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Charitable Cause - skit

by Ron Kurtus (1971)



(The scene is Carol's living room; there is a card table in the middle with three chairs. Carol is straightening up a little. The doorbell rings.)

CAROL: That must be them.

(Answers-door; enter Bernice and Janet.)

BERNICE: Oh! What a lovely house you have!

JANET: It's simply charming.

CAROL: Oh, thank you. Here, why don't you sit down and make yourselves comfortable.

JANET: (Looking around) Simply charming.

(Women sit down)

BERNICE: Oh! Look at that picture. Isn’t that beautiful?

CAROL: Thank you. That picture has been handed down through George's family.

BERNICE: It must be priceless.

JANET: Where is Mr. Stevens?

CAROL: He's at the golf course. Today's his golf day.

JANET: Oh yes, I know how the men love their golf. But I don't believe I've ever met your husband.

CAROL: You've probably seen him at the club. Here's a picture of him.

(Janet looks)

JANET: Oh yes. I've seen him there.

(Hands picture to Bernice.)

BERNICE, Oh! He's a handsome one.

CAROL: (Laughing) Thank you. But you'd better not say that in front of George, he might get conceited.

JANET: Well, that's how men are. I used to flatter my Harold on his cooking, when he bar-b-qued outside, but then he started to act like he was an artist or something. I mean, hamburgers are hamburgers. I finally had to tell him.

BERNICE: You have to treat them like children, sometimes. My Fred is the same way about ping-pong. I can easily beat him, but I have to let him win most of the games, or else he'll be grouchy for the rest of the evening.

CAROL: Oh, I didn’t know you were the athletic type.

BERNICE: Well the game's becoming so popular now, and I'm worried that soon the children will be able to beat Fred.

JANET: Little Herman's been asking us to buy a ping-pong table.

CAROL: Well, I've never played the game, myself. In fact, George has been asking me to play golf with him sometimes, but I never was one for exercise and games. I have enough to do to keep the house straightened and all the other chores around here.

BERNICE: Yes, it is time consuming.

JANET: And it does take energy.

CAROL: Here, help yourself to the cookies. I'll go get some tea for us. Excuse me. (Goes into kitchen.)

BERNICE: (As soon as Carol is gone.) I thought she'd never offer us something!

JANET: It certainly is about time.

BERNICE: You sure can tell that she doesn’t go in for exercise, with that figure. A little golf or ping-pong would wear off some of that fat.

JANET: Or even housework. Did you see the layer of dust on the TV when we came in? I could make a track in it with my finger.

BERNICE: No! I'll bet she hasn’t cleaned this place in ages. Look at that pile of newspapers and magazines by the couch.

JANET: And her husband! I always thought he was one of the janitors when I saw him at the club.

BERNICE: And with that big nose - how could she ever go for such a guy?

JANET: At the golf course... he's probably at some bar.

BERNICE: And that picture there... how gauche. That isn’t something for the living room - it's for the bathroom.

(Enter Carol with Tea pot.)

BERNICE: Oh! I was admiring your lovely picture again. It has so much class.

CAROL: Well, here's the tea. (To Janet) One lump or two?

JANET: Two, please.

CAROL: Bernice?

BERNICE: I won't have any. Just a little lemon.

(They all sip their tea and nibble on the cookies.)

CAROL: Now, about this charity.

JANET: Yes. Well, we're going to be…

BERNICE: Now let me tell it. I'm the chairman. You see, the club decided to have this charity drive and they selected me as chairman and Janet here as vice-chairman. Now, we're going around to the various members to get volunteers for the drive.

JANET: And we had heard about the wonderful job you had done as a fund raiser in the last political election that we thought you'd be an ideal group leader for our drive.

CAROL: Yes, I was in that fundraising for the election, but...

BERNICE: This is for charity. It's for a good cause.

JANET: Yes, we need a person like you who can organize and who has the charm to convince people to contribute.

CAROL: (Hesitant) Well, I rally didn’t use any charm in that political deal. It was sort of George's pet project so I just went along...

BERNICE: If George wants to help you, that's perfectly fine with us. You're being too modest, Carol. We know you can do a good job.

JANET: Yes, Carol, we need someone like you.

