cardboard and mis-matched wallboard.

Willie & The Lapdog was inspired by the album of the same name by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle

Scene One

Lights: Radio intro by a local DJ into the Rolling Stones "Rip This Joint" during which Willie gets dustpan to sweep dirt from the floor.

Radio: Downtown traffic is heavy on the 401 so if you're heading home and can escape the maddening crowd we suggest you do so. Right now, here's Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones and Rip This Joint on C100 Radio Rock! He is annoyed by the song and shuts it off before emptying the dustpan into the garbage can.

Willie: Bullshit! God damned pile of racket! Friggin' man can't think with the likes of that stoopid stuff goin' on in his head.

Dan: (off stage) Hello? Anyone home? (Willie gets his gun) Hello? Is there anybody in there?

Willie: Ahhh, yeah, c'mon in.

Dan enters. He is carrying new luggage. A suitcase and shoulder bag

Dan: Hello?

Willie: Don't even make a move!

Dan: Don't shoot! Don't....please, don't shoot!

Willie: I said don't move!

Dan: I...I'm not moving....look...see?

Willie: I see...don't get smart! Whatcha want?

Dan: I've come to answer the ad. The one in the paper?

Willie: (Happily he lowers the rifle) Yeah?

Dan: (Relieved, he relaxes) Yeah.

Willie: (Repositions rifle at Dan's head) Yer movin'!

Dan: (Stiffens) Sorry.

Willie: I told ya not ta move!

Dan: Yes sir, I...I'm sorry. I...I wanted to find out about the opening, the...the caretaker's helper job.

Willie: Uh huh?

Dan: Yes, I wanted to apply for it but -

Willie: The job?

Dan: Yes sir, the job but -

Willie: Ya ever dig graves b'fore?

Dan: No sir.

Willie: It's hard work.

Dan: I'm not afraid of work.

Willie: I said it's hard work.

Dan: I'm not afraid of hard work either.

Willie: Whatcha got in the suitcase?

Dan: My clothes...books...things like that.

Willie: (directing with rifle barrel) Ya can put 'em over there!

Dan: (Cautiously toward the chesterfield) You...you're not going to shoot me are you?

Willie: Naw...it aint loaded.

Dan: (Pause) Then will you please stop pointing it at me?

Willie: Rule number one! I'm the boss 'round here so I decides when I stop pointin'.....got it?

Dan: Got it.

Willie: Now, what'cher name?

Dan: Daniel.

Willie: Daniel?

Dan: It's Dan. My name is Dan.

Willie: An' where ya from Dan?

Dan: Sudbury.

Willie: Long way from home ain'tcha?

Dan: Yes sir. Three hundred miles.

Willie: What about yer folks? Ya got'ney folks back there?

Dan: Just my mother and father. Will you please stop pointing that gun at me?

Willie: Yer fergettin' rule number one already!

Dan: Of for the love of God! What about the job?

Willie: Ya know how ta play checkers?

Dan: What??

Willie: Checkers! You know, the game! Ya know how ta play?

Dan: Well, yes, of course.

Willie: Yeah? C'mon, let's have a game.

Dan: What about the job?

Willie: Ya got it. Now, c'mon an' siddown.

Dan: I got it? Really?

Willie: I jus' said ya did, didn't I? Now, c'mon an' siddown!

Dan: What about the gun?

Willie: Ya ain't scared anymore?

Dan: Well, no. Not if it isn't loaded. (pause) Is it loaded? (pause) Well?

Willie: (Putting gun away) Tsk! Well, I can see you ain't gonna be no fun.

Dan: (Sigh of relief) Thank God!

Willie: I had a guy in here fer nearly an hour one time. Sacred ta death! Ha! He pissed in his pants. I almost got sick I laughed so much.

Dan: You held him at gun point for an hour?

Willie: I already told ya it ain't loaded!

Dan: Yes but the poor fellow must have -

Willie: An' ya ain't allowed ta argue wit' me neither!

Dan: Pardon?

Willie: That's rule number two. Ya ain't allowed ta argue wit' the boss. Now, siddown an' I'll get the checkers.

Willie sets up the board with checkers during dialogue.

Dan: I should really find some accommodations first.

Willie: Some what?

Dan: Accommodations....you know, a place to stay?

Willie: Oh, ahhh yeah, well ya gonna stay here ain'tcha?

Dan: Well, no. I wasn't planning on it. I was thinking I would stay at a hotel.

Willie: Well, that's stoopid!

