A Short Play


Mother – 41. Slightly batty with a smartass mouth

Daughter – 15. Slightly smartass with batty eyelashes.

Father – 46. Slightly assy with a smart mouth.

Scene: Living Room. Evening.

It is quiet. The TV is lighting up the room. Three people sit on a couch.

Daughter: Does Tom have a photographic memory?

Mother: Yes.

Daughter: (Wistful) I wish I had one.

Sound of TV show and silence as actors watch unmemorable TV show. The sound of a text message and the daughter reads it on her phone.

Daughter: Hey Jess got really drunk on the weekend. She had to go to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.

Mother: Spew, in every sense of the word. She’s messing her brain with that level binge drinking.

Daughter: She’s an idiot. (Crosses her arms)

Mother: Excuse me, pot calling kettle? Didn’t you get pissed at a party last year and fall asleep at your desk dribbling on a French book?

Daughter: Yeah…well…I’m not talking about me and I’m fine anyway.

Mother: How do you know you’re fine?

Daughter: ‘Cos I know. (Looks ahead at TV)

Mother: How do you know? Alcohol is really damaging to the brain, particularly while it’s still growing.

Daughter: (Her tone defiant) ‘Cos I know that’s all.

Pause as they concentrate on TV.

Mother: You used to have a photographic memory.

Daughter turns to mother, her face incredulous.

Daughter: What?

Mother: Yes. Until that night you drank. Then it went away.

Daughter: Bullshit.

Mother: How do you know? You’ve got no memory of it because you got pissed. You broke your photographic memory.

Daughter looks to father.

Daughter: Is that true?

Father stares ahead at TV and nods, his face very serious.

Father: Yep.

End scene.

And that my friends, is parenting at my house.


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