Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Easy Aces
Show: Jane Writes a Letter (a.k.a. Jane Talks About a Book She Doesn't Like)
Date: Date Unknown

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
JANE
MR. ACE, dry, sober, intellectual
MARGE, good-natured, laughs easily at Jane

MR. ACE:

Ladies and gentlemen, "Easy Aces."

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNOUNCER:

Well, let's drop in at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ace, better known to radio fans as the Easy Aces. Here we will find Mr. Ace, the patient long-suffering husband, his wife Jane with whom he tries to be patient but winds up suffering, and Jane's school-day friend Marge who lives with the Aces.

From time to time, we shall meet other characters who people this hilarious comedy of domestic life, but, at the moment, we find Jane, Mr. Ace and Marge sitting around the living room after dinner. Now, let's drop in and get acquainted as we find Mr. Ace with his evening paper, Marge with a book, and Jane writing a letter. She seems troubled. Listen.

JANE:

Oh, I'm getting all mixed up here. Dear?

MR. ACE:

Yes?

JANE:

I'm having one of my bad spells again. How do you spell "write"?

MR. ACE:

"Write"?

JANE:

Yes. I got it here in this letter I'm writing my sister, but it looks like I made a mistake. How do you spell it?

MR. ACE:

Well, er, which "write" do you mean?

JANE:

Which? How many are there? "Write," you know.

MR. ACE:

Well, there's W-R-I-T-E and there's R-I-G-H-T. Which do you want?

JANE:

Either one, just so I spell it right.

MR. ACE:

Just so you spell it right, huh? (CHUCKLES)

JANE:

Yeah. (GETS THE PUN, CHUCKLES) That's funny, isn't it? Just so I spell it right.

MR. ACE:

Yes, mmm.

JANE:

Did you get that, Marge?

MARGE:

Yes, Jane, I think I did.

JANE:

(LAUGHS) I just got it myself. (LAUGHS) Well, enough joking around.

MR. ACE:

Uh huh, yes.

JANE:

How do you spell it, dear?

MARGE:

Well, Jane, how are you using it in the sentence? What are you saying ahead of it?

JANE:

Ahead of it? Uh, let me see. The word ahead of it is "last."

MR. ACE:

Oh, last rites? Well, that's R-I-T-E.

JANE:

A new one came in! R-I-T-E?

MR. ACE:

Yeah, if that's the way you're using it.

MARGE:

Jane, what are you saying to your sister about last rites?

JANE:

Oh, nothing in particular. All I'm saying is, uh, (READS) "Dear Ethel, I'm glad you found time to at last write me."

MR. ACE:

To at last write you?

MARGE:

(LAUGHS) Oh, that "last write"!

JANE:

Yes. How do you spell that?

MR. ACE:

Uh, that's W-R-I-T-E.

JANE:

With a "W"?

MARGE:

Yes, Jane.

JANE:

Dear, have you been telling me wrong on purpose?

MR. ACE:

No. You said "last rite"; I didn't know what you meant. Besides, you, uh, you shouldn't split an infinitive that way.

JANE:

Who did?

MR. ACE:

You. You said "to at last write" you. "To write" is an infinitive and you're splitting it with "at last." You shouldn't do that.

JANE:

How do you like that? I ask him a simple question about spelling "write" and that's what comes out.

MR. ACE:

(EXASPERATED) Oh--

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES)

JANE:

Isn't he disgusting, Marge?

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES) Yes, positively revolting.

MR. ACE:

Look, Jane, you asked me this; I didn't start it.

JANE:

I said, "How do you spell 'write'?" Marge, didn't I say "How do you spell 'write'?"?

MARGE:

You certainly did, Jane.

JANE:

That's all I said; that's all I want to know. I don't want to know about infinitives; I'm sure Ethel doesn't want to know about infinitives; I'm sure she doesn't care if I split 'em or chop 'em or make hamburgers out of 'em.

MR. ACE:

Mmmm.

MARGE:

I'm sure she doesn't, Jane.

MR. ACE:

Yeah, I take it back. I'm sure she wouldn't know an infinitive if--

MARGE:

What are you writing Ethel about, Jane?

