Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Bickersons
Show: Blanche Bets a Horse
Date: Date Unknown

Thanks to Paul Adomites for this transcript

ANNOUNCER:

As we begin, the Bickersons have retired. Mrs. Bickerson lies, tense and awake in the darkness, as poor husband John, victim of a rare type of insomnia which keeps the patient in a complete lethargy for eight hours at a time, offers valid proof of his agonizing affliction.

SFX:

JOHN SNORES

BLANCHE:

This has been going on since nine o'clock.

SFX:

MORE SNORES. ENDS WITH A CROSS BETWEEN A GIGGLE AND A WHIMPER.

BLANCHE:

Oh please, not that again. John! Quit it!

JOHN:

Quit it, Blanche.

SFX:

SNORES AGAIN

BLANCHE:

John! There must be something that will put a stop to that hideous snoring. Why do you do it?

JOHN:

Do what, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

Snore.

JOHN:

Huh?

BLANCHE:

Snore.

JOHN:

Okay.

SFX:

SNORES, WITH WEIRD ENDING.

BLANCHE:

John! I'm going out of my mind. For years you've been telling people you've got insomnia, and you not only sleep like a log but you sound like you're sawing it.

JOHN:

Very funny.

BLANCHE:

It isn't funny, it's tragic.

SFX:

CLOCK CHIMES TWICE

BLANCHE:

There's the clock again. Two o'clock. I've counted that thing forty-five times since we went to bed and I still haven't slept.

JOHN:

So how do you expect to sleep if you're gonna lie there counting chimes? Throw the darn clock out. It's keeping me awake too.

BLANCHE:

You wouldn't wake up if we had Big Ben in the room.

JOHN:

Big Ben who?

BLANCHE:

The house could fall down and you'd never know it.

JOHN:

Oh you know that's not true, Blanche. You know I'm a very light sleeper.

BLANCHE:

Light sleeper. About an hour ago we had the worst thunderstorm I ever heard and you never even budged.

JOHN:

Why didn't you wake me? You know I can't sleep when it's thundering.

BLANCHE:

I'm a nervous wreck. I've got crow's feet around my eyes, my forehead is all wrinkled, my chin is sagging. I'm beginning to look like an old hag. It's true, isn't it?

JOHN:

I wouldn't say that.

BLANCHE:

Why not, John?

JOHN:

I'll be awake for the rest of the night.

BLANCHE:

You do think it's true though, don't you?

JOHN:

What's true?

BLANCHE:

That I'm beginning to look like an old hag.

JOHN:

You're not beginning to look like an old hag.

BLANCHE:

Why do you emphasize beginning?

JOHN:

All right. You're not beginning to look like an old hag.

BLANCHE:

Sounds even worse.

JOHN:

Well how do you want me to say it?

BLANCHE:

Say I look beautiful.

JOHN:

Okay. I look beautiful. Good night.

BLANCHE:

I don't know how a man could be so cruel. Is it any wonder I'm getting old before my time?

JOHN:

What time is it?

BLANCHE:

It's after two o'clock and I haven't slept a wink.

JOHN:

Well go to sleep.

BLANCHE:

You can't stand the sight of me, can you, John?

JOHN:

I can stand it fine.

BLANCHE:

Before we were married you used to say such beautiful, poetic things. You don't any more.

JOHN:

Oh, well, Blanche, how do you expect me to feel poetic at two o'clock in the morning?

BLANCHE:

You used to feel that way at three o'clock before we were married. Say something poetic.

JOHN:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...

BLANCHE:

Oh, Stop it! You're just trying to irritate me now.

JOHN:

Well what do you want me to say?

BLANCHE:

You know what I want you to say.

JOHN:

Okay. Blanche, when I look into your eyes, time stands still. (Pause.) Now you satisfied?

BLANCHE :

No.

JOHN:

Well why not?

BLANCHE:

That might also mean I have a face that would stop a clock.

JOHN:

Well, if the shoe fits, wear it. I want to get some sleep.

BLANCHE:

You're not going to make me believe I'm hideous and ugly, John Bickerson. It isn't so long ago I won a beauty contest in my home town.

JOHN:

Long enough.