Dan: How much does the job pay?

Willie: It don't pay nothin'

Dan: (laughing) I beg your pardon?

Willie: I said it don't pay nothin' an' don't laugh at me!

Dan: Sorry.

Willie: I figger we could make some kinda deal.

Dan: A deal?

Willie: A deal! A deal! Don'tcha understand English or what?

Dan: What sort of deal do you mean?

Willie: Well, you can help me wit' the diggin' an' cleanin' up around the graveyard an' I can let ya stay here free a' charge.

Dan: But I thought this was a regular paying job.

Willie: Didn't say nothin' 'bout money in the paper did it? I didn't tell the woman ta put in nothin' 'bout money.

Dan: No...no, it didn't say anything about money.

Willie: Then what the hell ya goin' on about?

Dan: Well, I just naturally assumed it was a job that paid money.

Willie: Well, it ain't! (pause) So.....are ya gonna stay or ain'tcha?

Dan: (Pause) Will I have to share expenses? Lights? Groceries?

Willie: Nope! S'all included in the deal. (pause) Well?

Dan: Um...well...I guess. Humph! Sure, why not.

Willie: Yahoo! Now, let's play checkers.

Dan: It's only for two months.

Willie: Two months?

Dan: Yes. I'm taking my....well, it's a course. I'm taking a course up here.

Willie: A course? Like school?

Dan: That's right. Like school.

Willie: Two months eh? Well, I guess two months is better 'n nuthin.

Willie places the checkers on the board

Dan: Why don't you show me around first. You know, tell me what I'm supposed to do.

Willie: Yer supposed ta do whatever I sez remember? I'm the boss.

Dan gets up to begin unpacking

Dan: I have to help you dig?

Willie: Yup!

Dan: What else?

Willie: That's about it. Do a little grass mowin' an' - what the hell ya doin' there?

Dan: Unpacking my suitcase.

Willie: Never mind that! C'mon! I'm red, your black.

Dan: (Regarding chesterfield) I suppose I'm sleeping here, huh? (no reply) What's your name?

Willie: Willie.

Dan: I guess I'll be sleeping here?

Willie: Wha'? Yeah. C'mon an' set up yer men here.

Dan: (With suits) Just let me hang up some clothes. Where can I put these?

Willie: Back in the suitcase.

Dan: No, seriously. I need a place to hang them up so they won't get wrinkled.

Willie goes to the toolbox for a hammer and a couple of nails

Willie: Oh fer Chris'sake! Can't ya wait fer a little while? Do ya gotta have everything right away?

Dan: I just want to hang up a couple of suits.

Willie: Aw g'way! You young guys gotta have it right now. Can't wait a minute or ya get all wrangled up. (He hammers two nails in the wall above the chesterfield) There! Now is there anything else ya want?

Dan: No. That's fine. Thanks.

Willie: Ya sure now?

Dan: Yes. I'm sure.

Willie: Then c'mon! Let's play checkers. (Dan is putting away his suitcase) I said c'mon!!

Dan crosses to table and begins putting his men in place

Dan: I figured the first thing you'd want to do is show me around....tell me exactly what you want me to do.

Willie: Lotsa time fer that.

Dan: Later?

Willie: Later, maybe tomorra.

Dan notices Willie's tattoos

Dan: You must have sailed at one time.

Willie: Wha'? Oh, the tattoos. Yeah, when I was a kid - can't ya set them men up any faster'n that?

Dan: Must have been pretty exciting being out there on the ocean.

Willie: Nope.

Dan: I mean with the waves...all that water...not even a trace of land in sight? You must have had a real sense of freedom.

Willie: Nope! I had ta shovel coal into the boilers all the time. Sweatin' like a pig. Ain't no freedom in that.

Dan: You sure have a lot of tattoos.

Willie: Will ya never mind the Goddamn tattoos an' pay attention to the game?

They play

Dan: Got any digging to do tomorrow?

Willie: Naw. 'Nother couple 'a days maybe. Not sure. What'cher old man do?

Dan: He's retired.

Willie: Retired huh? What's he do?

Dan: Well, nothing now. He's retired.

Willie: A man can die from doin' nothin'.

Dan: Yeah?

Willie: Don't he do nothin' ta keep himself busy?

Dan: Well, yeah. He has friends. He likes to travel.

Willie: He got a car. That's good. What'd he do b'fore retirin'. Worked in the mines I bet.

Dan: No.

Willie: That's where ev'rybody in Sudbury works. Least ev'rybody I ever knew from there did.