JANE:

Oh, I'm writing to thank her for the book she sent me.

MARGE:

Oh, yes, that book. Did you read it?

JANE:

Well, sort of.

MR. ACE:

What do you mean "sort of"?

JANE:

Well, you know, in a half-hazard way; I, uh, I skipped.

MR. ACE:

(MOCK DISBELIEF) No, Jane.

MARGE:

Why, Jane, shame on you.

JANE:

Yes, I did. I couldn't help it. It didn't start out good.

MR. ACE:

Awww.

MARGE:

Oh, I did, Jane. I thought it was swell. I read it.

JANE:

Well, right away, I didn't like the lover in the first chapter.

MARGE:

You didn't?

JANE:

No, he was too swishy-washy.

MR. ACE:

Mmmm.

JANE:

Oh, I know you shouldn't judge a book by its lover, but I don't know what--

MARGE:

No, never judge a book by its lover! (CHUCKLES)

MR. ACE:

Uh, Jane, how do you judge a book?

JANE:

Well, I don't know. I guess I just judge it if I like it or not. That's the only way I can tell.

MR. ACE:

Well, when do you like it and when don't you?

JANE:

Well-- Oh, I don't know. Stop asking me so many questions. All I know is I didn't like that book. Maybe the movie'll be better.

MR. ACE:

Yes, we'll wait for that.

JANE:

Do you like to see a movie after you've read the book or vice versa?

MR. ACE:

Do you mean "Or read the movie after you've seen the book"?

JANE:

Yeah-- No! Did I say that?

MR. ACE:

I don't know.

MARGE:

Oh, I know what you mean, Jane. Personally, I like to see a movie after I've read the book -- just to see if the characters are the same as I visualized them when I read the book.

JANE:

Beg pardon?

MARGE:

I mean I like to compare the movie with the characters as I pictured 'em when I read the book.

JANE:

Oh, I see what you mean, yes. Well, I always picture Ronald Colman when I read a book.

MARGE:

Always?

JANE:

Yes. Who do you?

MARGE:

Well, I hadn't thought of it that way, Jane. I don't always picture the same person.

JANE:

Oh, I do. That's why I didn't like this book. I couldn't picture Ronald Colman. And the things he kept saying to the girl--! Oh, it was just-- Where is that book? Listen to some of these things. Here it is. It's pretty bad, Marge. Wait till I find where he says about--

MR. ACE:

Uh, Jane, don't start reading the book to us.

JANE:

I'm not. I don't like it. I just want to show you what I mean. Some of those things he says to her. Wait a minute. Oh, yes. Here. Listen to this. This is him talking. Is that right? Oh, no, this is him speaking.

MR. ACE:

Yes, that's better, Jane.

JANE:

Uh-- (READS) "Martha, you asked me a simple question. What about us? And I can only reply with a question. Is that important? Do we matter? Does anyone matter? Martha, there are moving forces abroad in the world today that will sweep us all into maternity." You see, dear? It's no good.

MARGE:

(CRACKS UP WITH LAUGHTER)

MR. ACE:

(WRY) Wait, let me read that book. That sounds very interesting.

JANE:

Oh, you can read it if you want to, but you won't like it.

MARGE:

Why, Jane, he will so! This book has been selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club.

JANE:

Yes, it would take about a month to read it, too.

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, Jane.

JANE:

You can't even get interested in it. (NOSTALGIC) Oh, they don't write books like they used to, do they? Remember the books we used to read? Those were love stories. Why don't they write books like those? Books that made you cry and things like that.

MR. ACE:

(SOURLY) Yeah, come down to my office; I'll show you some books that'll make you cry.

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES)

JANE:

Is that what you do down there? Read books all day?

MR. ACE:

No, Jane.

MARGE:

Getting back to this book, Jane-- Well, didn't you think it was well-written?

JANE:

Well-written? You mean no split infinitives and things like that?

MARGE:

Well, I mean--

JANE:

(INTERRUPTS) Oh, just a minute, Marge. (TO ACE) You see how I learn, dear?

