Father's Day

By Tom Zander


A new husband is worried whether he is ready for fatherhood.



JACK &endash; middle aged, sincere, and kindly
BILL &endash; early 20's, eager but full of self-doubts
DEBBIE &endash; Jack's 16-year-old daughter
STEVE &endash; Jack's 13-year-old son


Short section of something to suggest a fence between the two yards
A rake for Jack
Grass clippers for Bill to pretend to use
Car keys in Jack' pocket



Scene: Bill and Jack are in their respective back yards; Bill is pretending to work, while looking over his shoulder, as Jack enters carrying a rake and starting to use it.

JACK: Hey, Bill, how's it going?

BILL: (LOOKS UP DISTRACTEDLY) Huh? Oh, hi, Jack. O.K., I guess.

JACK: I have to tell you, neighbor, I've seen cows cut grass faster than that!

BILL: (GETS UP AND COMES TO FENCE) I'm not really cutting grass. (LOOKS TO SEE WHO IS LISTENING) I'm hiding from my wife.

JACK: (CHUCKLES AS HE REMINISCES) Ah, yes, the first year of marriage!

BILL: No, I really am hiding from her!

JACK: Uh-oh, trouble in paradise?

BILL: Not exactly . . .

JACK: Not exactly trouble, or not exactly paradise?

BILL: (LAUGHS) Both! I guess I'd call it . . . potential trouble. (JACK NODS ENCOURAGINGLY) Carol's been after me to start a family . . .

JACK: Hey, congratulations, Bill!

BILL: Whoa, Jack, not so fast! We're still at the negotiating stage.

JACK: I see. Carol's gung-ho, and you're having some doubts? (BILL NODS) Money?

BILL: No, we're O.K. on that end. Besides, my dad always said, it you wait to have kids until you can afford to, you never will!

JACK: (LAUGHS) He got that right! What is it then, if you don't mind my asking?

BILL: Well, I just can't picture myself as a Dad! I'm still a kid myself! My dad's been old as long as I've known him!

JACK: Let me ask you this: When you go to McDonalds, does the kid behind the counter say, "Do you want fries with that?" or "Do you want fries with that, Sir?"

BILL: (THINKS A MOMENT) Oh, no! It's true! They call me "sir"!

JACK: Face it, Bill, you're practically a fogey! (DEBBIE ENTERS)

DEBBIE: Hey, Dad!? Oh, hi, Mr. Ramsey, how are you doing, Sir? (BILL POINTS AND PANTOMIME LAUGHS AS BILL ROLLS HIS EYES) Dad, can I borrow the car?

JACK: Is the front yard done?

DEBBIE: Yeah. Stevie's just raking up the clippings.

JACK: (DIGGING KEYS OUT OF HIS POCKET) No babysitting tonight?

DEBBIE: Not tonight. I guess everybody's staying home, so I can go out.

BILL: Oh, do you babysit, Debbie?

DEBBIE: (SHRUGS) Sure. Lots of folks in the neighborhood have little kids.

BILL: What do you like best about it?

DEBBIE: I like the newborns best. They're so little and helpless, and they smell good; well, most of the time!

BILL: (SUDDEN PANIC) Little and helpless! Jack, why are they so small?

JACK: So you'll spend a lot of time on your knees. Believe me, you will! (TURNS TO DEBBIE AGAIN) Where're you off to tonight, the mall?

DEBBIE: Yeah, a bunch of us are going to see "Titanic".

JACK: Again? How many times is that?


JACK: (TAKES A COUPLE OF STEPS IN HER DIRECTION AND CALLS) Debbie, drive carefully! And no cruising; I'll check the odometer!

BILL: You see? I just can't picture myself doing that!

JACK: Doing what?

BILL: Casually handing the keys to a $20,000 car to a . . . a child!

JACK: Well, Leslie and I have been "casually " working up to that moment for about 16 years now.

BILL: So like, potty training has a lot to do with driving ability?

JACK: (LAUGHS) That's a little oversimplified, but yes. You know, they have to crawl before they can walk before they can run . . .

BILL: . . . before they can drive! I get it. (HE SEES STEVE APPROACHING) Hi, Steve, how's it going?

STEVE: Hi, Mr. Ramsey. Dad, the front yard is all raked. Can I have my allowance now?

JACK: Well, let me go inspect the job first. (STEVE ROLLS HIS EYES) Excuse me, Bill, I'll be right back. (EXITS)

BILL: (AFTER AN AWKWARD PAUSE) So, Steve, how's school going?

STEVE: (SHRUGS) O.K., I guess. It's school.

BILL: What are you, ninth grade now?

STEVE: Seventh.

BILL: You're pretty big for your age, Steve. Pretty soon you'll be able to take on the old man, huh?

STEVE: You mean my dad? (NERVOUS LAUGH) I don't think so.

BILL: C'mon, I'll bet you could. He's getting pretty old.

STEVE: (RISING TO THE BAIT) Naw, he's pretty strong.

BILL: (GOADING) I don't think he's that tough.

STEVE: Yeah, he is! I bet my dad could beat up your dad!


STEVE: Bet he could!

BILL: Could not!


BILL: Uh, . . . nothing. We were just talking.

JACK: Here's your allowance, Steve. You did a nice job on the front yard. It looks great.

STEVE: Thanks. (PULLS DAD ASIDE) Dad, Mr. Ramsey's acting kind of weird; is he O.K.?

JACK: It's all right, Steve, I think he has a lot on his mind. (GUIDES STEVE TOWARD HOUSE) I'll talk to you later.

BILL: (UPSET BY HIS REGRESSION) Uh, . . . nice kid you have there, Jack. Boy, he sure thinks a lot of you.

JACK: Oh? I'm glad. Everything all right, Bill?

BILL: Yeah, . . . yeah. I was just thinking about my dad. Man, he was a tough old bird.

JACK: Yeah, mine too. (GENTLE TEASE) Although I doubt he could beat up your dad.

BILL: (CAUGHT!) Oh, I was just . . . um, teasing . . . I guess I got carried away for a minute there. Sorry. (PAUSE AND SMILE) You know, I can remember only one time that I ever saw my dad stay home sick from work. I wasn't in school yet, and he was up in bed all day, coughing and hacking with some wicked cold.

JACK: Only one time?

BILL: Hey, I said he was tough! Anyway, I was so surprised he actually got sick, I spent all morning looking under beds and in closets. I was sure there had to be some Kryptonite in the house somewhere!

JACK: (CHUCKLES) I guess every kid thinks his dad is some kind of Superman . . .

BILL: (EARNESTLY) Jack, I don't know if I can be Superman!

JACK: (GENTLY) You know what, Bill? Even Superman wasn't Superman all the time. Sometimes he had to be Clark Kent.

BILL: Really?

JACK: Yeah, really. And you're not going to be in this alone. Don't forget, you have Lois Lane on your side.

BILL: Oh, yeah, Carol. So, you think I really can be a dad?

JACK: You bet! In fact, I'm encouraged that you're even worried about it. It shows that you take this whole thing seriously. I bet you'll make a great dad!


JACK: Bill, if you don't get back inside and re-open negotiations, you'll never find out.

BILL: Huh? Oh, yeah! I guess I should . . . Thanks, Jack. Thanks a lot.

JACK: (RESUMES YARD WORK) Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, up in the sky (BLACKOUT) . . . it's a bird, it's a plane, . . . it's Superdad!



© Tom Zander 1999
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.
He may be contacted at: framertom@gowebway.com