Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Bickersons
Show: Two Weeks with Pay
Date: May 14 1948

Thanks to Paul Adomites for this transcription

CAST:

Announcer
John Bickerson
Blanche Bickerson
Mr. Guernsey, John's boss

ANNOUNCER:

Now here are ___ and ___ as John and Blanche Bickerson in "The Honeymoon is Over."

MUSIC

ANNOUNCER:

This day, the 14th of May, 1948, will go down in history as precedent-shattering. John Bickerson is smiling. Despite the lateness of the hour, the fact that he has had perhaps the hardest day of his life at the office, John Bickerson is smiling. Why? Tell us, John.

JOHN:

Two weeks' vacation, with pay. (Sigh) Wait till I tell Blanche. Brother how I've longed for this. I'll sew myself into the bedsheets and sleep for ten days.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

BLANCHE:

John?

JOHN :

Hello Blanche, how is my beautiful wife?

BLANCHE:

What?

JOHN:

Would you like me to bring you a glass of milk and a cookie? And here is a little present for you. Ooh, you look wonderful, honey.

BLANCHE :

Oh, this is awful.

JOHN:

What's the matter?

BLANCHE :

This morning I burned my hand on the stove. I bit? my only pair of nylons, my inlay fell out, and now you come home drunk.

JOHN :

What are you talking about? I am not drunk and you know it.

BLANCHE :

Then why are you so nice to me?

JOHN :

(sigh) What's the use? When I come home tired, can't smile, she beefs. When I come and try to be pleasant, she accuses me. Put out the lights.

BLANCHE :

You're not going to bed with your shoes on.

JOHN :

Yes, I am. I work like a horse, I might as well sleep like a horse.

BLANCHE :

Why did you bring me a present? What have you been up to John? bring his wife a present...

JOHN :

Oh, stop it.

BLANCHE :

A husband doesn't bring his wife a present unless he's done something wrong.

JOHN :

I've brought you a million presents and I've never done anything wrong.

BLANCHE :

Never?

JOHN :

Not since the day I married you. I wish you'd let me sleep.

BLANCHE :

Sure, sleep. That's the easiest way out when you've got a guilty conscience.

JOHN :

Blanche, I tell you, I haven't got a guilty conscience.

BLANCHE :

Then why did you buy me an expensive present?

JOHN :

It isn't an expensive present. It's the crummiest present I could find!

BLANCHE :

I could believe that, alright. What is it?

JOHN :

Why don't you open it and see?

SFX:

PAPER CRINKLING- GIFT OPENING

BLANCHE :

I bet you've gone and thrown away your money on some stupid thing I can't even use.

JOHN :

Oh, you can use it fine.

BLANCHE :

A home beauty outfit.



JOHN :

It's got everything, just what you need.

BLANCHE :

Wrinkle cream, freckle remover, hair darkener, false eyelashes, chin reducing strap? What kind of a present do you call this? What are you hinting at?

JOHN :

How did I know what was in it?

BLANCHE :

Nobody would use this but a homely woman.

JOHN :

Oh, that's not true, all women use it.

BLANCHE :

They do not. Only the homely ones and I wouldn't touch it.

JOHN :

The sales girl in the drugstore said she uses it all the time and she's not half as homely as you are.

BLANCHE :

What?

JOHN :

I mean, you're just as pretty.

BLANCHE :

And that's just about what happened. You walked into a drugstore, saw a pretty face and didn't know what you were buying.

JOHN :

I didn't look at her face at all.

BLANCHE :

If you were going to buy me a present, why didn't you buy me something I could use? Why didn't get me an ounce of Tabu?

JOHN :

What's that?

BLANCHE :

My favorite perfume.

JOHN :

Well, you've gotta dresser full of perfume: Tabu, Sabu, Snafu and Sterno. Enough perfume for any woman alive. Look at those bottles.

BLANCHE:

They're all empty, and it's all your fault. You left the corks out and it evaporated.

JOHN:

I leave the cork out on my bourbon, don't I?

BLANCHE:

Well what about it?