BLANCHE:

I never hear you tell any of your friends about it.

JOHN:

Aw, Blanche, a man can't go around telling his friends that his wife was "Miss Clam Harbor Lighthouse of 1931."

BLANCHE:

You make it sound as though I was the only girl in the contest. What about my sister Clara?

JOHN:

What about it? You won it, didn't you?

BLANCHE:

I'd like to hear you talk that way about Gloria Gooseby.

JOHN:

Now don't start with Gloria Gooseby.

BLANCHE:

The way you drool every time you look at her, you'd think she was Miss America.

JOHN:

I don't' drool when I see anybody. I hate Gloria Gooseby.

BLANCHE:

Then why do you keep inviting her here to dinner?

JOHN:

I didn't invite her. You did.

BLANCHE:

Don't change the subject. (Pause.) If it weren't for the fact that her husband Leo is such a nice person, I wouldn't have either of them in the house. And the dinner was awful.

JOHN:

You cooked it, Blanche.

BLANCHE:

Yes, the thought of that horrible Gloria Gooseby coming to dinner got me all confused and I ruined everything. The minute I turned my back the roast caught on fire and I had to throw soup on it to put it out.

JOHN:

You should have thrown that pie on it, too.

BLANCHE:

There was nothing wrong with the pie.

JOHN:

I hate lemon meringue and you know it.

BLANCHE:

It wasn't lemon meringue, it was apple pie.

JOHN:

Well what was that yellow stuff on top?

BLANCHE:

The crust got burned and I had to put some Unguentine on it.

JOHN:

Thank heaven I didn't eat any.

BLANCHE:

No, but your girlfriend stuffed herself with four pieces, the glutton.

JOHN:

She is not my girlfriend and quit talking about her so I can get some sleep.

BLANCHE:

You wouldn't look at her twice if she didn't wear those brazen dresses.

JOHN:

I would too! I mean, I don't care what she wears.

BLANCHE:

It's a shame Leo is such a little mouse. Believe me, if I were Gloria Gooseby's husband, I'd show her a thing or two.

JOHN:

Hmm.

BLANCHE:

Someone should turn her over and give her a good spanking.

JOHN:

Mmm-hmm.

BLANCHE:

I know what you're thinking, John Bickerson.

JOHN:

I'm not thinking anything. Why won't you let me sleep, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

I'm not going to stand for it much longer, John.

JOHN:

(Groans.)

BLANCHE:

You keep putting on that innocent attitude, but you don't fool me. I wouldn't feel so bad except I'm so sick I could die.

JOHN:

What's the matter now?

BLANCHE:

I'm sick. I get fainting spells all the time and the doctor doesn't know what it is. I know I'll never recover.

JOHN :

Ooh, don't be silly. You'll recover. You've got a healthy constitution.

BLANCHE:

I have not.

JOHN:

You have too. You had pneumonia and you got well, you had the flu and you got well, you had the mumps and you got well, you've had sixty diseases and you always got well. I never saw such a healthy woman in all my life.

BLANCHE:

Well what about these fainting spells?

JOHN:

You'll recover from those too. But if you ever get lockjaw, you'll bust. Why don't you faint now, so I can sleep?

BLANCHE:

Of all the unsympathetic, unfeeling wretches, if you ever lost me it wouldn't mean a thing to you.

JOHN:

Oh wouldn't it, though?

BLANCHE:

Well, you don't have to sound so eager.

JOHN:

I'm not eager. I'm just sleepy.

BLANCHE:

Good thing we don't have any children. I can just imagine what kind of a life a poor little child would have in this house.

JOHN:

Hmm.

BLANCHE:

To have a father who constantly raves and rants, selfish and thoughtless, a man who can't bear the sight of his own child.

JOHN:

What are you talking about?

BLANCHE:

Me, sick in bed, and the poor little infant crying in his crib, crying his heart out for a little attention...

JOHN:

Blanche!

BLANCHE:

Why don't you feed the baby, John? (Pause) John, why do you hate children so much?

JOHN:

Because I can't bear them.

BLANCHE:

I know, but why do you hate them?

JOHN:

Blanche, all you want to do is keep me awake, isn't that right?

