Setting: A park, with two benches, one stage right, one stage left. Sylvia is seated on the bench stage right. She is wearing a conservative outfit, a sweater and jeans. She's reading a book. Another woman, Wilma, enters stage left. She's also wearing conservative clothes.
SYLVIA: (when Wilma has crossed nearer) Oh, hello, Wilma.
WILMA: (sitting down) Hi, Sylvia. What are you reading?
SYLVIA: A self-help book. Not too exciting. How are you today?
WILMA: (politely) Oh, fine. Just fine. (Leans over and rips the book out of Sylvia's hands)
SYLVIA: (shocked) Give that back!
WILMA: (sharply) No.
SYLVIA: Come, now. (Holds out hand in impatient, "give me" gesture)
WILMA: (clutching book tightly and speaking childishly) No, no, no. (straightens up suddenly) (brightly) I've been taking a course... on being stubborn.
SYLVIA: (haughtily) Well!
(Wilma beans Sylvia with the book)
WILMA: ... and violent. Stubborn and violent. (Hits Sylvia again, this time on the leg)
SYLVIA: Stop that!
WILMA: (hits her again) Sorry. It's part of my training.
(Sylvia gets up and rushes over to other park bench stage left. Wilma follows her, sits beside her.)
WILMA: I took the course to change my ways. (Hits Sylvia) I used to be passive and peaceful, but now I'm stubborn and violent. (Hits her again)
SYLVIA: (gets us and rushes back to first bench) Go away!
WILMA: (proudly, while still hitting Sylvia) I can't do that. I'm not supposed to listen to anybody.
SYLVIA: Well... go ahead and hit me.
WILMA: (pauses, book raised) What?
SYLVIA: (braver now) Go on, hit me!
WILMA: (folding arms stubbornly) No, no, no.
SYLVIA: ... and keep my book.
WILMA: (jumps up and throws book at Sylvia) I don't listen to anyone.
SYLVIA: (last brilliant streak of genius) Oh... and stay here and talk to me all day, if you like!
WILMA: Never! (strides off stubbornly, stage right)
SYLVIA: (calls a parting shot) And don't go to Siberia!
1987 by Alyce Wilson