Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
Show: Nurse's Day Out
Date: Aug 09 1934

CAST:
HOST, Rudy Vallee
and MISS CORNELIA OTIS SKINNER as MOTHER

NOTE: Another version of this sketch aired 1 March 1936 on THE MAGIC KEY. This transcript includes material from that broadcast in brackets.

HOST:

We introduce now Miss Cornelia Otis Skinner, writer and actress, creator of a gallery of character portraits in monologue, daughter of the celebrated actor Otis Skinner. As a band leader who aims someday to be an actor himself, I have been fascinated by the perfection of Miss Skinner's method in these character sketches; the quiet ease with which she scores her effects. For tonight's program, she has chosen, at my urgent request, a sketch I have heard her do on the air last winter. Miss Cornelia Otis Skinner.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

SKINNER:

This is called "Nurse's Day Out." It represents a mother taking care of her baby the first day the nurse goes out.

MOTHER:

Hello, Nana. Am I frightfully late?

Oh, I'm so sorry. I stopped for a bite of lunch at the club and they were so slow. (TO BABY) Darling! (TO NANA) Then I got caught in a traffic jam. I suppose you've been waiting for me.

Oh, that's too bad, Nana. [Well,] you can go off earlier next Wednesday. I wanted to be on time, too; my first day taking care of him. (TO BABY) Well, darling! Mummy's going to take care of her own true love! (SIGHS, TO NANA) Has he had his bottle?

He has. And he's finished it all? Well, I'll take him and get the bubble up. (TO BABY) Come to your mummy, my baby. Oh, so sweet! So sweet! Today, I say! (TO NANA) You go on out, Nana; we're going to be all right.

Oh, yes, I understand everything. He goes right to sleep now, doesn't he?

No, I knew that. (CHUCKLES) I just wanted to make sure. Now, you go on out; have a good time; we'll be all right. (CHUCKLES, TO BABY) Well, darling, isn't this fun? All alone with your mummy. All alone with your own true-- Oh, darling, you mustn't cry. Oh, there's nothing to make you cry. Ssssh! Look at all the pretty things. Look at that light. Isn't that the prettiest light--? (CALLS ABRUPTLY) Nana?!

Nana, have you gone out yet?

Well, could you come back a minute?

(TO BABY) Well, he's such a little bit of a man, I don't know what he's crying for. (TO NANA) Nana, I'm terribly sorry but he's crying.

Well, you don't think he's got a pain, do you? [Well, what will I do?]

There, he stopped. He stopped just as soon as you come into the room.

Oh, he hasn't a pain; he couldn't have. No, you go on out, Nana; we'll be all right. Have a good time. (TO BABY) Well, you're going to be a good boy, aren't you? Yes! You're gonna be the best boy in-- Oh, my God. (CALLS ABRUPTLY) Nana?!

(TO NANA) Nana, don't come back, but you don't think he's got a pin sticking in him, do you?

(RAPIDLY, BACK-AND-FORTH) What, Nana? Sshh, baby. What, Nana? Sshh, baby!

(TO NANA) Shall I look?

Well, no, never mind. We'll be all right, I guess. You go on out; have a good time. (TO BABY) Now, buck up, old fella, buck up. Nana says there's nothing to make you cry. (TO HERSELF) Oh, dear. I wonder--

(TO BABY, SERIOUS) Yes. I guess you need to be.

Now, let me see. Where will I--? I'll put you on the chair. [Mummy has to find things. Now, where on earth does that woman keep--?] Now, where on earth does that--? (CALLS ABRUPTLY) Nana?!

(TO HERSELF) I guess she's gone out. (CALLS) Elmer?! Elmer, do you know where Nana keeps the--? Never mind, I found them. No, it's all right, I found-- (TO BABY) Just a minute, darling. Mummy's going to make her bunny all sweet and clean.

(TO HERSELF, PONDERING THE DIAPER) Now, I wonder if it's lengthwise.

No, it can't be.

How the devil--?

(CALLS ABRUPTLY) Elmer?!

Elmer, could you come here a minute?