CAROL: I guess if it is for charity...

BERNICE: A worthy cause.

CAROL: I suppose I can volunteer.

JANET: Wonderful!

(Phone rings off stage)

CAROL: Oh, that's the phone in the kitchen. Excuse me for a moment.

BERNICE: Surely, dear.

CAROL: Here, I'll get some more cookies for you, too. (Takes cookie plate.)

(Exit Carol)

BERNICE: More cookies! I'm just about gagging on the ones I forced down already. Her poor husband, with such a cook.

JANET: I know what you mean. And what do you think of that dress she's wearing?

BERNICE: It's right in style.

JANET: In style?

BERNICE: In style for three years ago.

(Both giggle.)

(Carol enters and stops off to the side when she hears the girls talking. They don't see her. Carol listens to their snide remarks and gives appropriate reactions.)

JANET: You certainly can say that again. She sure doesn’t know how to dress. Say, why do you want to have her volunteer to work in this charity drive. It couldn’t be her charm?

BERNICE: Charm? What charm? She's got as much of a personality as a dead fish...

JANET: Speaking of fish...(sniff, sniff)... I was wondering what that odor was.

BERNICE: I thought it was her perfume. (They both giggle)

JANET: But why did you want to get Carol in this drive?

BERNICE: It's her husband.

JANET: George?

BERNICE: Yes, I understand that he gave $1000 in that political drive. If Carol is working for us, he's bound to cough up some money.

JANET: But I hope she doesn’t spoil it for our other contributions. She's such a bore!

(Carol obviously re-enters)

BERNICE: I was thinking of that, and... (Sees Carol) Oh! Was it anything important?


BERNICE: The phone call.

CAROL: Oh no. Just a wrong number. Oops!

(drops cookies on the floor; puts them back on tray but steps on one, so she just scoops the crumbs onto the tray also.)

Here, have a cookie.

JANET: Well, ah...

CAROL: Go on, have one. They're OK.

(Both women daintily take a cookie.)

CAROL: I'll have one myself.

(She takes cookie and then looks at it and start to shake it. Both women are still just holding their cookies and they are wondering what is going on.)

CAROL: Darn. There's still a few ants on these cookies.

JANET: Ants!

BERNICE: Still?!

(Janet hastily drops her cookie on the plate, but Bernice drops hers on the floor before putting it back on the plate. They both look like they are going to gag.)

CAROL: By the way, George was just talking to me about charitable organizations and causes...

BERNICE & JANET: (Quite interested) Yes?!

CAROL: Oh, here have some more tea, Janet.

(Starts to pour, but then spills tea in Janet's lap.)

Oh! How careless of me!

(Janet jumps up and starts brushing off her lap.)

JANET: My dress!

CAROL: I'll get a towel to wipe you off.

BERNICE: Oh, there's no harm done. Now, what did-your husband say?

CAROL: I'll get a towel. How careless of me. (Exits)

JANET: (Hissing whisper) What do you mean, no harm done? I'll have to have this dressed cleaned now.

BERNICE: Shh. She said that her husband had been talking about giving to charity. Maybe we won't even have to depend on her to volunteer.

(Enter Carol with rag.)

CAROL: Here, this will dry it off.

(*note: may have grease on it, making further marks on Janet's dress; but that may be too much damage to one person.)

JANET: Thank you.

CAROL: Well, I'm glad that nothing spilled on Bernice's dress because it's just darling.

BERNICE: (Pleased) Oh well...

CAROL: It's so chic, so stylish, and it does wonders to cover your figure.

(Bernice takes a while to catch on.)

JANET: What were you saying about your husband?

CAROL: Did you get yourself dried off?

JANET: Yes, I'm fine. Now, about your husband...

CAROL: George? Oh, he's out golfing.

JANET: I know he's golfing! (Controls self.) (Pause) But, what does he want to do about the charity?

BERNICE: What she means is: how much will George give?

CAROL: (Laughing) Give? Oh, George doesn’t plan to give to anything right now. He just says that charity was a good cause.

JANET: He's not going to give?

BERNICE: You mean to say that we've been sitting here, and George isn’t going to give? Well, good day!

(Both exit.)

8 minutes