smells like dog November 09

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WHY WE DO: A Play in One Act by Adam F. Shaffer

Cast of Characters

 

Adam: A man in his mid 30s; an unabashed book nerd

 

Erin: A woman in her mid 30s; The Wife of Adam

 

Nikki: A woman in her late 30s; friend of Adam and Erin

 

Mark: A man in his early 40s; husband of Nikki

 

Gracie: A girl in the second grade; ridiculously cute

 

Sara: A woman in her late 30s; mother of Gracie, friend of Nikki

Scene

 

A pub and an outdoor wedding on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Time

 

The present.

ACT I

 

Scene 1

 

SETTING: We are in a pub on Bainbridge Island, Washington. It is popular, full of happy, chatty people, young and old. It is a beautiful summer evening in the Northwest, with the doors and windows open and a view of the harbor.

 

AT RISE: Old friends ADAM, ERIN, NIKKI, and MARK are seated at a table near the windows. They are engaged in pleasant, friendly conversation, catching each other up on their lives as they wait for their meal.

 

NIKKI

 

So, Erin, what are you reading right now?

 

ERIN

 

Oh, I just read Americanah. I loved it.

 

NIKKI

 

Oh, yeah. I’ve seen it. I wondered if it was good. Adam? What about you?

 

ADAM

 

(Smiling)

Uh, well, I’m reading Deadweather and Sunrise.

(Smiles again).

It’s a pirate adventure. A kid’s book. It’s super fun.

 

NIKKI

 

A kid’s book?

 

ADAM

 

I don’t really read adult books. Kid’s books and teacher books. That’s what I like.

 

NIKKI

 

OK…But have you read Game of Thrones? Mark is reading it, and he loves it. You should read it! Right, Mark?

 

MARK

 

(Nodding)

It’s pretty good.

 

ADAM

 

Yeah, I probably would like it. I might read it eventually. But maybe not.

 

NIKKI

 

Why not? You need to read some adult books! It’s good! You’d like it!

 

ADAM

 

(Shrugging)

Game of Thrones is like 800 pages per book. 800 grown up pages. I could read like 20 kids’ books in the time it would take me to read one book of Game of Thrones.

 

NIKKI

 

(Sputtering)

But, you need to read other stuff. You can’t just read kids books all the time. Why do you do that? They’re just kids books.

 

ADAM

 

Sure I can. I like them! I can read whatever I want.

(Smiling)

You can read whatever you want, I’ll read whatever I want. Which is all kids’ books, all the time. That’s what I want to read. You read what you want to read.

 

NIKKI

 

But you’d really like Game of Thrones, I think.

 

ADAM

 

I believe you. I probably would like it. But I don’t think I’ll read it.

 

NIKKI

 

But…

(Huffs)

Whatever.

 

ADAM

 

(Smiles)

 

(BLACKOUT)

 

(END OF SCENE)

ACT I

 

Scene 2

 

SETTING: The next day. A grassy hill outside a beautiful house overlooking a pond on Bainbridge Island. An outdoor wedding is wrapping up. After the reception, guests enjoyed an energetic bit of dancing, with kids zipping in and out of the crowded dance platform. The light is fading as the night approaches. Parents are gathering their children to head to tents or beds, while others are sit at tables chatting.

 

AT RISE: ADAM, NIKKI, GRACIE, and SARA are standing at the edge of the dance platform. SARA is preparing to take GRACIE, tired but still wide-eyed and grinning, to bed.

NIKKI

 

Did you have fun tonight, Gracie?

 

GRACIE

 

(Nods, grinning)

 

NIKKI

 

You were a great dancer.

 

GRACIE

 

(Nods. Grinning.)

 

NIKKI

 

Are you getting tired?

 

GRACIE

 

(Shrugs. Smiles.)

 

SARA

 

(Puts her hand on GRACIE’s shoulder.)

Should we head up to our tent? Maybe you could read your book with your headlamp?

 

ADAM

 

Oh, what are you reading, Gracie?

 

GRACIE

 

Um…

(Looks up at SARA)

 

SARA

 

What was that book we just got? At the bookstore? Something “…Dog”?

 

GRACIE

 

Smells Like Dog.

 

ADAM

 

Oh, Smells Like Dog! I loved that book! It’s so funny. The dog can’t smell normally, right?

 

GRACIE

 

Yeah, he…um…he only smells, like, things that are hidden and stuff.

 

ADAM

 

Right. Right. I remember. We read it in my Guys Read book club. Did you get it at Eagle Harbor Books?

 

SARA

 

No… we got it before we left.

 

ADAM

 

Oh, I was wondering. Because the author, Suzanne Selfors…she lives on Bainbridge Island. Did you know that?

 

GRACIE

 

(Eyes wide)

What? Really?

 

NIKKI

 

(Stares. Mouth open.)

 

ADAM

 

Really! You’re on the same island as the author of your book!

 

GRACIE

 

(Grinning. Speechless. Eyes wide.)

 

ADAM

 

Do you like it?

 

GRACIE

 

Yes. It’s funny. The dog is funny. And it’s a good mystery, I think.

 

ADAM

 

Well, there are two sequels. I haven’t read them. But there’s one called Smells Like Treasure and one called Smells Like Pirates.

 

GRACIE

 

Oh! Really?

 

ADAM

 

Really! And Suzanne Selfors just started another series, too. “The Imaginary Veterinary,” it’s called. It’s about, like, a veterinarian for magical creatures. The first one is about Bigfoot!

 

SARA

 

Oh, that sounds good, huh, Gracie?

 

GRACIE

 

Yeah!

(Grins)

 

NIKKI

 

(Stares. Mouth open.)

 

ADAM

 

(Turns toward NIKKI. Smiles.)

 

(BLACKOUT)

 

(END OF SCENE)

Adam Shaffer teaches fourth grade at Irene Reither Elementary, in Everson, WA. This is his third post for Nerdy Book Club. Adam is on the board of the WWU Children’s Literature Conference, which you should come to. He is also starting nErDcamp Bellingham, set for the day after the conference. He feels privileged to be able to talk with kids about the books they both read and love.