Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
Show: If Women Take the Place of Men
Date: Dec 20 1934

CAST:

HOST, Rudy Vallee
GEORGE, neglected homemaker
DIANA, tired businesswoman
JUNIOR, their baby

HOST:

... We present now Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lyon, better known as Bebe and Ben -- Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon. Their names, I'm sure, are sufficient introduction. Miss Daniels and Mr. Lyon offer tonight a comedy sketch by Mort Lewis, a playlet which considers, in a vein anything but serious, the problems which may arise in the future if women continue to take the place of men as family breadwinners. The time -- twenty years from now, in 1954. The people -- Diana Travers, a tired businesswoman, and George, her husband and -- since this is 1954 -- her housekeeper. George is waiting for Diana to come home from the office. The baby is proving troublesome. Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels.

SFX:

APPLAUSE

JUNIOR:

(CRYING, CONTINUES IN BG)

GEORGE:

(HARRIED) Oh, will you stop bawling until I get this thing folded? Now, where are those darn safety pins? Oh, here they are. (SINGS) "Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop ..."

JUNIOR:

(STOPS CRYING WHEN SINGING BEGINS)

GEORGE:

(SINGS) "... Junior dear, put Daddy's watch down." (SPEAKS) Put Daddy-- Put Daddy's watch down, Junior dear. (FIRMLY, THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) Put Daddy's watch down, dear. (SHOUTS) Put it down!

SFX:

SMASH! WATCH HITS THE FLOOR

GEORGE:

Oh! Oh, now look at my watch!

JUNIOR:

(STARTS CRYING, CONTINUES IN BG)

GEORGE:

Oh, you act just like your mother when you do that. Now, hold still, Junior, hold still.

JUNIOR:

(WAILING, CONTINUES IN BG)

GEORGE:

Oh, did Dad-ums stick little ootsy-pootsy-wootsy with a bad little safety pin? Well, Daddy's very sorry.

SFX:

KNOCK AT DOOR

GEORGE:

(CALLS) Just a minute, just a minute! (TO JUNIOR) I'll bet that's your sweet little mommy. Uh, now, you lie still while Daddy opens the door for Mommy.

JUNIOR:

(STOPS CRYING)

SFX:

KNOCK AT DOOR

GEORGE:

(CALLS) I'm coming!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

GEORGE:

(TO JUNIOR) Oh, didn't I tell you that was your sweet little mommy?

JUNIOR:

(CRIES A LITTLE, THEN STOPS)

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

DIANA:

(ANNOYED) Say, when I knock at the door, why do you take all year to answer it?

GEORGE:

Well, maybe you think I haven't anything to do. Maybe you think--

DIANA:

Oh, you make more fuss over the little things you have to do at home than I do slaving at the office all day.

GEORGE:

Little things! Why, do you know what I did today? I scrubbed the kitchen floor, went marketing, put up the preserves, had an argument with the grocer, and then the plumbing broke and I had to send for the plumber.

DIANA:

I suppose that ice woman was here, too.

GEORGE:

Oh, now, don't be sarcastic. I - I washed Junior's clothes and, oh, Junior was so naughty--

DIANA:

Well, darling, when I'm making a little more money, we'll hire a nurse for Junior.

GEORGE:

Nurse?! Nurse, nothing! What that kid needs is a night watchman.

DIANA:

You know, I hate to say it, George, but I think it's a little your fault, too. You don't know how to bring up a baby. You don't mother him enough.

GEORGE:

Mother him?! Say, I don't mind scrubbing and cooking and washing dishes for you but I'll be darned if I'm going to run ribbons through my nightshirt to fool the baby!

DIANA:

Why, why, George Travers! I'm surprised at you! Why, you almost talk about your own son as if you hated him.

GEORGE:

Hated him? Oh, why, Diana, of course [I don't hate him] -- Why, I love Junior. Oh, everything's gone wrong today and I'm just a little cross, that's all. Hey, Junior-- Why, Junior's the sweetest-- Why, do you know what he did today?

DIANA:

What?

GEORGE:

He actually said a word.

DIANA:

(PLEASED) He did? What did he say?

GEORGE:

He said, "Oomfa!"