JOHN:

That never evaporates.

BLANCHE: You never give it a chance.
I don't see why I should have to do without because of your nasty habits. What do you think makes a thing dry up, John?

JOHN: Wish I knew.

BLANCHE:

Don't be so funny.

JOHN:

Oh, I'm not funny, I'm sleepy. You know I worked at the office with 18 hours without a letup.

BLANCHE:

That's what you said you did.

JOHN:

That's what I did. I did it for what I thought was a good reason, but now I'm sorry.

BLANCHE:

Why?

JOHN:

Forget it.

BLANCHE:

What is it, John? What happened? (Pause) You lost your job.

JOHN:

I didn't lose my job. I got two weeks' vacation with pay. It's the first vacation I've had in seven years and I wanted to enjoy it. But, No! You wouldn't stand for that, wouldja?

BLANCHE:

How can you say that, John? Of course I want you to enjoy yourself. Where's the money?

JOHN:

In my wallet. Two whole weeks' pay. Now do you mind if I rest?

BLANCHE:

You know, John, I haven't had a vacation either. A change of scene will do us both a world of good. If you're so tired, there's only one thing in the world for you to do.

SFX:

JOHN SNORES

BLANCHE He's doing it.

SFX:

JOHN MORE SNORES, CONTINUES UNDER.

BLANCHE:

Where did he say that money was? (Pause for snore) Here it is. Two weeks' pay.

JOHN:

Blanche, put that money back.

BLANCHE:

I thought you were sleeping, dear.

JOHN:

What were you doing with that money? What's the matter, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

I'm not doing anything. I'm just counting it to see if they gave you the right amount.

JOHN:

It's the right amount. Put it back and go to sleep.

BLANCHE:

You needn't talk like that. I wasn't going to steal it.

JOHN:

Who said you were?

BLANCHE:

Just like you to make a crack like that.

JOHN:

I didn't make any cracks at all.

BLANCHE:

Go on, call the police and have me arrested. Put me in prison.

JOHN:

Nobody's putting you in prison.

BLANCHE:

They'll lock me up in solitary confinement, rats running all over me in my cell, and I stand helpless, shaking, behind iron bars, no way to escape.

JOHN:

Blanche!

BLANCHE:

Why don't you send me a hacksaw, John?

JOHN:

You're getting hysterical.

BLANCHE:

Well don't go accusing me of taking your money. It's half mine, anyway.

JOHN:

It's all yours. All I want is sleep.

BLANCHE:

I don't see why we can't go away on a vacation for a few days.

JOHN:

You go. I told you I'm gonna do nothing but sleep for the whole two weeks.

BLANCHE:

You'll have to get up sometime.

JOHN:

Not even once.

BLANCHE:

How are you going to collect your unemployment insurance?

JOHN:

What unemployment insurance?

BLANCHE:

You're going to be out of work for two weeks.

JOHN:

You can't collect unemployment insurance if you've got a job.

BLANCHE:

If you're not working, you haven't got a job, have you?

JOHN:

That's different.

BLANCHE:

Why?

JOHN:

I don't know why. Nobody does it, that's all.

BLANCHE:

Well what's the good of unemployment insurance if you don't get any money when you're unemployed?

JOHN:

Being on a vacation is not the same as being unemployed.

BLANCHE:

Don't tell me.

JOHN:

What?

BLANCHE:

Clara's husband Barney has never had a job his whole life and he collects his unemployment check every week.

JOHN:

He can't collect any checks if he doesn't work.

BLANCHE:

I thought you said they only pay when you don't work.

JOHN:

That's right. But you have to work before you can be out of work so you have a legitimate claim for the money you earned that you don't get.

BLANCHE:

I don't get it.

JOHN:

Oh, leave me alone.

BLANCHE:

And I'm telling you now, John. You've got two weeks off and you're gonna do one of two things. Do you hear me?

JOHN:

I hear you.

BLANCHE:

Either you start collecting your unemployment insurance or else you fill in those two weeks with another job.

JOHN:

Another job? This is my vacation.