Dan: No. He ahh...he used to be a lawyer.

Willie: A liar? Then yer a rich kid, huh?

Dan: Well, no.

Willie: Liar.

Dan: Well, yes, I guess you could say that.

Willie: Ha! I shoulda guessed from the fancy suitcase ya got there. Ha! A rich kid.

Dan: I thought you wanted to play checkers?

Willie: (Jump, jump) I do. (He collects) You're the guy who aint payin' attention...go ahead. Your move. (Dan stares at disgust at the board) So ya have much troble findin' this place?

Dan: No. A taxi driver took me. He let me out at the end of the road. He said it was the only graveyard around.

Willie: He means the only one around outside the city.

Dan: I guess.

Willie: Well, it ain't the only one outside the city but it's the best, so, I guess that's what he prob'ly meant.

Dan: Probably. It's your move.

Willie: Let's see, ahhh.....there ya go. (He looksup to see Dan staring at his hat) Somethin' wrong?

Dan: Do you always wear a hat in the house?

Willie: Wha'? Oh, no...I jes' fergits I got it on my head sometimes. (Hat in hand) Ya like it?

Dan: Like what?

Willie: My hat.

Dan: It's ok I guess.

Willie: (Holds it out to show Dan) Use ta b'long to my father.

Dan: Yeah?

Willie: Yeah. Long time ago. (He hangs it on a nail) Mus' be a hundred years old.

Dan: It looks as if it's never been washed.

Willie: Yeah, but that's just mem'ries. It ain't dirt.

Dan: It's dirt. It's filty.

Willie: Naw. Ya wash that hat an' it wouldn't be no good'na'more. It still got my father's sweat in it.

Dan: Uh huh?

Willie: Aw, you young guys don't unnerstan' nothin'. Nothin' like that's important...all them years....all them mem'ries an' all that sweat locked up in the yarn. It just ain't important enough to ya.

Dan: If only it sould talk wha'?

Willie: (Sigh) Yeah. Jus' imagine what it could say.

Freeze. Lights Fade

Scene Two

The weather is on the radio. It is evening and one month later. Willie and Dan are playing checkers.

Willie: Shush! Turn that up. (Dan goes to radio) D'he say rain?

Dan: Yeah.

Willie moves men on the board to cheat while Dan's back is to him.

Willie: Wha'?

Dan: (Returns to sit) Yes. Rain.

Willie: Shut'er off will ya?

Dan returns to shut off the radio and Willie takes one man off the board to finish his cheating set up.

Dan: Make up your mind.

Willie: Ev'rytime we dig a hole it gotta start rainin' an' wash half the dirt back in.

Dan: I think it's your move.

Willie: No, I moved already. Gonna be some Gesuz mess tomorra. You just wait! Goddamn rain.

Dan: We didn't dig a hole today.

Willie: Ya gotta jump there.

Dan: (Looking for his move) Awww Jesus Willie! You cheated again!

Willie: Never mind yer whinin' an' jump.

Dan sighs and jumps. Willie makes a quadruple jump.

Dan: Cheater!

Willie: This is what separates the real checker players from them guys that calls themselves checker players.

Dan: (Up and staring ut the window) You cheated!

Willie: Spoiled sport! Wanna 'nother game?

Dan: No thanks!

Willie: (Putting away the game) Aw ya baby! Big sook!

Dan: Willie?

Willie: Wha'?

Dan: We didn't dig a hole today.

Willie: So?

Dan: You said the rain was going to wash the dirt back into the hole but we didn't dig a hole.

Willie: Didn't we?

Dan: No.

Willie: Then I musta been thinkin' 'a somethin; else I guess.

Dan: Yeah. I guess you were.

Willie: (Picks up bottle) Yeah, I musta been. You wanna drink 'a this b'fore I put 'er ta bed fer the night?

Dan: No thanks.

Willie finishes off the rum, opens the door and tosses the empty bottle into the garbage can. He stays at the opened door to stare up at the sky.

Willie: Ain't rainin' yet.

Dan: (Picks up the newspaper) Maybe we won't get it.

Willie: Yeah, we'll get it alright. I can feel it in the air.

Dan: We'll see.

Willie: Ok smart guy! Ya wanna make a bet?

Dan: No, that's ok.

Willie: C'mon! Put yer money where yer moth is.

Dan: I don't like making bets with you.

Willie: Cos ya know I'm always right! Don't turn away from me when I'm talkin' to ya!