DIANA:

Umf--? Umfa?

GEORGE:

No. No, dear. Oomfa! It's a cross between "Mother" and "Father." You know, "Oom" for "Mother" and "Fa" for "Father."

DIANA:

(WITH CONTEMPT) Oomfa! Oh, you just let your imagination run away with you!

GEORGE:

Imagination! So you think your baby didn't say "Oomfa"? You probably think he's too stupid to say "Oomfa"! There you are! Taking sides against your own flesh and blood!

DIANA:

Oh, I didn't say anything of the kind, George. I just said that I thought--

GEORGE:

Yes, I know what you said! I have ears! And all that I can say is, you're a fine mother, taking sides against your own baby! Why, you didn't even say hello to Junior when you came in.

DIANA:

Oh, I'm sorry. (CHEERY, TO JUNIOR) Hello, Junior dear.

JUNIOR:

Mmmmmm.

GEORGE:

(TRIUMPHANT) Ha! He said it! He said it! (PROUDLY) My baby!

DIANA:

Oh, darling, I have a big surprise for you and Junior. I made a big sale today and got a whopping commission.

GEORGE:

Oh, that's wonderful, darling. I'm going to give you a big kiss for that. (KISS)

DIANA:

And I - I didn't forget you, George. Guess what I bought you.

GEORGE:

(DISBELIEF) Oh, Diana. Not a--?

DIANA:

Yes! An electric washing machine!

GEORGE:

(OVERJOYED) Oh, you darling! An electric washing machine! Oh, what more could a man ask for?

DIANA:

Well, there's nothing too good for my little husband.

GEORGE:

Well, darling, since we're on the subject, I have a little surprise for you, too.

DIANA:

Oh, you have? What is it?

GEORGE:

(DISAPPOINTED) Oh, you're like all the other wives. You never notice anything. Don't you see I'm wearing a new suit? How do you like it?

DIANA:

Well, turn around. Uh uh. I don't like it. The pants are too long.

GEORGE:

Oh, but, darling, the boys are all wearing long pants this year.

DIANA:

Well, maybe I'm a little old-fashioned. But I liked it better when the boys wore knickers and showed a little more of their legs. And you have such nice legs, George.

GEORGE:

Well, as long as you like my legs-- Well, maybe you'll like this.

DIANA:

What's that?

GEORGE:

A bathing suit.

DIANA:

A bathing suit? Why, the bathing season is over.

GEORGE:

Yes, but it was such a bargain I just couldn't resist it.

DIANA:

Why, George, it has no top.

GEORGE:

Of course not. None of the boys are wearing tops this year.

DIANA:

(STERNLY) Well, you're one boy who's going to wear a top. You think I want all the women on the beach staring at my husband?

GEORGE:

(PROTESTS) Why, it's the very same kind of a suit that Jim Morris wears!

DIANA:

That's all right for Jim Morris. He does a lot of things I wouldn't let my husband do.

GEORGE:

Well, I notice you look at him hard enough when he comes on the beach. And I want to be just as attractive as the other boys.

DIANA:

Well, anyway, you're not going to wear it!

GEORGE:

Oh, don't you think just because you're making the money here, you can order me around!

DIANA:

Either that bathing suit goes back or there's no washing machine!

GEORGE:

No washing machine?

DIANA:

No washing machine!

GEORGE:

(CAVES IN) Oh, well, all right, dear. Er, come on, honey, sit down. I've cooked your favorite dish for you.

DIANA:

Oh, I'm not hungry.

GEORGE:

(DISAPPROVING) Oh, so you stopped at the club again and had a bite.

DIANA:

Oh, by the way, I won't be home for dinner tomorrow night, either.

GEORGE:

Oh, business again, huh? Well, this time, I'll go to the office with you.

DIANA:

Oh, no, you won't! You'll keep your nose out of that office! Remember, a man's place is in the home.

GEORGE:

Oh, I suppose that good-looking stenographer of yours, Henry Maxwell, will be there again!

DIANA:

Oh, stop henpecking me. There you are, being jealous again!

GEORGE:

Jealous?! If I ever catch that fellow taking dictation from you while sitting on your lap, I'll break him in two!

