7/23/13: I Have Just So Much On My Plate


In the Spring, I was sent an Email by the OLLI UConn Program requesting submissions of creative original material for possible inclusion in their 2013 Voices and Visions publication. OLLI, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, is a national university, non-credit continuing education program funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation and focused on the over-50 demographic. The Connecticut Chapter is in the UConn Waterbury Campus. In response, I submitted I Have Just So Much On My Plate, a comic play in 2 minutes.

On July 19, I received a call from Chuck Miceli, Member at Large of the OLLI Leadership Council. For this purpose, he served as my editor. On July 23, the finalized play was presented to OLLI Review & I was told that the piece would be published. During the editorial discussion, however, Mr. Miceli was specific in that he loved the piece, as did several Council members, while others were taken aback & found it very controversial. No one, apparently, was indifferent about it – it definitely garnered attention and emotional responses.

Yesterday, August 21, Editorial Co-Chair David Spinner called me & said that the piece was not going to be included  in the 2013 Visions and Voices. He said it was unclear & needed more bulk. I could submit other pieces for next year, though, and enhance this one for possible inclusion in the 2014 publication. Upon concluding the conversation, I texted Mr. Miceli who did confirm that its rejection was due to its controversial/non-neutral nature. He wished me luck in finding a publication to which it is better suited. I’ve decided that the play is good & funny, and will not be compromised or diluted to make it appropriate for 2014 Visions and Voices. Instead, I present it here and encourage your comments.

I Have Just So Much On My Plate: A comic play in 2 minutes by Paul Marino

The Scene: We open on a split stage.

Stage Right: Paulie in his kitchen creating a new dish he plans to premiere at an upcoming party. He’s in a chef’s hat, t-shirt, shorts, apron, crew socks pulled up tight and high inside his moccasins. The kitchen is in use with various pans, knives, cooking utensils, foodstuffs and spices strewn about. His flip-lid cell phone is on speaker. He appears self-confident yet slightly embarrassed at the conversation he’s about to have. In general, he looks like a nerd and about as dated as his cell phone.

Stage Left: Busy Mom is at her workstation. She’s in her mid-30’s, hair disheveled from bedhead. She is wearing a pink, fluffy bathrobe, which looks 72 hours from the dryer, and matching backless slippers revealing her dried out, cracked, urine-yellow heels. Her laptop and additional monitor are open and running. Her iPhone is in her left hand. Her right is fingering an iPad while her iPod earpieces play a faint background kids’ album she is researching to ensure its content appropriate when we hear…

                      {Sound Effect: High School Musical ringtone on Stage Left}                            {She touches her iPhone} 

Busy Mom: Talk!

Paulie: Hey, it’s Paulie. Just checkin’ to see if you guys are up to coming over to party Saturday night.

Busy Mom: Oh, I don’t know… We have a lot on our plates this weekend. Let me check our calendar.

 {She furiously begins to dual-handedly manipulate the iPad}

Paulie: Groovy.

Busy Mom: Hmmm… I have this ridiculously boring, bourgeois thing to do. We have that ridiculously boring, bourgeois thing to do. Oh! And then it’s just critical that we take Prince, Princess, and The Mistake to this other ridiculously boring, bourgeois thing to do!! We can’t miss that, of course!

Paulie: Okay.

Busy Mom: Let me see if I can clear something from our schedules so we can fit you in for a half hour or so.

{She again is furiously dual-handedly manipulating the iPad}

Paulie: (Rolls his eyes, then tersely) Fine.

                                           {Paulie begins manipulating his cell phone}                                           {Sound Effect: A loud DING of an incoming text on Stage Left}

 Busy Mom: Hold! Text!

                            {She touches her iPhone and her eyes bug out of her head}                                                    {Sound Effect: CLICK on Stage Right}                                                   {A video screen drops down from the rafters on Stage Left.                              Projected on it is the following message:}

 PAULIE                                                                                                              You are a completely self-absorbed fargin’ icehole!!

Stage Right: Paulie, smiling goes back to his creation as the stage lights dim, then fade to black.

THE END

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4 thoughts on “7/23/13: I Have Just So Much On My Plate

  1. Good punchline, but I was left wanting more. Specifically: what we’re you cooking? (-; If I were to truly attempt a bit of real critiquing, I would suggest punching up the central bit of setup; namely, Busy Mom’s self-absorbed line regarding her busy schedule. Lots of meat available to put on those bones.

  2. Maybe add more detail to the Busy Mom line that begins with “Hmmm….” Would be fun to see exactly what activities she is ferrying the kids off to and whatever she has planned for herself.

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