Dan: I don't want to make a bet on the weather.

Willie: Then keep yer mouth shut!

Dan: I didn't say anything!

Willie: Ya did so! I'm tellin' ya it's gonna rain an' you're arguin' wit' me!

Dan: You're the one who's arguing.

Willie: Ya don't think I been in this world long enough ta know when it's gonna rain an' when it ain't?

Dan: Settle down will you?

Willie: Well? Ya don't think I been in this world long enough?

Dan: Yes Willie.

Willie: What?

Dan: I said, yes Willie. You're pretty good at predicting the weather. Now stop it!

Willie: Ya Goddamned right I'm good. I'm the best!

Dan: You're the best.

Willie: (Grumbling to himself) Smart ass know it all college punk! Try tellin' me it ain't gonna rain when I know it is.

Dan: Here, I picked up the paper on the way home from class today.

Willie: (He stares at the paper) So?

Dan: Don't you want to see it?

Willie: (He turns away) Nope.

Dan watches as Willie nervously cleans up, wiping here and there with a rag

Dan: Well, suit yourself.

Willie: I will.

Dan: (Pause) So, what have we got on the agenda for tomorrow?

Willie: Enough ta keep us busy.

Dan: What if it's raining?

Willie: Oh, we're supposed ta take the day off if it's rainin' are we?

Dan: I was just asking.

Willie: "Oh, mercy me! It's rainin'! I can't go out there! I might melt!

Dan: Very funny. I was talking about all the soil turning to mud.

Willie: We got boots 'n raingear. That's all we need ta do anything out there.

Dan: Willie, exactly when are we going to do some work anyway? I've been here for a month and we haven't really done anything. It seems that all we do is sit around playing checkers.

Willie: Sometimes we get lots'a work and sometimes we get none. It's just the way it is around here - gonna hit the books are ya?

Dan: No. I'm just going to lay down for a while.

Willie: Of fer Chris'sake! That's all ya been doin' since ya got here. Layin' down doin' nothin' Wastin' yer life!

Dan: Oh Willie, don't start.

Willie: C'mon! Never mind layin' down. Let's have a game.

Dan: Checkers? I can't Willie. I really am tired.

Willie: An' what the hell ya tired from?

Dan: I had a long day in....in school.

Willie: A long day? Sittin' on yer arse lookin' at books? Ha! C'mon. Two outta three.

Dan: We already had two out of three and two out of three yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. I'm tired.

Willie: Ya gotta admit though, yer gettin' better at it.

Dan: I only beat you once.

Willie: Yeah, well that's pretty good fer a beginner. (Pause) So, whatta ya say?

Dan: I don't want to play checkers Willie. I'm tired.

Willie: Awwwww! Shit head!

Dan: By the way, I really enjoyed supper tonight.

Willie: Yeah, I'm a good cook too, wha'?

Dan: Yes, you're a good cook.

Willie: Yeah, an' thanks fer buyin' alla them groceries.

Dan: That's ok. Don't mention it.

Willie: Got some pretty nice stuff there. Stuff I don't usually get.

Dan: Maybe we can fry up that ham tomorrow.

Willie: Yeah, an we can make some potato fries too. (No reply) Ya ever eat them b'fore?

Dan: Potato fries?

Willie: Yeah, wit' lot'sa salt an' vinegar on 'em.

Dan: (Yawn) Sounds great.

Willie: Bet ya never ate 'em b'fore.

Dan: They sound like french fries and I don't want to make any bets with you.

Willie: I bet yer used ta eatin' all kind'sa fancy stuff bein' from a rich fam'ly an all.

Dan: Aw Willie, lay off the rich family stuff ok?

Willie: Butlers an' maids runnin' 'round all over the place.

Dan: Knock it off Willie. We don't have any butlers.

Willie: No butlers? What kinda rich fam'ly are ya wit' no butlers?

Dan: Or maids either. Just my mother, my father and myself.

Willie: What about the brothers an' sisters ya said ya had?

Dan: They're not home anymore.

Willie: Oh yeah. They flew the coop. You told me that b'fore, didn't ya.

Dan: Yes I did.

Willie: An yer sister's a nurse.

Dan: Right.

Willie: Married to a doctor, right?

Dan: WIllie, I'm really tired.

Willie: You're the youngest.

Dan: Yes Willie, I'm the youngest. We had this conversation. I told you that already.

Willie: I'm the youngest in my family too.

Dan: Yes I know.

Willie: You're tired huh?

Dan: Yes.

