Disclaimer: ‘Tis the season for another writing project! Recently, while at a rehearsal for my theater group’s production of Miracle on 34th Street, I was speaking to a fellow cast member about how it would be fun to do a play in which all of the major Christmas movies were combined into one story. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to squeeze all of them in, so I picked a couple of the more “classic” tales to mash up. I have tried to include as many original movie quotes as I can; so for the most part, the dialog won’t be entirely mine.
Act 1, Scene 3
(Lucy is seated at her psychiatrist booth. Fred Gayley approaches and sits down on the stool in front of the booth.)
Lucy: May I help you?
Gayley: Well, I suppose so. I’ve never seen road stand psychiatry before, but you’ve got to be better than the last psychology expert I saw.
Lucy: Oh, and who was that?
Gayley: Some quack named Sawyer. He works with my neighbor Doris.
Lucy: I’ve heard of Sawyer. (Lowering her voice conspiratorially) You know, rumor has it that he’s not really a psychiatrist.
Gayley: That I can believe. But I didn’t come here to talk about him.
Lucy: Wait a minute. Before we begin, I request that you pay in advance. (Holds out a can) Five cents, please.
(Gayley rummages in his pocket and produces a nickel which he drops into the can.)
Lucy: (Shaking the can) Boy, what a sound! How I love the sound of clinking money! That beautiful sound of cold, hard cash! Nickels, nickels, nickels! That beautiful sound of clinking nickels!
Gayley: Can we start now?
Lucy: (Setting the can down) Yes, Mr….?
Gayley: Gayley. Call me Fred, please.
Lucy: Very well, Fred. What seems to be the trouble?
Gayley: It’s about the neighbor I was telling you about, Doris. Doris Walker. You see, I really like her, but I’m afraid she feels that being neighbors, and baby sitter for her daughter Susan, is as close as she wants me to get.
Lucy: I see. Go on.
Gayley: Well, Doris won’t socialize since her divorce. She just concentrates on Susan and her career. I don’t think she trusts love anymore.
Lucy: Hmm. An old, sad story…Perhaps there’s something about you that is off-putting.
Lucy: However, this is something that you and I can do something about. Are you afraid of responsibility? If you are, then you have hypengyophobia.
Gayley: No, I’m not afraid of responsibility. I may not put as much value on common sense as Doris does, but…
Lucy: How about cats? If you’re afraid of cats, you have ailurophasia.
Gayley: Cats? What do cats have to do with anything?
Lucy: Are you afraid of staircases? If you are, then you have climacaphobia. Maybe you have thalassophobia. This is fear of the ocean, or gephyrobia, which is the fear of crossing bridges. Or maybe you have pantophobia. Do you think you have pantophobia?
Gayley: And what, may I ask, is pantophobia?
Lucy: The fear of everything.
Gayley: (Exasperated) Can’t you get over being afraid? What is this? Did you and Sawyer take the same correspondence course?
Lucy: There’s no need for hostility, Fred. I’m only asking routine examination questions.
Gayley: All right, all right.
Lucy: The answer to your problem is quite simple. Just keep showing your interest in her, and be aware of her feelings. Above all, you must have faith in her.
Gayley: I’ve tried all that. It hasn’t done any good so far.
Lucy: (After a pause) Have you considered giving her real estate?