|JOHN||This whole charade. This… this… debacle of a week-end. (Rises) It’s time we left.|
|ARTHUR||Debacle? Well, I’m sorry you feel that way about our|
hospitality. I know we’ve had the odd set-back, but Mary’s put a lot of work into this week-end….
|JOHN||I’ve nothing against Mary. Thank you for all your efforts,|
Mary. But I think, in all honesty, we should stop beating
about the bush, and call it a day now.
|ARTHUR||You feel that?|
|JOHN||Yes, I do. In fact…|
|ARTHUR||Carol? Do you feel that?|
|ARTHUR||In all honesty? To be quite honest? I mean… honestly?|
|CAROL||No. I’ve quite enjoyed myself actually.|
|ARTHUR||Oh, well that’s a relief.|
|CAROL||I’ve enjoyed myself rather a lot in fact.|
|ARTHUR||Wendy? Have you in all honesty enjoyed yourself?|
|ARTHUR||Well, two out of three. Not too bad, eh John?|
|JOHN||(to CAROL) I don”t know how you can do it.|
|JOHN||Pander to this man. Play his outrageous games.|
|ARTHUR||Games? I’m not playing games. This is life, John. The real thing.|
|JOHN||It may be life to you, but it’s not our sort of life, I can assure you.|
|ARTHUR||Oh. And what is your sort of life? No, really, I’m|
|JOHN||You wouldn’t understand if I told you.|
|ARTHUR||Well I might. But so far I haven’t had the chance. I|
mean, to be quite honest myself, John, I’m at a loss to know what it is you want from life. I’ve learnt a lot this week-end about what you don’t want – about all the things you disapprove of – but not very much about what you’re for.
|JOHN||I’m for a great deal, Arthur. Moral standards, a code of|
behaviour, Christian beliefs. But I’m certainly not going to
try and explain my philosophy to you now! Come along, Carol. We’re going to get packed.
|(He marches out of the saloon. CAROL pulls a wry face to the others and follows JOHN to their cabin.)|
|ARTHUR||Oh dear. Well I’m sorry the trip has been a bit of a trial|
for you, Wendy.
|WENDY||Oh, but it’s been the best week-end I’ve had for years, Mr|
Bullhead. I think I’ll always remember it.
|ARTHUR||Yes – well I hope it doesn’t leave you with too much to remember it by.|
(Next door, JOHN has opened the suitcases and is throwing things into them. CAROL helps, more calmly.)
|JOHN||(suddenly bursting out) I can’t understand it! I just can’t|
understand it, Carol.
|(In the saloon, ARTHUR and MARY hear the sound of his outburst, and look at each other. ARTHUR sneaks to the wall to listen.)|
|JOHN||How could you do it? You were positively condoning that|
dreadful family’s attitudes. You’ve been practically a
conspirator in all their appalling machinations.
|JOHN||Well, what else would you call them? This whole week-end has been one long subterfuge designed to undermine our entire way of life. They’re the most amoral bunch of people I’ve ever come across.|
|CAROL||Oh, I wouldn’t say that.|
|JOHN||Oh, you wouldn’t, eh?|
|JOHN||And what would you call them? Eh?|
|CAROL||Just a fairly ordinary family trying to muddle through like the rest of us.|
|JOHN||(appalled) Like the rest….!|
|MARY||(next door) I don’t think we should listen to this, Arthur.|
|ARTHUR||(gesturing at her) Shhhh. I can’t hear.|
|JOHN||Carol, they have threatened my livelihood; they’ve attempted to blackmail me into what amounts to criminal procedures; they’ve destroyed the years of ethical teaching we’ve instilled into Wendy, and compromised her chances of making a good marriage…|
|CAROL||Oh don’t be ridiculous!|
|JOHN||Ridiculous? What do you mean, ridiculous? She’s…|
|CAROL||Are you trying to tell me that, in this modern day and age, no-one who isn’t a virgin has a chance of making a good marriage? You’ve just disqualified ninety five per cent of the unmarried population.|
|JOHN||Look, this conversation’s getting off the point. I’m talking|
about us! The decent, caring example our family has always stood for….
|CAROL||The stuffy, pompous, holier-than-thou example, you mean.|
It’s no wonder we haven’t any real friends. It’s no
wonder nobody asks us to anything except church coffee mornings and ban the by-pass meetings!
|JOHN||Oh, I suppose you’d rather they invited us to local wife-swapping parties….?|
|CAROL||Yes! Yes, I would!|
|Carol||Anything to bring a bit of reality, and spontaneity, and… and… fun into our existence!|
|JOHN||Fun! Carol, what are you saying? After all these years|
of happy married life….
|Carol||Who says it was a happy married life? Eh? When have|
you ever asked me if I’ve been happy in our married life? When have you ever given me anything I’ve wanted?
|Carol||Yes – wanted, desired, hungered for? (Strides up and down) I haven’t realised it myself up to now, I’ve been so|
indoctrinated by your prissy moral posturing – but this week-end has really opened my eyes. I’ve seen life as Wendy must see it – as I used to see it when I was her age – with all the chances, and the excitement, and the romance ahead of her…
|JOHN||But we’re not Wendy”s age any more, Carol. We’re mature,|
responsible adults, with…
|Carol||Does that mean we’ve got to stop living? We’ve got to forget passion, and joy, and adventure…?|
|JOHN||Passion for what? Adventure where?|
|Carol||Adventure here and now – like having a boat, and sneaking off for naughty week-ends on it…|
|Carol||Passion for good food and wine and all the other nice things that are supposed to be bad for you. Joy in…. in sex!|
|JOHN||We enjoy sex.|
|Carol||No, we don’t. We go through the dutiful motions of it, like|
cleaning our teeth, and washing the car on Sundays. I’m
talking about real, glorious, gutsy, bonking!
|JOHN||(almost fainting) Carol!|
|Carol||D’you know, John, I’m really seeing you… no, not you – us, for the first time.|
|JOHN||What do you mean?|
|Carol||All these years I’ve gone along with the charade. I’ve|
thought, how lucky we are. What an example of all that family life should be. What a wonderful husband – standing for everything that is strong, and sensible, and right. And what a perfect wife I must be, to be able to live up to him. Yugh!
|JOHN||What would you have preferred?|
|Carol||What would I have preferred? I’ll tell you. Deep down,|
all I really wanted was to be part of one of those corny T.V. commercials, where the almost naked girl strides dripping out of a tropical sea, to the strains of Mahler, to where a bronzed gorilla waits on the beach for her with a Bacardi in each hand, and a bathing costume about to split at the seams with lust!
|JOHN||(eventually) I can’t think of anything to say.|
|Carol||Good. You talk too much anyway.|