Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Ma Perkins
Show: Typical Episode ca 1945
Date: Date Unknown

Here's a published script from the 1946 book Professional Radio Writing by Albert R. Crews. No date is given but it sounds like it might come from 1944 or '45.




Ma Perkins
Typical episode, circa 1945
Date Unknown


CAST:
NARRATOR
WOMAN
MA PERKINS
WILLY
FAY
EVEY
GARY

OPEN

NARRATOR:

For a wash that's white without bleaching ... use Oxydol with its lively, active, Hustle Bubble suds.

BUSINESS:

THEME IN FULL -- FADE FOR:

NARRATOR:

Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins.

BUSINESS:

CONTINUE THEME -- FADE DOWN FOR FIRST LINE OF COMMERCIAL.

NARRATOR:

Here at the high school, in Rushville Center, they teach domestic science. Well, at the end of the term the girls taking the course held a sort of open house to show their parents and relatives how much they'd learned. Mrs. Campbell was telling me about it ...

WOMAN:

Why, Charlie, when my daughter Jean gets married, she'll know more about cooking and housekeeping than I did. Were you at the open house, Charlie?

NARRATOR:

Yes, I was. And I think you're right. The cakes those girls made really were delicious.

WOMAN:

Did you eat any of the angel-food cake? Jean made that one.

NARRATOR:

It tasted fine. Tell Jean I said they certainly taught her how to make fine cakes.

WOMAN:

I'll do that.

NARRATOR:

You can tell her, too, that I said the tables certainly looked pretty.

WOMAN:

Didn't they, though? Jean and Betty Howard brought the tablecloths from home. (NARRATOR AD-LIB ACKNOWLEDGMENT.) But you know, Charlie, seeing one of my tablecloths beside Mrs. Howard's sort of upset me --

NARRATOR:

How's that?

WOMAN:

Well, her tablecloth was so much whiter than mine. Why, hers was so white that I asked her if she'd bleached it.

NARRATOR:

What'd she say?

WOMAN:

She said, "No, indeed!" That she just washed it in Oxydol and it came that white without bleaching!

NARRATOR:

Well, Mrs. Campbell told me she was going to try Oxydol her very next washday! So by now I guess she knows why Oxydol can wash clothes white without bleaching! You will, too -- when you see Oxydol's Hustle Bubble suds at work. Those suds are so active they lift dirt out! That's why clothes come clean without hard rubbing! And that's why tablecloths, sheets, towels -- all your white things, except maybe for medicine stains or such, come white without bleaching! Sparkling white!

Active as those suds are, Oxydol's really safe for wash colors and rayons.

So when you go shopping, get that famous orange and blue bull's-eye package of Oxydol. On washday you'll enjoy a wash that's white without bleaching. The way Mrs. Campbell's doing now here in Rushville Center!

News travels quickly in a small town, and Mrs. Campbell, like many other women, was inquisitive about Ma's sudden trip to Kansas City. Well, Ma returned, with the object of her trip, Mathilda Pendleton, tonight. Mathilda was frightened. Augustus Pendleton stormed into Ma's house, but when he assumed that Mathilda was not there, he became almost penitent. Ma was delighted with his change of heart, but when Ma told Augustus that his wife was there, he reverted to his regular self, making wild accusations against Mathilda and demanding explanations. But from being frightened, Mathilda suddenly changed to being defiant, and, after giving Augustus no quarter, hurried back upstairs. It's a few minutes later now. Ma has just come back downstairs and is on her way to the kitchen ...

MOOD:

(MA IS UNDER A NERVOUS TENSION -- SHE CALLS NOT TOO LOUDLY BECAUSE OF GARY.)

MA:

Oh, Fay ... Willy. Willy ...

SOUND:

DOOR OPENING OFF.

WILLY:

(OFF -- HOLDING HIS VOICE DOWN) Yeah, Ma?

MA:

Come on out here, Willy, you and Fay.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSING.

WILLY:

(EXCITEDLY) What happened, Ma? Boy, did he sound mad! We couldn't hear it all back there in the kitchen.

FAY:

Where did Mr. Pendleton go, Ma?

MA:

Now, now, one question at a time ... Mr. Pendleton's left. He went on home, Fay.

WILLY:

Is Mathilda still he...

MA:

She's upstairs with Evey, Willy.... Now, look, Fay. I want to talk to Evey. You run upstairs and stay with Mathilda. Tell Evey to come on down. And if you can get Mathilda to go to bed and to sleep, fine.

FAY:

(MOVING OFF) Right away, Ma. I'll go right on up.

WILLY:

Well, what happened, Ma? Tell me!

MA:

(DISTURBED) Willy, a lot happened. But it's not so much what's already happened; it's what might happen. Tell me quick: how has Gary Curtis been behaving while I've been away?

WILLY:

Well, Ma, to tell you the truth, he's been kinda sullen.

MA:

Sullen?

WILLY:

I, I don't know what happened, Ma. Something between Gary and Fay and Gladys Pendleton. Fay hasn't said much about it herself, but she did say Gladys slapped Gary ...

