Beta

Farmhouse

JIM has a pile of scratch off coupons on the table. He scratches away at one, scoffs, discards it. Starts on the next one. WESLEY walks in and addresses him. WESLEY remains standing.

WESLEY: Jim, the porch.

JIM: A lovely place to drink lemonade and entertain guests. Broad as it is deep. Center of Southern society. The Civil War was lost and won on the porches.

WESLEY: You know what I mean.

JIM: A lovely place to feed the mosquitos. Wide as it is long. Great way to take in nature without having to get out of your easy chair.

WESLEY: You promised to paint it before the buyers came. JIM: I was practicing my salesmanship just then. How did

I do?
WESLEY: You said you’d paint it.
JIM: Are you listening to me?
WESLEY: You said you’d paint the porch! JIM: Who said that?
WESLEY: Don’t be contrary.
JIM: I’m not being contrary.
WESLEY: Yes you are. And obstructionist. JIM: Am not.

WESLEY: We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago. Yes you have a phone, I talked to you on the phone. And I said

“How about the porch?” And you said “It’s fine, it’s fine.” And I said “How about painting it?” And you said “Sure thing, sure thing.”

JIM: Oh, yes, now it rings a bell. Rings a bell. WESLEY: But the paint is peeling in chunks. JIM: I was going to get around to it-

WESLEY: Huge chunks. You have to wade through the chunks just to get into the house.

JIM: But it’s been a rough winter. We had some bad weather around here-

WESLEY: Oh really. Bad weather.
JIM: We had a bad case of horizontal snow. WESLEY: What is that?

JIM: You never seen the horizontal snow? Oh, it’s the worst kind of all. It starts coming down normal, all white and pretty and unassuming. But before you know it, some feller upstairs flips the clouds on their sides and the snow comes walloping in the front door! People freeze to death in the horizontal snow! It fills up their houses and they freeze right then and there on the spot.

WESLEY: Uh-huh.

JIM: You can’t paint a porch in the horizontal snow.

WESLEY: I see it’s been a rough winter.

JIM: I can’t say it’s been my favorite if you put ‘em all to- gether.

WESLEY: I’m assuming you’ve got a new place lined up.

JIM: Yes, I do have a new place lined up. No, it isn’t ideal.

WESLEY: Well, we’ve all got to compromise.

JIM: Compromise? That’s a word I’ve never heard coming out of your mouth before! Say it again.

WESLEY: Compromise.
JIM: One more time, for the ages!
WESLEY: COMPROMISE!
JIM: It almost sounds natural! Do it again! Do it again! WESLEY: Ok, I’ve had enough now.

JIM: (stands up, finally) Every once in a while I like to remind you that I am 8 years older than you, have always been and always will be.

WESLEY: Not when you’re dead.

JIM: That means 8 years more maturity, experience, intelli- gence and, as my birthright-

WESLEY: Birthright, HA!
JIM: -as my birthright-
WESLEY: Primogeniture is a thing of the past.

JIM: AHEM! As my birthright, I am always entitled ‘til the day I die to beat the living daylights out of you if I see fit, which let’s recall, I haven’t don’t in coming on 35 years.

WESLEY: That long? Time flies!

JIM: That also means when you were holed up in your room reading comic books and picking your nose, I was slav- ing away making a living.

WESLEY: Slaving away. Yeah, I recall that. Rings a bell.

JIM: Yes I was.

WESLEY: Uh huh. Slaving away at the pillow factory. And then slaving away at the dollar store. And then slaving away at the gas station. And then slaving away driving peoples old couches to the dumpster. And then slaving away driving the truck for Uncle Jerry’s garden supply company until you drove his truck the wrong way down a one way street.

JIM: The sign was obscured!

WESLEY: And if I recall correctly you continued to drive his truck until you were thankfully stopped by the front wall of Pigs-R-Us. You know there’s still a hole in the front wall of Pigs-R-Us! You can see right into the kitchen!

JIM: It isn’t called Pigs-R-Us anymore. It’s called the Check- ered Pig because Toys-R-Us made them change the name. I’m surprised you haven’t heard.

WESLEY: The point is I don’t remember a lot of slaving.

JIM: I do remember a lot of nose-picking.

WESLEY: I’ve always had a prominent nose. It has nothing to do with nose-picking. It’s a myth that it makes your nose bigger.

JIM: Sure. Prominent. That’s how I’d describe it. WESLEY: Where is the new place?
JIM: Basset.

They both sit down.

WESLEY: Where?
JIM: Next to where the Taco Bell used to be.
WESLEY: Oh. There?
JIM: It isn’t ideal but it’s fine.
WESLEY: You mean in the park?
JIM: No! Good Lord, no. I would never. Next to the park. WESLEY: (skeptical but maybe relieved?) Oh. Good. Good.

JIM: Right next to the park. But not in the park. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a park. I don’t need to move to a park. Are you implying that you think I am in a situation where I would need to move to a park?

WESLEY: I didn’t say that.

JIM: Well, I don’t.

WESLEY: Good. Good for you.

JIM: I can take care of myself.

WESLEY: Good. I believe you.

JIM: And I have a pop-up camper. I take the pop-up camper to music festivals. That’s what I use it for.

WESLEY: I know what a pop-up camper is. JIM: I was just checking.
WESLEY: So, the porch.

JIM: Geez, Wesley! It isn’t painted. It’s not going to be paint- ed today or tomorrow or the next day or probably ever. Because I am not going to get on my hands and knees to paint a porch for some other people to walk all over. If they want it, they can paint it. You can paint it. Any- body can paint it. Make Nathan paint it. He doesn’t look busy enough.

WESLEY: One thing to keep in mind. The less we get on this house, the less you get.

JIM: I don’t want a single penny.