MR. ACE:

Yes, Jane, that's--

JANE:

(CUTS HIM OFF) Excuse me, Marge. Go ahead.

MARGE:

Well, uh, I mean, this book has a message.

JANE:

Oh, if I want a message, I can call Western Union.

MR. ACE:

Hmmmm.

MARGE:

Oh ho! I see I'm not getting anywhere with you.

JANE:

(NOSTALGIC AGAIN) Oh, but the books we used to read back home, Marge. Remember?

MARGE:

Mm, vaguely, Jane.

JANE:

Oh, I don't. I remember every one of 'em. Remember the book we read called "Marge"?

MR. ACE:

A book called "Marge"?

JANE:

Yes, we got it at the library after school one day. We took it because she was Marge's nameplate.

MR. ACE:

Oh, she was, huh?

MARGE:

My nameplate?

JANE:

Mm hmm. Yes, the girl the story was about had the same name as Marge, you see.

MR. ACE:

Mm.

JANE:

Don't you remember that book, Marge? Why, we read it together, and we both cried, except you. I read it twice. Don't tell me you don't remember that book, Marge?

MARGE:

Oh, that was years ago. I'm afraid I've forgotten it.

JANE:

I'll tell you the story.

MR. ACE:

(EXASPERATED, TO MARGE) Oh, couldn't you have said you remembered it?

MARGE:

(LOW) Mm, yes, [but it'd be most fake now.?] (UP, UNCONVINCING) Yes, I remember it very well, Jane.

JANE:

Oh, you do not. What was the story?

MARGE:

Well, it was a story about a girl named Marge--

JANE:

(INTERRUPTS, HAPPILY) Yeah, that's it! I thought you'd forgotten it.

MR. ACE:

Uh huh.

JANE:

Wasn't that a story? That was a story, not like this book. "Moving forces abroad in the world today"! What kind of talk is that for a fella with a girl? Especially when they're alone. Oh, they're alone when he says this to her, you know. Did I tell you they were alone?

MR. ACE:

Yes, Jane, I think you did.

JANE:

Yes, they're alone, and that's the way he talks. That's not the way they used to talk in the old books. Oh, those were the days.

MR. ACE:

(IRONIC) Yeah, that was the life.

JANE:

Yes, it's a great life if you don't waken.

MR. ACE:

Mmm, you said it.

JANE:

But this book -- ugh!

MR. ACE:

Ugh, huh?

JANE:

Now, on the other hand, take that record Ethel's husband sent us. Now, that's something.

MR. ACE:

Oh, the record, yeah.

JANE:

Mm hmm. I wrote him, thanking him for it. I wrote him a separate note. Here it is. Oh, have I sealed it? No. Listen to this. (READS) "Dear Homer, Thanks so much for the wonderful record you sent us. It's simply beautiful and it was so thoughtful of you to send it. We've all had so much pleasure out of it that I can't begin to tell you because Bing Crosby is our favorite and we certainly are getting a kick out of this record. And you can imagine how much more we will enjoy it when we get a Victrola and play it."

MARGE:

(CRACKS UP WITH LAUGHTER)

MR. ACE:

Oh, when we get a Victrola, we're really gonna start enjoying it?

JANE:

Yes. I thought it was very sweet of him to send it.

MR. ACE:

Yes.

JANE:

I don't know how Ethel happened to pick a book like this, though. She usually sends us such nice things.

MARGE:

Now, Jane, I don't think that's the right spirit. After all, it's not the gift, you know; it's the spirit in which it was sent.

JANE:

Oh, yes, I shouldn't have said that, huh?

MR. ACE:

I should say you shouldn't have.

JANE:

No, I shouldn't. I'm sorry. But, anyhow, it is an awful book.

MR. ACE:

(EXASPERATED) Ohhhh, Jane.

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, what's the use?

JANE:

Well, what's the use of kidding ourselves? Bing Crosby sings a song and there's no moving forces abroad in the world; he just sings. I can understand that.

MR. ACE:

But you can't understand the book?

JANE:

I certainly can't. I wish you would read it and see if you can. But you don't even read any books -- every night with that newspaper.

MR. ACE:

Well, there are moving forces abroad in the world today that the papers are full of.

