3.4: The back garden

A ONE ACT PLAY

(Ralph and Jeff are sitting in Ralph’s back garden. It is a beautiful sunny day. The birds are tweeting, the bees are buzzing and all is well in the world)

Ralph: It’s amazing the amount of girls that are named after flowers. Lily, Ivy…Rose, Daisy-

Jeff: -Hyacinth.

Ralph: Good one, Jeff, but this one is a hollow victory. While I was making up a list of the obvious names you had time to think of something more elaborate.

Jeff: Sometimes it pays to be second.

Ralph: We’re sitting here. soaking up the rays, having a few beers, enjoying the countryside and great outdoors. It’s so tranquil, we should continue in the same vein. Can you think of any pastoral names? First or last names. You go first this time.

Jeff: Ash. Can be used as a first name and surname.

Ralph. Ha, ha. Did you just go the letter A and that was all you could come up with.

Jeff: What have you got?

Ralph: Warren. Also a first and last moniker.

Jeff: I’m not sure about that. Give me examples?

Ralph: There’s Warren Beatty the film star and Tony Warren. Tony was the guy that created Coronation Street. Sometimes it pays to read the credits in programmes.

Jeff: You could also have said that it can be a book. Warren Peace. (Jeff laughs)

Ralph: There must be a fantastic name out there that is fitting to this occasion. It’s time to get our thinking caps on and get a really good pastoral, flowery, garden type name.

(Several minutes pass without words. The men deep in thought. The kids next door accidentally kick their ball into Ralph’s garden)

Ralph: Don’t worry, boys. Here’s your ball back (he throws it over the fence)

Jeff: You should have kicked it back. Shown the boys how good you used to be. You were a great football player once.

Ralph: Yeah. (he sighs)

Jeff: I’ve got it. What a peach. Trelawny. That is a belter of a name. It is a name, isn’t it? Oh no, don’t tell me it’s a made up one.

Ralph: No, you’re right. Trelawny is a name. Though I don’t know anybody called that. It is a name. We could get the phone book to check it out but I have heard of it. Looks like you’re the winner, Jeff.

Jeff: I don’t want to rub it in but Trelawny works on so many levels. Think about it. Tre for tree and Lawny for lawn. A double-barrelled outdoor name.

Ralph: yeah, yeah, yeah.

(Again the ball from next door ends up in Ralph’s garden)

Jeff: Kick it back, Ralph. We didn’t call you Rocketshot Ralphie for nothing.

(Ralph hits a rocketshot over the fence. Unfortunately his kick is wayward and the ball lands up in a tree at the bottom of the next door garden)

Boy next door: You better get our ball down or I’ll tell my dad.

Ralph: (quietly, to Jeff) What am I going to do? I can’t climb trees, you know that. And this little grass is going to dob me in. And his dad is one mean guy. You must have heard of Grumpy Larry Moody.

Jeff: Grumpy Larry is your next door neighbour! Oh man, you shouldn’t have kicked the ball.

Ralph: You said-

Boy next door: -Hurry up. We want to play. (The boy shakes the tree. The ball falls down onto a different branch)

Ralph: What’s that noise?

(From the tree comes the unmistakable sound of a ball deflating)

Jeff: The ball must have lodged in a splinter. You’ve burst their ball, Ralph.

Ralph: I didn’t burst the-

Boy next door: NYAAAAHHH. (he starts crying). DAAAAAADDDDD.

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5 Comments on “3.4: The back garden”


  1. Petunia Plum – that`s a splendid gardenly name! Not to mention Cherry Cherry . Or have I got the wrong end of the stick again? Speaking of which, that sneaky little whinge from next door should be `lodged in a splinter `.

    (Do we learn of Ralph`s outcome)?

  2. theroyalist Says:

    You’re spot on with the gardeney names, Dolores. I don’t do gardening so most of this was written “off the cuff”.

    Hope you noticed Ralph didn’t Bing Trelawny and was going to do it the old fashioned way by checking a book.

    I have to cut short the ending of most of Ralph’s adventures as they usually involve a lot of violence against him. One thing though, he is a born survivor. He’ll resurface soon.


  3. As soon as you said he didn`t Bing Trelawney, I had to hold my fingers back from doing it myself. Or would imdb be more productive, for surely that name is famous?
    Shan`t Shan`t Shan`t! – Get thee behind me, googlebing!

    Glad we were spared the gorier details on Ralph though – I`d already noted a scary lot of Splinter talk…

  4. theroyalist Says:

    Nice one, DD. googlebing is satanic. Old Bing Trelawney is not a bad name for a singer either.

    Found a famous Trelawny. The Radio Times informs me that a Trelawny is a radio 3 presenter and get this. His first name is Petroc. Brilliant. How much better though if it were Petrock Trelawny.


  5. Hee hoh, splurtled my coffee, JW. And thus will be named my next marmot.


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