Chapter 6


People :

Author : Fredy Perlman

Text :

TAPED NARRATOR: At last the isolated fragments were unified into a community, a federation, a union — but the unity was still fragile. Generations of isolated growth had left their scars; outwardly unified, the community still bristled with resistance toward the launching and implementation of common projects.

(DAN enters from left, begins typesetting. Door opens at left)

VOICES (from left): Come on Grover. A little sunshine won’t hurt you.

GROVER (to left): Me and flowers is like icicles and ice cream. Tell me when you get to the poppies. Closes door) Hey, my man, how’s business?

DAN: I’m trying to finish that paper on “Non-hierarchic demythologized forms of subversion.” It’s as boring as anything I typed at the bank.

GROVER: I thought you looked them over before taking them on.

DAN: I figured I could have part of it typeset during the time I spent reading it. Listen to this. “The whole notion of harmony and fulfillment, separated from their hypostatization in the form of systematization to a functionalization became a purposeless purposiveness —”

GROVER: Don’t knock it, man; that dude was fired from three universities for not being scholarly enough.

DAN: At least in the bank you could see the point, once you knew where you were. But this shit — Oh, hell, at least I can work on my own hours. How’s that tax refund scheme going?

GROVER: Still working on it; give me two or three more weeks.

(OLYMPIA enters from right)

OLYMPIA: Where’s the boiler repairman?

GROVER: Who’s that?

OLYMPIA: Your friend —

GROVER: Oh, him. He couldn’t make it, seeing as it’s Sunday and his only day off.

OLYMPIA: But he can’t come on a weekday because he works then!

GROVER: Six days a week. That’s what I mean. You can’t expect a dude like that to work on his free day too, can you? Now don’t get upset, Olympia. Actually, he taught me all he knew about boilers, and then some. In fact, I knew a lot about them myself. Fixing them is the easiest thing in the world. All you really have to worry about is that the temperature of the water doesn’t rise above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s get to it; where’s this boiler located?

OLYMPIA: Grover, are you sure you’ve seen a boiler before?

GROVER: I would have brought the boiler school diploma nailed up above my bed if I’d known you’d —

OLYMPIA: I suppose you’re right; there can’t be that much to it. Why don’t you go study it; I’ll get the others.

GROVER: Where’s this thing at?

OLYMPIA: In the basement, Grover!

GROVER: This one dude I knew had one of these things explode on him. (GROVER exits right)

OLYMPIA: Can you come now, Dan?

DAN: I’ve got five pages left of this paper, and I’ve got —

OLYMPIA (shouting left): Come on, everybody! Boiler repair time!

(PHILIP & BEN enter from left)

BEN: I didn’t see Grover come with anyone.

OLYMPIA: His friend couldn’t come, but Grover says he knows about boilers.

BEN: Good luck. Holler when you need us. (Exits left)

OLYMPIA: Isn’t anyone else coming? Grover is already downstairs.

PHILIP: Grover knows about boilers?

(PHILIP & OLYMPIA exit right. DAN typesets. MATTIE enters from left, goes to archway)

MATTIE (calls right): Lisa!

VOICE OF LISA (from right): Yes, mommy!

MATTIE: When are you coming out?

VOICE OF LISA: Right away, mommy.

MATTIE: You should come out too, Dan, it’s such a beautiful day.

DAN: I’d rather get this done before getting my hands dirty.

MATTIE: You should see how Donna does it. She digs a separate hole for each seed.

DAN: Of grass?

MATTIE: No dummy. We’re planting flowers all along the wall and the fence.

(MATTIE exits left. Dan typesets)

VOICE OF OLYMPIA (from right): Dan, Ben or somebody!

DAN: What is it?

VOICE OF OLYMPIA: Turn on the faucet!

DAN:(Opens door) Hey Ben. Could you give the boiler crew a hand? I’m trying to get this thing typed.

(BEN enters from left, exits right. Dan typesets)

VOICE OF BEN (from right): Which faucet?

VOICE OF OLYMPIA: The hot water, Ben.

(TONI enters from left)

TONI: Are Leon and Lisa in the tree house?

DAN: I think they’re in your room watching TV.

TONI: Oh damn! (Ges to right and calls) Leon, come outside, it’s the first day of spring!

VOICE OF LEON: Just a second. We’re coming.

TONI: What’s that you’re doing?

DAN: A boring paper I’d like to finish by tomorrow.

TONI: Busy as beavers, aren’t we? At least I don’t have a birthing today. Barry and Steve are trying to have a car rebuilt by tomorrow.

DAN: They’ve been spending seven days a week in that garage.