JANE:

That's what I mean! I don't see how you can read those papers every day.

MR. ACE:

Well, I like to know the news, Jane.

JANE:

Aw, it's the same thing every day, only about different people.

MR. ACE:

Mmm.

JANE:

That's all you find in those papers. Put it down, read this book. Dear, I want you to read this from A to finish. I want you to see if I'm not right that it's no good. Start reading it now. And I want you to read a little bit every night after dinner.

MR. ACE:

Oh, that's my homework, huh?

JANE:

Yeah. (CHUCKLES) Oh, remember homework, Marge?

MARGE:

(CHUCKLES) Jane, you're in a reminiscing mood, aren't you?

JANE:

Yes, aren't I? Remember how we used to do our homework real fast so we could read our books. That's when we read those beautiful love stories. Those lovers in those books used to say things to the girl that meant something.

MR. ACE:

You mean, when you used to think of him as Ronald Colman?

JANE:

No, in those days, it was Ramon Novarro.

MR. ACE:

Oh, Ramon Novarro?

JANE:

Remember him, Marge? Oh, I used to think about him all the time. I used to think about what I'd say when I met him.

MR. ACE:

Oh, you never met him, though?

JANE:

No, I met you, dear.

MR. ACE:

Ohhh.

MARGE:

Well, what an anticlimax. (CHUCKLES)

MR. ACE:

Well, I've had some real competition, though, haven't I? Ronald Colman, Ramon Novarro--

JANE:

Oh, well -- you're not so bad, dear.

MR. ACE:

Thanks, Jane. That's mighty decent of you.

JANE:

Well, you're better than the fella in that book.

MARGE:

Oh, that book's very good. Don't listen to her.

JANE:

Marge, how can you say that? What little I read, I can see right away, is not gonna be good. He doesn't even marry Martha.

MARGE:

Jane, how do you know that if you didn't read the whole book?

JANE:

Well, I told you; I skipped.

MARGE:

Well, that's not fair. You're not in a position to judge a book that you only scanned through.

JANE:

I know what I like and what I don't, and this book is it. It's not only not interesting, but it's long and the print is small and it's too heavy to hold up in bed if you want to read before sleeping. And-- Oh, there's a lot of things wrong with it too humorous to mention.

MR. ACE:

(WRY) Outside of that, though, it's all right?

JANE:

Outside of what? I mentioned everything wrong. It's just no good. Well, I guess I better get back to my letter.

MR. ACE:

Yes, I guess you better.

JANE:

Uh, where was I? Oh, yes. It's W-R-I-T-E? Is that final, dear?

MR. ACE:

Yes, Jane.

JANE:

(READS) "Dear Ethel, I'm glad you found time to at last write me." (SOURLY) All right, "to write me at last."

MR. ACE:

(INNOCENTLY) I didn't say anything.

JANE:

No, but I saw that tone in your eye. Now, don't bother me; I want to finish this. Uh, let me see here. (BUSIES HERSELF WITH LETTER)

MR. ACE:

(ASIDE, TO MARGE) How do you like that for starting an argument?

MARGE:

Well, you did bring up the split infinitive.

MR. ACE:

Yeah, but did I know it was almost gonna split up our home?

MARGE:

Well, you should know better. (CHUCKLES) And, if you get time, read this book. You'll like it.

MR. ACE:

Yes, I know I will.

JANE:

Well, I don't think I'll write any more; I've said enough I think.

MARGE:

You finished, Jane?

JANE:

Yeah, I think so. I said, uh-- (READS) "Dear Ethel, I'm glad you found time to write me at last. I want to thank you for the book you sent me. It was simply lovely. And I don't know when I enjoyed reading anything more."

MR. ACE:

What?! After all we just went through?!

MARGE:

(LAUGHS) That's the spirit, Jane!

MR. ACE:

Oh ho!

JANE:

But, between you and I, it's no good.

MR. ACE:

Jane, between you and me.

JANE:

Oh! I split another infinitive, Marge.

MARGE:

(LAUGHS)

MR. ACE:

No, that's not a split-- Oh, never mind. (FADES OUT)