Willie gets a flashlight, his coat and hat.

Willie: Well, them maybe I'll leave ya alone then....let ya have yer nap.

Dan: Where you going?

Willie: Jus' fer a little stroll. You know....down ta the birch trees.

Dan: Oh...yeah. Ahhh, what the hell do you do down there anyway?

Willie: Aw, I just got the little flower garden goin' there ya know.

Dan: Little?

Willie: It's somethin' ta keep me busy when there ain't much goin' on. You should come down there sometime an' have a look. It's real pretty...'specially when the sun's goiin' down flashin' through the leaves. (No reply) You go ahead an' have yer nap now.

Dan: Ok

Willie: Maybe tomorra we can do some mowin' 'round the headstones.

Dan: We don't have to dig any graves?

Willie: No, not tomorra but by an' by though. Tomorra we'll just do a little bit'a mowin'....that's all. It'll be a good day.

Dan: Anything's better than diggin'

Willie: Ya ain't dug nothin' yet! (Pause. No reply) I'll wake ya later. (No reply) Dan?

Dan: Yeah?

Willie: I'll wake ya later ok?

Dan: Ok.

Willie exits. Dan stares ahead in thought. Lights fade.

Scene Three

In the darkness the sawing of wood is heard. When the lights rise Dan is trying to study while Willie is sawing wood on the kitchen table. He is building an L-shaped shelf for the wall. Lots of noise.

Dan: Do you have to do that now?

Willie: What ya say?

Dan: I said, do you have to do that now? I'm trying to study.

Willie: Be finished in a sec. (He finishes sawing. Dan is annoyed by it all.) There we go! (No reply) You're really gonna like this.

Willie gets hammer and nails and puts the pieces together. Then he hovers over Dan while nailing the shelf to the wall directly above the chesterfield where Dan is trying to study.

Dan: What is it?

Willie: You'll see. It's a surprise. It's somethin' ya been needin' fer a long time.

He begins nailing shelf parts.

Dan: (Sigh) Willie?

Willie: Hang onta yer horses. I'll be done in a jiffy!

Dan: (Sigh) Will you please finish?

Willie admires his work of art.

Willie: There! All done.

Dan: Thank God!

Willie: Now all I gotta do is hang 'er up.

Nailing it to the wall above the chesterfield

Dan: What the hell are you doing now?

Willie: I built ya a shelf. (Nail, nail, nail) So, how ya like it?

Dan: It's nice. Now can I study?

Willie takes Dan's book from his hand and puts it on the shelf.

Willie: See? It can be for yer books.

Dan: Willie, I'm trying to study.

Willie: Ya like it?

Dan: (Retrieving his book) Yes, it's just what I've always needed.

Willie: Well, ain't cha even gonna look at it?

Dan: I can see it from here. Can I have a little silence now?

Willie: You ungrateful little shit!

Dan: Willie?

Willie: Ya know them books ain't the most important thing in the world ya know.

Dan: Stop it.

Willie: This is important too ya know! I spent a whole hour makin it fer ya. The least ya can do is look at it.

Dan: (Begins to get up) Ok Willie. I'll look at it.

Willie: (Pushes him back down onto the chesterfield) Aw, don't do me no Goddamned favours! Friggin' brat! (He walks away) An' don't leave that light burnin' all night long neither!

Willie collects his tools etc from the kitchen table

Willie: Ya hear me?

Dan: What?

Willie: I said don't leave the light burnin' all night long.

Dan: I won't.

Willie: Yeah, ya say that alla the time. I can just see the 'lectric bil now.

Dan: Come on Willie! Let me study.

Willie: Awww, study this!

Dan: You have no idea how important this is.

Willie: Ain't no more Goddamned important than that shelf I made ya.

Dan: I know, ok? But this is for my bar examinations. This is the big one.

Willie: (Sarcastic) Oh yeah, I almost fergot. This is the one we all been waitin' fer, wha'?

Dan: Do you mind if I study?

Willie: Naw, I don't mind. 'Specially if it's fer the big one. (Pause - Willie notices a portable stereo next to the chesterfield) An' what the hell is this?

Dan: Wha'? Oh, it's a tape recorder. I bought it today.

Willie: Wastin' yer money. A radio is it?

Dan: It's a tape recorder. (Resigning and Getting up) Haven't you ever seen one before?

Willie: (Insulted) 'A course I seen one b'fore. Whatta ya think I am? Stoopid?

Dan: No.

Willie: What's it do?

