The Colors of Family

A short scene featuring a version of an American family in the suburbs and all the relationships and issues that invent themselves amongst loved ones.

(Fred enters the front door of the house)

FRED: Maaaaarge! Jesus Christ, where is she? MAAAAARGE!
MARGE: WHAT?!
FRED: Where are you?
MARGE: I’m upstairs dyeing my hair. What is it?
FRED: I’ll wait till you come down.

(Marge enters from staircase)

MARGE: All this shouting. I couldn’t hear you with the water running.
FRED: What color are you making your hair?
MARGE: Same color for the past fifteen years. What other color can I possibly make it?
FRED: Oh, I don’t know, light brown?
MARGE: No, forget that. I tried that and I looked like an ass. Doesn’t go with my complexion. Did you run your errands and untwist yourself?
FRED: I’m fine now.
MARGE: So nasty earlier I couldn’t wait for you to leave. Could not stand you.
FRED: Alright, well, I’m back and I’m better so let’s not get into it.
MARGE: But why do you get that way?
FRED: Cause of the way you talk to me. Always belittling me, like I’m stupid.
MARGE: You’re an ass and we both know this. If you didn’t do stupid things…
FRED: Well, you don’t need to be so nasty all the time.
MARGE: Yes, I do. It’s the only way to get through to that thick skull you carry around. How else can anything get in?
FRED: If I wasn’t working twenty-four seven, six days a week, I wouldn’t have to walk around like a Goddamn zombie all the time.
MARGE: What can I tell you Fred, find another profession.
FRED: What else am I gonna do? I’m in my mid-fifties. Where am I going?
MARGE: If you’re always so damn miserable, change your life.
FRED: I got nothing. I’m trapped.
MARGE: Here we go. You are so spoiled.
FRED: I’m spoiled? Me, I’m spoiled?
MARGE: Spoiled with love. You have a whole family that loves you to no end. What more do you need in life?
FRED: Doesn’t feel like I’m loved. I have three sons and they all treat me like shit in different ways. I have two daughters that tag team against me. One day one is nice, the next day she hates me and then the other one likes me again. You all stress me out.
MARGE: I don’t know what to tell you. Life isn’t as bad as you seem to make it.
FRED: How long do I have to look at you with that thing on your head?
MARGE: Oh shit! Has it been three minutes?
FRED: It’s been longer than that.
MARGE: You see what you make me do?

(Marge runs back upstairs. The faucet runs)

(house phone rings – Fred picks up)

FRED: Hello?
TOBEY: Dad. Just got into a small fender bender, nothing horrible but when you see my car, I don’t want you to freak out.
FRED: Where are you?
TOBEY: I’m a few blocks away.
FRED: See you when you get here.

(Fred hangs up)

Marge?!
MARGE: WHAT?!
FRED: Our most brilliant son damaged his car again.
MARGE: WHAT??!! I can’t, give me two minutes.
FRED: (to himself) This is the house of lunacy. And why does my blood pressure go up I wonder.

(car horn honks from outside)

(Fred exits through front door)

MARGE: What was that? FRED? FRED?!!

(Marge comes downstairs)

Fred, you alright? What was that bang?

(she looks outside the front window and see her son Tobey’s car)

(she shrieks)

I’m gonna kill him. Oh, my, God.

(In comes Fred and Tobey)

MARGE: Are you freaking kidding me?!
TOBEY: Mom, calm down, it’s not that bad.
MARGE: Calm down? I’m gonna kill you today!
FRED: I looked at it.
MARGE: And?
FRED: (sighs) The bottom is torn out. He went over a curb at McDonald’s and he tore the front bottom off.
MARGE: I see that.
TOBEY: I have the bottom part in the trunk.
MARGE: How thoughtful? And who do you think is going to pay for this?
TOBEY: I will. I wasn’t asking.
MARGE: No, right? You weren’t asking. I’d like to punch your head in. What you do to us…we just fixed that freakin car! Fifteen hundred dollars!!
TOBEY: No, it was seven hundred.
MARGE: You forgot about the back bumper? Add it all up. What you cost me and your father in six months.
FRED: I’m not paying for it. This time, you’re going to work and pay it off yourself. I’m not having a Goddamn heart attack.

(In comes Rodney)

RODNEY: Ooooh shit! Nice one douche bag.
MARGE: Stop that talk.
RODNEY: What were you thinking?
TOBEY: Shut up, loser. At least I haven’t totaled my car like you.
RODNEY: Whatever douche.

(In comes Laura)

LAURA: Oh my God, what is all this yelling. Trying to sleep!
MARGE: It’s one o’clock. Don’t you think it’s time you rise from the dead darling?
LAURA: I was at the club.
MARGE: I don’t give a shit. Get up with the rest of the world.
LAURA: It’s Saturday, Mom. Chill.
MARGE: You better not be cranky today cause I’ll pull your hairs out of your head.
LAURA: See how you start? You’re the one!
FRED: I don’t want to hear no more!
LAURA: What happened to your car douche?
TOBEY: I hit a curb that shouldn’t have been where it was in the McDonald’s parking lot.

(Laura laughs)

MARGE: It’s funny. I’ll make YOU pay for it. See how you like that.
LAURA: Relax. You’re so stressed.
MARGE: Get away from me right now. I’m still mad at you with how you talk to me.
LAURA: I said I was sorry.
MARGE: I didn’t hear a sorry.
LAURA: Yes, mom, I’m sorry.

(Laura kisses mom on cheek. Mom melts)

MARGE: Go eat something. Drink orange juice.
LAURA: Yeeeep.
MARGE: Fred, what are we gonna do about this now?
FRED: I’m not fixing shit. He is.
TOBEY: Let it go. The car drives and I said I’ll fix it.

(In comes Paula)

PAULA: What’s up losers?
FRED: Hey, honey.
PAULA: What’s wrong Dad?
FRED: Ask your brother.
PAULA: What did you do now Douche? Car trouble?

(Tobey goes upstairs to his room)

Get it together bro…damn.

Dad, can I have fifty dollars?
FRED: Fifty—

(Music is heard blasting, shaking the house from downstairs.)

I’m gonna kill that son of a bitch!

(Fred walks over to the basement door. Music stops.)

FRED: Here. (he hands Paula money)
PAULA: Thanks Daddio.

(Fred goes out to the backyward to be alone)

MARGE: What do you need fifty dollars for?
PAULA: Mom, there’s this lotion I’m getting for us. Wait until you see what it does.
MARGE: You kids drain us.
PAULA: Relax. You will look twenty years younger.
MARGE: Not with you kids I won’t.  Won’t matter what I use.

(Paula leaves.)

(Marge shrieks)

MARGE: My hair!!

(Marge runs back upstairs)

Joseph Arnone

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