MY GRANDPA'S BIG FAT BIRTHDAY PARTY
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A Play In Two Acts
ACT ONE: THE PLANS
Scene 1: On the telephone with GRANDMA and UNCLE GRANDPA's 71st birthday is fast approaching, and GRANDMA wants to do something funny. Thankfully enough, she runs her idea past the other family members first.
GRANDMA We're having Dad's birthday party at Anita's house, right?
GRANDMA I was thinking what I should do is dress up like a prostitute or a stripper or something and dance around and whatnot. He'd think at first that we got him a hooker.
The funny part about this idea was supposed to be that GRANDPA once waved at a hooker while in his car without knowing what she was and almost found himself engaged with her.
GRANDMA (continuing) I could wear lots of boas and a lot of bad makeup and black out my teeth. Wouldn't that be funny?
UNCLE No, it wouldn't. Maybe for two seconds, but then it would be really sad. No one wants to see that, Mom.
GRANDMA Oh. Okay.
UNCLE Get someone else to do it. Talk to Anita.
Scene 2: On the telephone with GRANDMA and MOM (aka Anita) GRANDMA explains to MOM her idea and UNCLE's disagreement.
MOM Oh oh oh oh! We'll get Ryan to do it!
RYAN is the boyfriend of my sister, KAREN. They've been going out for a number of months now, and the running joke is that once he's through with KAREN, I, LAURA, get him. After me, UNCLE and then GRANDPA and then DAD. He fits right into the family. Everybody loves RYAN.
GRANDMA Would he?
MOM Sure. We'll make him. We'll get the makeup on and a wig and a dress and boas and everything ooooooh this is going to be so good!
Scene 3: RYAN's Answer RYAN is asked whether or not he would be willing to pretend to be a garish stripper who keeps on her clothes.
ACT TWO: THE PARTY
Scene 1: Beautifying RYAN RYAN is being prepared by KAREN in one of the upstairs bedrooms while the party commences downstairs.
LAURA What the hell are you wearing?
RYAN I don't know.
KAREN Sorry. I saw it in your room and it was perfect.
RYAN is wearing my sexy lingerie that really doesn't look so sexy on me because it's a size or two too big. It's silky and flowered and bright red. It is perfect.
LAURA That's okay. Anyway, here are your shoes. They're small, but they're supposed to be. Just step on the backs.
LAURA We're playing "Lady Marmalade" when you come in, okay? The Christina Aguilera one.
RYAN No. You are not allowed. I can't do that.
LAURA I wanted to play "Sweet Transvestite" but Mom said no way. They like the strippers but not the transvestites.
RYAN No music.
Scene 2: RYAN the stripper Downstairs, the guests have arrived and been seated, a part of whom are older, respected members of the church community.
MOM We have one more guest here tonight. She's a nice lady we met downtown when we were waving at random people, and we thought she'd like to be here tonight. Please welcome ....
RYAN descends the stairs, radiating prostitutional beauty: bright lipstick he evidently applied himself, bright blue eyeshadow and black mascara, eyebrows much heavier than his natural, an old-lady wig upon the back of which is affixed a fake ponytail of a different colour, a white lady's hat from decades ago, pantyhose, bright red high-heeled shoes, a bright red purse, a feathery boa, and, most notably, bright, shiny baby blue shorts peeking coquettishly if not modestly from beneath his lovely bright red "dress", under the top of which can be spotted a lovely white lacy bra stuffed with scarves. "Lady Marmalade" pounds from the stereo.
MOM ... Harriet!
Applause, laughter, etc. as RYAN struts over to the loveseat, where sits GRANDPA. UNCLE has video camera trained on the scene.
RYAN Hey, baby.
RYAN takes the boa from around his shoulders and whips it around the back of GRANDPA's neck, eventually giving up on his shoes and throwing down his purse.
GRANDPA Harriet, nice to meet you.
RYAN collapses onto the loveseat and draws GRANDPA's head down to RYAN's ample but fake bosom. GRANDMA begins to cry; from mirth or from jealousy, we know not.
RYAN Happy birthday, lover. I'm your present.
GRANDPA I am so happy. Thank you, thank you so much. Oh, Harriet!
The laughter does eventually die, but not for some time; only after they pretend to kiss through the hat, to reminisce over their first but fateful meeting, etc. RYAN eventually makes his way back upstairs to return to his regular self, and the birthday party continues as most regular birthday parties do.
GRANDPA I was almost turned on.
The curtain falls.
Laura Joldersma is the future of North American theatre.