MA:

(AMAZED) Gladys slapped Gary?

WILLY:

Fay's been kinda funny, Ma. She hasn't been saying anything. She and Evey have talked some, but not too much. Me, I've been staying out of it. I don't know, Ma. I don't know what it's all about ...

MA:

(OVERLAPPING) Well, here comes Evey now ... Come on in, Evey ... better close the door.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSING OFF.

WILLY:

Ma, you want me to ... ? (HE LEAVES IT IMPLIED)

MA:

No, Willy, you can stay.

EVEY:

(COMING UP) But, Willy, don't you start saying what you think!

WILLY:

(OUTRAGED INNOCENCE) I'm not saying what I think, Evey! Do I ever butt into things that don't concern me? (MUMBLING) Oh, well, okeh.

MA:

(CONCERNED) How's everything upstairs, Evey?

EVEY:

Mathilda's quieted down some. I think she'll probably go to bed after a little. But tell me, Ma, what on earth happened?

MA:

(CONCERNED) That's what I wanted to talk to you about ...

EVEY:

All I know is Mathilda heard Mr. Pendleton down here. I tried to stop her, but she insisted on listening. Then she came on down.

MA:

Well, Evey, Mr. Pendleton first assumed Mathilda was here. But I didn't tell him she was or she wasn't. Then he assumed she wasn't. And he got all sorrowful about it. Said he'd do anything if she'd come back; he'd get down on his knees, and he'd tell her the past was all forgotten. Well, that was what I hoped for. I guess Mathilda, too. 'Cause that was evidently what she heard when she started down. I thought it was going to be a joyful reunion. But the minute I told him she was here ... well, he started ranting and raving, and that was when she walked in ...

WILLY:

Ma, what was that he said about... ?

EVEY:

Now, Willy!

WILLY:

Oh, pardon me. Pardon me, Evey. (MUMBLING) Pardon me all to pieces.

MA:

Well, anyhow, Mathilda really went after him. Said she wasn't going to be a slave for him any longer. Said she didn't have to explain anything to him, and she wasn't going to.

EVEY:

She said that?

MA:

Said more'n that ...

EVEY:

I can hardly believe it! Why, Ma, Mathilda's been scared to death of Mr. Pendleton! She's been afraid to tell him what happened in the past ... why, Ma, that's what caused the whole thing!

MA:

Evey ... don't forget ... Mathilda saw Jeffery Powell in Kansas City. And Mr. Powell's still in love with her.

EVEY:

But even so, Ma ... oh ... wait a minute ...

MA:

Don't you see, Evey? Well, I'll tell you what I told Mr. Pendleton after I got Mathilda out of the room. I told him he was driving his wife into another man's arms ...

WILLY:

Wow! You mean this guy Powers ... Powell, Ma?

EVEY:

Willy! Will you please let Ma and me discuss this thing?

MA:

That's exactly who I meant, Willy.

WILLY:

What's his name, Ma? Now, now Evey! Don't look at me like that. I just asked a question ... that's all.

EVEY:

(TURNING FROM WILLY) Well ... Ma, you think Mathilda is ... is ...

MA:

Mathilda's a woman who loves luxury, Evey. Augustus Pendleton's been able to supply her with a good bank account. I hope there's more there than just that. But that much we know. On the train back, Mathilda told me herself that ... well, her words were, "Jeff's got money, too."

EVEY:

You mean, Ma, she's ... she's thinking of ...

WILLY:

Why, Evey, it's as plain as the nose on your ... All right, I forgot.

MA:

It's no conjecture, Evey. Mathilda told me herself she wondered why she stays married to a man like Augustus Pendleton!

EVEY:

Ma! Then Mathilda is right on the verge of a divorce! (ADDING) But not the way we thought ...

MA:

Mathilda says marriage can become a habit. But I still believe there's love there. There must have been in the beginning. There must be some of it left. It's sort of like a coat or something you gradually quit wearing. The first thing you know, you think it's gone. But if you look around the house hard enough, you can find it ...

WILLY:

Can I say something, Ma?

MA:

Go ahead, Willy. What?

WILLY:

I just wanted to say you're right. You're right, Ma. (NO ANSWER) That's right. (NO ANSWER) (FEELING FOOLISH) Well, that's all.

EVEY:

Now are you satisfied?

WILLY:

(UNCOMFORTABLY) I just wanted to say Ma was right, Evey.

EVEY:

Well, you've said it! Ma ... you think ... Mathilda is through with him?

MA:

I think I gave Mr. Pendleton a pretty good awakening. I don't say Mathilda shouldn't have explained what happened between her and Jeffery Powell a long time ago. And I believe Mathilda would have explained ... only, only Mr. Pendleton's had her half-scared to death ...

EVEY:

But, Ma, even if he's willing to listen to her and be reasonable ... what if she won't go home to talk to him?

WILLY:

What if she intends going back to Kansas City, Ma? To this what's-his-name guy?

EVEY:

Never mind what his name is, Willy! Can't you ... ?

WILLY:

Okeh, Evey, Okeh.