BLANCHE:

I don't care. It won't hurt you to work those two weeks, and we could use the money.

JOHN:

(Yawns) Okay. I'll get another job in the morning.

BLANCHE:

You say it but you won't do it. Do it now.

JOHN:

What?

BLANCHE:

Go on. Get up and get a job, you loafer.

JOHN:

What kind of job can I get at two o'clock in the morning?

BLANCHE:

What's the matter with being a night watchman?

JOHN:

I won't do it. I won't do it. You've got no right to deprive me of my two weeks' off. (shouts) I don't care what happens I won't get another job.

BLANCHE:

All right then. Promise you'll take me away on a vacation.

JOHN:

There's no way out. I promise.

BLANCHE:

Will you swear?

JOHN:

Every minute that we're away.

BLANCHE:

I know where we'll go. Lake Tahoe. I'll only have to buy a few more dresses and you can wear your dungarees all the time.

JOHN:

Okay.

BLANCHE:

Just tell them you came in from fishing. And if it gets cold I've got just the thing. Let me show you what I picked up on sale yesterday.

JOHN:

I don't wanna see it.

BLANCHE:

Just look at this, John. Isn't it stunning?

JOHN:

What's so stunning about a bath rug?

BLANCHE:

It's a fur cape, silly.

JOHN:

Well where's the fur?

BLANCHE:

That's the way it's supposed to look. It's the very latest style. Sheared beaver.

JOHN: Sheared beaver?

BLANCHE:

It's been clipped.

JOHN:

So have I.

BLANCHE:

You have not. This is worth every penny, John. You know I'm a good judge of furs.

JOHN:

Oh sure. The past two years you bought a bald mink and a plucked skunk.

BLANCHE:

Well what's wrong with them?

JOHN:

The mink stinks and the skunk shrunk. Blanche, how much did you pay for this one?

BLANCHE: Only ninety-four dollars.

JOHN:

Ninety-four dollars! Oh, Blanche, you didn't. Get that money back, you hear me. Get that money back!

BLANCHE:

Don't get hysterical. As soon as the...

JOHN:

Blanche, how could you do this to me? I deny myself everything. I've been sewing heels on your old pocket books and wearing them for shoes! I've been eating the padding out of my overcoat shoulders to save on breakfast cereal. I don't even drink my bourbon anymore: I just chew the cork and hit myself on the head with the bottle! I never spend a nickel on myself.

BLANCHE:

You bought a bag of popcorn yesterday.

JOHN:

That wasn't popcorn! My teeth fell out from malnutrition. I'm warning you, Blanche...

SFX:

PHONE RING

SFX:

ANSWERS

JOHN:

Drop dead!

SFX:

HANGS UP

JOHN:

Blanche, you're not gonna get away with..

SFX:

PHONE RING

SFX:

ANSWERS

JOHN:

Whattaya want?

GUERNSEY:

(Phone filter) Hello, Bickerson? This is Mr. Guernsey.

JOHN:

(mumbles) Yes, oh, hello, Mr. Guernsey.

GUERNSEY:

I hate to be calling you at this hour, Bickerson, but something very urgent has come up.

JOHN:

What happened?

GUERNSEY:

I just received word that our Chicago plant burned down and we weren't covered. This morning I filed bankruptcy proceedings and I'm closing up for good.

JOHN:

What?

GUERNSEY:

I trust you'll find a new position and I do wish you good luck.

JOHN:

Well, uh, thanks.

GUERNSEY:

By the way, Bickerson. Would you mind sending back that two weeks' salary I gave you? I need every penny I can scrape together.

JOHN:

Yeah, uh, sure. I'll send it. Goodbye.

SFX:

HANG UP.

JOHN:

Well, did you hear that, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

No, what was it?

JOHN:

My boss, Mr. Guernsey. I lost my job.

BLANCHE:

(delighted) Wonderful.

JOHN:

Wonderful? What's wonderful about it?

BLANCHE:

Now you can collect your unemployment insurance!

JOHN:

Oh, Blanche.