Just what the World Needs
By Johnny Grim
Cast: 3m 3f
Settings: Headmasters Office
Approximate Length: One Act
At the request of the police, the principal of a Catholic private college for boys has arranged a meeting between the parents of one of the school’s top students, and the parents of an Armadale (working class / welfare dependant suburb) high School student, in an effort to resolve the embarrassing incident that occurred during the school leaver’s celebrations.
Rodney Haines is talking with the Piperfields. Erica Piperfield is visibly distressed. Her husband has his hand on her shoulder. Haines is talking quietly, using his hands to convey calmness/authority. Knock on the door
HAINES: (Cheerful.) Come in.
MYRA: (Opens door - pokes head in.) Mr And Mrs Smeggs have arrived for their appointment.
HAINES: Thankyou Myra. Would you mind asking them to take a seat? Tell them I’ll be with them shortly.
MYRA: Certainly. (Smiles, closes door.)
HAINES: Okay...shall I bring them in?
THOMAS glances at ERICA.
ERICA: Yes... (Wipes nose, regains composure.)
HAINES: (Smiles.) I shan’t be a moment. (Exits via door.)
THOMAS takes his wife’s hand, smiles reassuringly.
HAINES: (Opens door.) Please.... (Motions for the SMEGGS to enter.)
PETE: (Off) Cheers. Sorry we’re late; some dickhead in a Ford ran up the arse of a Commodore. (Enters followed by SHIRLEY.)
HAINES: These things are beyond our control. Peter, I do believe you and Thomas have met?
PETE: (Shakes THOMAS’S hand.) Yeah! We met at the lockup. How you going mate?
THOMAS: Good thankyou. You remember my wife Erica.
PETE: Yeah. Gudday.
HAINES: (Smiles at Shirley.) I don’t believe you had the opportunity to meet Thomas and Erica.
SHIRLEY: No...Hi. (Smiles. Waves timidly.)
SHIRLEY: Sorry I couldn’t get to Busselton. I was out on a hen’s night. I had my mobile switched off.
HAINES: Yes that’s right; I recall Peter telling me. Please...take a seat. (Smiles.)
PETE: Ta. (Takes seat.)
SHIRLEY: Thanks. (Takes seat.)
HAINES: Before we commence; may I offer either of you some form of refreshment?
PETE: Oh yeah...I wouldn’t say no to a coffee.
HAINES: And how would you like that?
PETE: Full cream...three and a half sugars.
HAINES: (Looks at Shirley.) Mrs Smeggs.
SHIRLEY: Coffee please. White with two.
HAINES: Full cream, Hi-Lo?
HAINES: Excuse me for just a moment while I have those ordered. (Exits room.)
(On HAINES departure, an awkward silence ensues.)
SHIRLEY: (Smiles at Erica.) This looks a beaut school?
ERICA: Yes...it is.
(Brief moment of silence.)
SHIRLEY: Me and Pete were saying how nice it is, to find a school where the walls and lockers aren’t covered in graffiti.
HAINES: (Returns.) Right. All done. (Sits down.)
SHIRLEY: I was just saying Mr Haines that this looks a really nice school.
HAINES: Thankyou yes...we’ve very proud of it.
SHIRLEY: I was just saying to Erica, it’s such a nice change not to see any graffiti on the walls.