MA (THOUGHTFULLY):

I think ... I don't think Mathilda's got that far in her own thinking, Evey. I didn't want her to declare herself on that to Mr. Pendleton. And that's why I shoved her out of the room. Once Mathilda declared herself, it would have been the end. And that's why I wanted to talk to you tonight, Evey. The chances are Mathilda'll go to bed, but she won't go to sleep. Now, you and Mathilda have been good friends, for a long time, Evey. I want you to stay with her tonight and do all the talking you can. Try to get her to go on back home tomorrow morning.

EVEY:

(A BIT DUBIOUSLY) Well, naturally I'll do what I can, Ma ...

MA:

I saw that man in Kansas City, Evey. He's awfully attractive. Mathilda could be mighty swayed. We've got to do everything we can, Evey. Marriage is a sacred thing and we're going to preserve this one. (ADDING) Mathilda asked me to help her and ... and I'm going to do it.

EVEY:

(WRYLY) When Mathilda asked you to help her, she thought it was the other way around ...

MA:

It can still be that way for all we know. This all might be bluster on Mathilda's part. I still say there's love there ... somewhere. And if Mathilda leaves Mr. Pendleton, she's going to regret it. (ABOUT TO DISMISS EVEY) Now I suppose ... oh, wait a minute! What's this about Gladys slapping Gary, Evey?

WILLY:

I told Ma, Evey ...

EVEY:

Yes, I can see you did, Willy.

WILLY:

Okeh.

EVEY:

Ma ... all I know is what Fay told me. Fay only heard part of it. Gladys came over one morning and Gary immediately accused her of telling you his father was in Kansas City.

MA:

Oh ... (REFLECTIVELY) Yes, Gladys did tell me ...

EVEY:

As I get it, Gary resents the fact that you and Mathilda went there ... and he assumes you went to see his father ...

WILLY:

Say! You mean this what's-his-name guy in Kansas City is
Gary's old man?

EVEY:

(SARCASTICALLY) Well, for heaven's sake! Yes, Willy!

WILLY:

(WEAKENING UNDER HER STARE) Well ... well, boy ... that's terrific ... (FIZZLES OUT) (QUICKLY TO HIMSELF) Mathilda in love with Gary's old man, huh.

MA:

(LISTENING) Who's that coming down the stairs?

SOUND:

MUFFLED FOOTSTEPS.

EVEY:

(HEAVY WHISPER) Ma, that sounds like ...

WILLY:

(HEAVY WHISPER) That's Gary now! That's his footsteps! Betcha a nickel!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENING OFF.

MA:

Well ... hello, Gary.

GARY:

(WITH HALF-CONCEALED RESENTMENT) Oh ... I heard your voice, Ma. I thought you might be with someone else.

MA:

No ... Just Evey and Willy.

GARY:

Well, I didn't mean to interrupt a family tête-à-tête ... but, Ma?

MA:

Yes, Gary?

GARY:

I want to talk to you in the morning.

MA:

Very well, Gary. We'll talk ... in the morning.

GARY:

Well ... that's all.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSING.

WILLY:

(HEAVY WHISPER) Say! What do you think he meant by that, Ma?

CLOSE

NARRATOR:

Well, Willy ... that's what we'd like to know. Just what does Gary Curtis want to talk about to Ma in the morning? And I don't think Ma herself knows ... Not yet.

You know Mrs. Harris is another one of the many women in Rushville Center who use Oxydol for dishwashing as well as for laundry. Not long ago she was telling me about it.

WOMAN:

Yes, Charlie, I figured a soap that can wash clothes white without bleaching ... a soap that good at laundry should be more than a match for dishwashing grease.

NARRATOR:

Right! Oxydol's Hustle Bubble suds are so lively, they actually dissolve dishpan grease. Not just "cut" it or "loosen" it ... but really dissolve that grease! And suds that active stay plenty lively till the last dish and pan are sparkling bright again!

WOMAN:

But Oxydol's not strong or harsh.

NARRATOR:

No, indeed! Why, just look at your hands. They're as smooth and pretty as any woman could want!

WOMAN:

Why, thank you, Charlie!

NARRATOR:

But why don't every one of you listening try Oxydol yourself! See how it dissolves stubborn dishpan grease!

Well, tomorrow at this time we'll hear Gary Curtis say ...

GARY:

(SEETHING WITH HATRED) Ma ... I've tried awfully hard to like you. I've tried to go along with you. And I've tried to believe in you. Now I'm going to tell you why I can't believe in you ... I won't go along with you, and ... I think I'm beginning to hate you ...

NARRATOR:

By all means be sure to listen to Ma Perkins again tomorrow! Until tomorrow, then, this is Charlie Warren saying, "So-long" ... (CONFIDENTIALLY ASIDE) And remember Oxydol, won't you?

BUSINESS:

THEME UP AND THEN OUT CLEAN FOR THIS HITCH-HIKE.

NARRATOR:

Remember soap is made from vital war materials! So don't waste soap! Always measure your Oxydol instead of pouring it from the package. Then you won't use more than you need!

BUSINESS:

THEME IF NECESSARY -- PREFERABLY NO THEME AT ALL HERE.