DIANA:

(LAUGHS) Now, don't be silly. My relations with, er, Mr. Maxwell are purely a matter of business.

GEORGE:

Yes, I know his kind. Monkey business! He doesn't buy the expensive clothes he wears on the salary he's making! ... I - I better not catch you! After I've given you the best years of my life!

DIANA:

(LAUGHS) Were those your best?

GEORGE:

Oh, sarcastic again? Well, if anybody has the right to be sarcastic around here, I have! Not you! Some good times you've been having -- Monday night, to a prize fight; Tuesday night, to a Turkish bath; last night, out on business and business again tomorrow night!

DIANA:

Wait a second, wait a second! I haven't said anything, but you've been having a pretty good time yourself! You've been out to three bridge parties this week!

GEORGE:

Oh, so you're going to throw that up to me? Well, what do you expect me to do? Sit cooped up in the house all day, waiting for you to come home? A man's entitled to play bridge once in a while as recreation from housekeeping.

DIANA:

All right, all right. Let's not quarrel, honey. (KISS, THEN SUDDENLY SUSPICIOUS) Say! What's that sticking out of your closet?

GEORGE:

(NERVOUS) Where? Oh. Oh, that. That's nothing, dear.

DIANA:

Well, maybe it's nothing to you, but it looks like a woman's skirt to me.

GEORGE:

Oh, it does, doesn't it? Oh, but it isn't, Diana, really.

DIANA:

What's her name?

GEORGE:

What? Who? Who's name?

DIANA:

The woman you have hidden in that closet! A traveling saleswoman, I'll bet!

GEORGE:

A woman? Oh, why, darling--

DIANA:

Don't you "darling" me! Open that closet!

GEORGE:

Oh, dear, please, don't--

DIANA:

So! While I've been working hard at the office, trying to support you and our baby, some other woman has stolen your love! Open that closet!

GEORGE:

(OFFENDED) I won't!

DIANA:

Open that closet or I'll break it down!

GEORGE:

(CAVES IN) Oh, all right.

SFX:

CLOSET DOOR OPENS

DIANA:

(SURPRISED) Why - why, it's just a dress.

GEORGE:

(SADLY) Yes. I took that money you thought I lost at bridge and bought a dress for your big Christmas present. (TEARFUL) Now, you've spoiled everything!

DIANA:

Aw, darling George.

GEORGE:

Don't - don't touch me!

DIANA:

Oh, I'm a [thief?]. Will you ever forgive me?

GEORGE:

Oh, well. What are husbands for, but to forgive?

DIANA:

There, there, dear. Wipe your eyes. What time is it?

GEORGE:

Seven-thirty.

DIANA:

Oh, well, I better be getting back to the office.

GEORGE:

Oh, back to the office again. Do I have to sit up alone another night, waiting for you to come home?

DIANA:

Oh, I know it's rather hard on you. I've got it! Here's a dollar. Why don't you call up Fred Lewis and the boys and go to the movies? You can leave the baby with the Smiths.

GEORGE:

Oh, all right. But I'm getting sick and tired of being a neglected husband. Here, dear. Here's your coat.

DIANA:

So long, darling. (KISS)

SFX:

PHONE RINGS

GEORGE:

Oh, wait a second. It might be for you.

SFX:

RECEIVER UP

GEORGE:

Hello? ... Hello? Yes? (INCREASINGLY ANGRY) ... Oh. Oh, it is? ... I see! ... Yes. Yes, I'll tell her! ... Goodbye!

SFX:

RECEIVER DOWN

DIANA:

Who was it?

GEORGE:

(FURIOUS) Who was it?! That was business--! I mean, your stenographer, Henry Maxwell! He said he'd be fifteen minutes late for the theater tonight!

DIANA:

Oh, let me explain, dear--

GEORGE:

Explain?! You've made your last explanation to me!

JUNIOR:

(STARTS TO CRY, IN BG)

GEORGE:

Give me my baby!

DIANA:

George! Where are you going?!

GEORGE:

Where am I going?! I'm going home to Father!

SFX:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT ... APPLAUSE