Dan: It plays tapes? (Pressing eject) See? It goes in here. It's plays music.

Willie: I know!!

Dan: It has auto reverse, rewind and shut off.

Willie has no idea what he's talking about

Willie: That a fact.

Dan: Yes...it's a fact. (Willie hands the recorder to Dan and walks away) I'd play it for you except that I don't have any tapes.

Willie: Then what the hell's the good of it if ya don't got no tapes?

Dan: I'll pick some up though and....and I'll show you how it works to. (He puts back the recorder) Ok?

Willie: (Shrugging) If ya want.

Dan: What kind of music do you like?

Willie: I dunno. What'cha wanna know that fer?

Dan: I could buy a tape. Something you like.

Willie: Aww, it don't really matter. Long as it ain't crazy music like the kind they play on the radio.

Dan: You clike coutry and western?

Willie: Long as the guy ain't screamin', it don't matter. Why don't ya just get somethin' you like.

Dan: Hey, maybe we could both go out tomorrow.

Willie: Naw.

Dan: We could go into town together. We could do some shopping.

Willie: Naw. You go ahead. I don't like alla them crowds.

Dan: We could have a good time.

Willie: If I go ta town it's cos I gotta. It's cos I have ta get groceries an' stuff. B'sides, I don't like wastin' money like that. You go ahead if ya want.

Dan: Well.....ok. I guess.

Willie: Ya can pick me up a bottle 'a rum though...if ya can, ya know, loan me the money.

Dan: No problem Willie.

Willie: Thanks!

Long Pause. Willie stares at Dan as he returns to his studying. He is thinking.

Willie: Dan?

Dan: Yeah?

Willie: You gonna remember me when ya start makin' alla them liar dollars?

Dan: What are you talking about?

Willie: When ya start makin' alla them big liar dollars...are ya gonna remember me?

Dan: I'll remember you.

Willie: An' when yer rich....are ya gonna remember me then?

Dan: Rich? Ha! Of course I will. How could I for get someone like you?

Willie: An' what the hell's that supposed ta mean?

Dan: It just means that I like you. That's all.

Willie: Of course ya like me. Ya been spongin' offa me fer the last Gesuz knows how long.

Dan: Oh for the love of -

Willie: Me cookin' and' cleanin' while you go trottin' off ta that school or college or whatever the hell it is.

Dan: I have not been sponging off of you. We had a deal remember? I even bought a full grocery order and that wasn't even in the deal.

Willie: Yeah, well ya should be givin' me a couple 'a dollars on the side too.

Dan: Will you lay off? I could get a rooming house for a couple of dollars a week and they don't make you dig graves.

Willie: Yeah, well this ain't no roomin' house! An' b'sides, we had a deal remember?

Dan: Oh, man!

Willie: Room an' board fer labour.

Dan: I'm not complaining.

Willie: Ya are so!

Dan: Whatever you say Willie.

Long Pause. Willie is looking out through the screen door

Willie: Sky looks dark over there. (Pause) Aw, whatta you care?

Dan: What's that?

Willie: Never mind! Get yer nose back in yer book. I'm goin' ta bed.

He undresses to long johns

Dan: Good night.

Willie: An' don't ferget what I told ya about the light.

Dan: I won't

Long Pause - Willie sits on the cot

Willie: I guess ya know we got work ta do tomorra.

Dan: Mow the grass?

Willie: Naw. We gotta dig a hole.

Dan: Really? We're finally going to dig a hole? A grave?

Willie: Don't get son excited. It ain't no big deal. (No reply) The day after that though we'll have free ta do as we please. (No reply) Think I might use it to make more shelves. (No reply) Put one over here for myself an' maybe another one over there by the basin. (No reply) Somethin' ta put the cups on. (No reply) An' maybe I'll just lay around an' do nothin' (No reply) Maybe I'll climb up on the roof an' jump off. (No reply) An' maybe I'll -

Dan: Willie?

Willie: What?

Dan: Why do you always cheat at checkers?

Willie: Still sookin' are ya?

Dan: You always cheat at checkers and you always try to start arguments with me. Why do you do that? (No reply) Willie?

Willie: I thought you wanted to study.

Dan: I've been trying.

Willie: Yeah, well ya can't be studyin' an' talkin' at the same time so shut yer mouth.

Dan: Willie?

Willie: What the hell do ya want?

Dan: I really do like the shelf you made me.

Willie: Yeah.....bullshit!

Dan looks over smiling as lights fade.

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