TONI: I guess they’ve both got money problems. Steve got fired — one splice too many, I guess. And Barry’s saving up for his next trip; he keeps saying he’s glad to have a Base to come back to.

DAN: Does he mean us or the garage?

TONI: He means us, Dan; he’s a generous guy. Where are those damned kids? (to right) Leon!


TONI: What is it?

VOICE OF LISA: Leon wants me to ask what Expletives Deleted means.

TONI: Who the hell cares! Tell him to get his ass out here! We’re planting flowers!

(BEN enters from right)

BEN: Have you ever thought of sabotaging that TV?

TONI: I’ve thought of it, but sometimes they show a program I’d like to see.



BEN: what’s the matter?

TONI: Sounds like they’re having fun.

(BEN exits right. TONI exits left. DAN typesets)

VOICE OF GROVER (from right): Where’s the central spigot?

(OLYMPIA runs in from right, dripping)

OLYMPIA: The basement’s flooded! (exits left)

DAN: Oh no! (to right) Is there anything I can do?

VOICE OF GROVER: Shut the water off!

VOICE OF PHILIP: The oven is ruined.

(MATTIE & TONI enter from left, cross to right)

MATTIE: Lisa! Come down here this minute)

TONI: Leon!

(MATTIE & TONI exit right)

VOICE OF GROVER: We’re drowning!

(STEVE, BARRY & ALEC run in from left)

BARRY: That Grover sure is a trip.

(STEVE, BARRY & ALEC exit right)

(DONNA & OLYMPIA enter from left; BEN in archway on right)

DONNA: You’re acting as if it were my fault!

OLYMPIA: We’ve been talking all week long about having the boiler repairman over on Sunday. And we were all going to take part so as to know what to do in case it ever broke down again.

DONNA: Well I’ve been looking forward to doing the planting for the past three weekends, and this is the first day it hasn’t rained.

OLYMPIA: It’s a question of priorities, Donna.

DONNA: It’s a question of getting the seeds into the ground before summer! (She walks toward archway)

BEN: Are you going to plant the garden now?

DONNA: Let her do it. I’m going to have a drink. (Exits right)

BEN: Did you want all of us to learn how to flood the basement?

OLYMPIA: I didn’t see either of you down there when the trouble started.

(GROVER enters from right, dripping)

DAN: What happened?

GROVER: Had a little accident.

OLYMPIA: Where’s Philip?

GROVER: Trying to salvage his oven.

VOICE OF BARRY (from right): Is anyone up there?

VOICE OF TONI: What do you want?

VOICE OF BARRY: Try the hot water.

VOICE OF TONI: It works!

GROVER: Well, it looks like we’ve got things under control.

(PHILIP enters from right, dripping)

OLYMPIA: What about the flood?

PHILIP: Steve found the drain; it was plugged up.

OLYMPIA: And your oven?

PHILIP: I don’t actually know what water does to it.

GROVER: I guess that wasn’t the right connection —

OLYMPIA: It’s not your fault, Grover. Who would have known all that water would gush out as soon as —

PHILIP: I knew.

OLYMPIA: Well fortunately it was only water.

GROVER: That’s what I say. This one dude I knew had one of these things blow — I guess I told you that one. You know, Philip, I’ve been giving a careful look at that brochure you people made —

PHILIP: I’d better go up and put some dry socks on —

GROVER: If you want my opinion, I don’t think you should melt that shit down. It’s good. What I like best are the caricatures of religious objects, like the one of god playing with his dingy —

OLYMPIA: That’s what I’ve been telling him, but he’s so modest.

GROVER: I’m serious. That shit could sell. Now if you just built some shelves here, this room would make an ideal space for a display: hand-molded pottery and shit like that.

PHILIP: Do you really think so?

GROVER: Of course you’d need better light; maybe we could take some of that vegetation back out to the country; and more space —

BEN: Look, Grover, I think you misunderstand —

(MATTIE enters, takes Rose Anne from crib)

MATTIE: You people look like wet rags: We’d better get started, Dan; your brother is supposed to arrive in half an hour.

DAN: Oh, shit, I’ll never finish this.

MATTIE: If you’ll be planting the back later this afternoon, I’ll try to come back.

OLYMPIA: I don’t think Donna is up to any more planting today. How about tomorrow?

MATTIE: I thought Donna couldn’t make it on a weekday.

OLYMPIA: Oh, that’s right. What if we schedule it for next weekend?

MATTIE: Could you call Lisa, Dan.

(MATTIE exits left. OLYMPIA, PHILIP & BEN exit right)

DAN (in archway, shouting): Lisa! (exits right)

From :

Chronology :

November 30, 2010 : Chapter 6 -- Publication.
October 11, 2021 : Chapter 6 -- Added.

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