BLANCHE:

You'd have been asleep long ago if you hadn't kept me awake with your snoring.

JOHN:

Well, can I help it if I snore?

BLANCHE:

Yes you can. Dr. Marvin tells me there's something wrong with your nasal passages.

JOHN:

Yes.

BLANCHE:

He says you have a deviated septum. Why don't you let him fix it?

JOHN:

Okay. I'll get it fixed next week.

BLANCHE:

You say it but you won't do it. Let him fix it now.

JOHN:

What?

BLANCHE:

Go on. Get up and let the doctor pull out your septum.

JOHN:

Blanche, are you out of your mind? You think I'm gonna let that broken down doctor hammer on my nose at three o'clock in the morning?

BLANCHE:

He doesn't hammer on your nose, he chisels.

JOHN:

You can say that again. I've seen his bills.

BLANCHE:

Well, you're going to have to do something. As it is neither of us is getting any sleep.

JOHN:

Why don't you have him saw off your ears?

BLANCHE:

I wouldn't argue at all if you would be nice for a minute.

JOHN:

You've been up to something again, Blanche. What is it?

BLANCHE:

I haven't been up to anything. I just want to hear you tell me you love me, that's all.

JOHN:

Oh, you know I do.

BLANCHE:

You never say it.

JOHN:

Oh I say it all the time.

BLANCHE:

Say it now.

JOHN:

I love you.

BLANCHE:

How much do you love me?

JOHN:

How much do you need?

BLANCHE:

Fifty dollars.

JOHN:

Ah, now wait a minute...

BLANCHE:

You promised me, John.

JOHN:

I know. But I can't give you anything extra this month.

BLANCHE:

That's what you told me last month.

JOHN :

Well I kept my word, didn't I? (Pause) Now what do you want fifty dollars for?

BLANCHE:

The rent.

JOHN:

Ohh the rent is right here. It's in the cookie jar.

BLANCHE:

No it isn't.

JOHN:

Is too, I looked there yesterday.

BLANCHE:

Didn't look today.

JOHN:

What? Now, Blanche, don't tell me you spent that money on something foolish.

BLANCHE:

Oh, no. I gave it to a bookbinder.

JOHN:

A bookbinder? What do we need with a bookbinder? Our book is in fine condition.

BLANCHE:

Not that kind of bookbinder. This man goes to the racetrack. He's a trout.

JOHN:

A trout? The racetrack? Blanche, did you bet that money with a bookmaker? Put the lights on.

BLANCHE:

Now don't get excited, John. He brought back the ticket. Here.

JOHN :

Oh! A fifty-dollar win ticket! How could you take my hard-earned money and gamble it away on a horse? I work my fingers to the bone and you squander every penny I make. You never see me betting horses. I've never been to a racetrack in my life. I... what's the name of the horse?

BLANCHE :

Malvino Rim.

JOHN:

A bum. A worn-out goat that hasn't won a race in years. Ah, Blanche, why did you do it? Did he win?

BLANCHE:

No. He ran second.

JOHN:

Fifty dollars tossed away. Uh, ooh.

SFX:

TEARS UP TICKET.

BLANCHE:

Why are you tearing up the ticket, John?

JOHN:

Because it's no good. I ought to make you eat the pieces. This is the worst thing you've ever done in your life, Blanche. At least you could have played him to place.

BLANCHE:

Well don't throw the pieces away, John. What makes you so sure it's no good?

JOHN:

You played the horse to win, didn't you?

BLANCHE:

Yes.

JOHN:

And he ran second, didn't he?

BLANCHE:

Yes.

JOHN:

Well then the ticket's worthless. Here. Watch your fifty dollars go out the window. There. I knew you had something on your mind.

BLANCHE:

I'm sorry, John.

JOHN:

Well, what's the difference? Who won the race, do you know?

BLANCHE:

Yes, I heard it on the radio.

JOHN:

Well, who won it?

BLANCHE:

Disqualified.

JOHN:

Disqualified?

BLANCHE:

Yes, the announcer said the winner of the race was disqualified.

JOHN :

Aaahhhh! Oh I wish I was dead.

BLANCHE:

Good night, John.