(TO BABY) Well, just a minute, darling. Mum--

(TO ELMER) Elmer, I'm terribly sorry, but do you know how to fold those things?

Well, would you mind? You see, it's my first day taking care of him and I'm not quite sure--

Well, I never knew it was as easy as all that. (CHUCKLES WARMLY) Thank you, Elmer.

No, you go on back to the kitchen; we'll be all right. [I'll call you if I need you. Thank you.]

(TO BABY) Now! Now he's a good boy. Now he's stopped crying. He's laughing! He's laughing at his mummy! He thinks his mummy's so funny! Hmm, Mummy's nose itches. Isn't that funny?

And what have you got on your face?

Oh, you have a little rough place on your face. We'll put some Albolene on that. Put some Albolene on the baby's face and make him all sweet and soft. Now--

(TO HERSELF) Oh, dear. The powder. I forgot the powder. [Now where on earth does that woman keep the powder?] And it's just out of reach.

(TO BABY) Now, baby, don't you move. Don't you move. Don't-- (BABY MOVES, EXHALES, GAMELY) Ah, now we'll start all over again.

Well, I don't know what's wrong with this. I don't know why mummy isn't just as good as Nana-- (INHALES, IN PAIN) [Ouch! Darn those pins!] Baby, if you wouldn't kick so, it would be a great help.

Now stop it. Stop it! [You're not too young to learn a little discipline.] Hold your feet still and keep them down here.

Baby, you'll get a pin stuck in you, if you don't stop kicking.

(CALLS, FORLORN) Elmer?!

Elmer, help.

(TO ELMER) Elmer, I'm terribly sorry, but just this once, do you think you could help me pin this? He kicks so and I don't want to have to kneel on him.

Well, don't you want me to hold his feet?

All right. You do that and I'll straighten up his bassinet. He's supposed to be asleep now.

Isn't that cunning? He's just as good as gold with you.

Don't know why he's so bad with his mother. I'm afraid he's going to be a real problem child.

Aren't you wonderful, Elmer? You did that so quickly. You see, you're Swedish; you're calm.

What? He smells funny? What are you talking about?

He smells--? Why, he does.

He smells like a fish.

What do you think makes him smell like that?

I haven't put anything on him. He had a little rough place on his face so I put some Albolene on it. [At least, I think I put Albolene--]

Oh, good Lord, Elmer. I put cod liver oil.

Well, he doesn't seem to mind. We'll just leave it there. It can't hurt him.

(CHUCKLES, TO BABY) Well, darling, are you ready to be put down? Are you ready to be put sleepy-bye? (DRY, TO ELMER) Apparently, nothing could be farther from his thoughts.

(TO BABY) But, darling, you've got to have your nap. Yes, now lie down. Lie down like a big man, turn over on your tummy, and go right to sleep.

(TO ELMER) Isn't that awful?

You wouldn't think anything so little could make so much noise.

What, dear? Oh, no. No, no. No, no, no. [Oh, no, Elmer, I don't approve of rocking.] No, I don't approve of rocking at all.

No, the modern theory is that rocking's very bad for children. It affects their brains.

Of course my mother rocked me, but still--

Now, darling, you're kind of overdoing this. Sshh! I'll pat him. Just a little can't hurt. (SINGS, TO BABY) "Rock-a-bye baby--" (ABRUPTLY) Oh, shut up, you little devil!

(TO ELMER) What, Elmer? Oh, do you think you could? Well, if you wouldn't mind trying-- You see, I'm so nervous with him and he senses it. He's like a horse.

You might-- Well, don't exactly rock him, but just a little motion, sort of.

That's it. Well, he's quiet. You certainly know how, don't you, Elmer? Have you ever had a baby--? (CHUCKLES) You're just a born nurse, aren't you, Elmer?

Is he going off?

[Yes.] He's settling down.

[He's going off.

He's asleep.]

Ssshh. Isn't that cunning?

You know, I'm not going to mind the nurse's day out at all.

I've always said that the women who take care of their own babies are much the happiest. (MOVING OFF) Elmer, I'm going to lie down now and take a nap and will you watch him and if the telephone rings, will you take any messages for me?

SOUND:

APPLAUSE ...