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A Play in 1 Act


Scott C. Sickles

Copyright � 1993 by Scott C. Sickles

  1. Chapel Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Home: (412) 366-3239 VOX: (412) 734-8951

Cast of Characters

JOSHUA: 50s, David's father, gay and Jewish PHILIP: late 30s, Joshua's Irish lover CHARLOTTE: 40s, David's mother, Southern DAVID: 20s, Joshua and Charlotte's son BERNADETTE: 20s, David's friend from Brooklyn

Scene Joshua and Philip's living room and den.

Time A few days before Christmas.

SETTING: The set represents a living room and a den which must be discernibly separate rooms. A Christmas tree decorates the living room. A menorah decorates the den. AT RISE: Late afternoon. Offstage, Christmas music is heard. Lights come up in the den. JOSHUA writes out checks. He is in his fifties. PHILIP enters with a glass of wine and a glass of whiskey. JOSHUA doesn't notice him. PHILIP has an Irish accent. He also hands JOSHUA the whiskey while he daintily sips the wine. Otherwise, Philip's characteristics are generally masculine.

PHILIP Dinner's cooking and I loaded the camera for the family portrait. You almost ready? They'll be here soon.

JOSHUA I know. I know. I'm trying to get these bills out before Charlotte gets here. If she sees my account balance before I pay everything, she'll stop the alimony. Then, where would you sleep?

PHILIP Doomcalls from someone who's never experienced the romance of a park bench. I mean a real bench. Not that stupid futon thing we've got in the attic.

JOSHUA Say that again.

PHILIP What? Futon?

JOSHUA You have no idea how much it turns me on when you say that. The way your "goyish", Celtic lips pucker Like a cross between a kiss and a scowl. It kills me. You're mamish killing me. You know that?

PHILIP Get over it, for Christ's sake. I'll kiss and scowl at you when the guests leave. I'll even do it in that order, if you like.

JOSHUA Fine. Torment me. Turn my balls blue. If my suffering makes you happy, then by all means�

PHILIP You keep forgetting, Joshua: just because I'm Irish, doesn't mean I'm Catholic. The guilt thing's wearing a bit thin.

JOSHUA How do you have religion without guilt? It's like a rabbi without a yarmulke.

PHILIP We Protestants call it duty. It helps us feel better about how bad we feel. Now, let's aggregate our fecal matter, shall we? Put the checkbook away. Charlotte won't see it.

JOSHUA Don't bet on it. Southern shiksas have their ways.

PHILIP Shut your gob. I've got everything ready. The turkey's in the oven and the vegetables require just some heating. The bar's stocked and flowing quite nicely, I must say.

JOSHUA Just don't let it flow too much. Shit. I forgot I paid for the booze with my MAC card. If Charlotte sees the balance, I'll mention she's drinking it. What is it you're drinking, by the way?

PHILIP (his dialect makes "ankh" sound like a duck's quack:) Leftover Mogen David Blackberry. I've decorated the Chirstmas-tree-slash-Chaka-Kahn-bush with bright ornaments, tinsel, little stars of David, icicles, a pork-free manger with three wise men and a rabbi, and a great big ankh on top.

JOSHUA What on top?

PHILIP An ankh. Ankh. You know, the fucking cross with the loop on the top.

JOSHUA An ankh?

PHILIP What the hell do you think I've been saying, you twit?


PHILIP What the hell was that?

JOSHUA It's not important. Did you make kugel? David loves kugel.

PHILIP I tried, but I can't do that to noodles. It's not right.

JOSHUA Neither is split pea and ham soup for a sedar, but you managed that.

PHILIP Well, if you'd have let me handle the bloody matzo balls instead of pulling rank on me, that never would have happened. Like your people were chosen by God for the singular purpose of making those balls.

JOSHUA You're right. I know how good you are with mine; I should have had faith in you with the soup's. What kind of soup did you prepare for this focacta dinner anyway?

PHILIP Italian kreplach. I washed off some Chef Boy-are-dee raviolis and dumped them in Lipton noodle soup. Nobody'll know the difference.

JOSHUA May God strike you dead if you're telling the truth.

PHILIP Why would he do that? Never did when I lied. I hear a car.

JOSHUA See if it's David. Oh, my boy is coming home at last. My prodigal son. My gay Moses. Did I tell you how, when he was just a freshman, he was elected president of the College Queers or whatever they were called? My baby: Malcha of the Fagelas.

PHILIP Only about eight times a year.

JOSHUA He single handedly led six football players, two members of the Student Jesus Fellowship and one Young Republican out of the closet. Is that him? Is it my Davila?

PHILIP (looking out window) Ah, no. It's just your fucking ex-wife.

JOSHUA Early as usual. I wonder if she'll get drunk off her ass and make a pass at her son's boyfriend. It was such a hit last year, let's make it a tradition. The Second Annual Judeo-Christian-Southern-Baptist-Mother-Son Chickenhawking contest. First prize is a Love Connection date with a scholarship athlete of drinking age and a lifetime pass to Chippendale's.

SOUND: Doorbell.

PHILIP I'll get it.

JOSHUA Enter the Dragon.

(CHARLOTTE, a tastefully dressed middle aged Southern lady with a venomous disposition, enters.)

CHARLOTTE Well, if it isn't Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick.

(Pause. Then CHARLOTTE and PHILIP bust out laughing and hug each other. JOSHUA isn't terribly pleased.)

PHILIP I gotta tell ya', Josh. I love this old lass of yours.

CHARLOTTE Well, aren't you the dearest? Let me return the compliment.

JOSHUA Hello, fucking ex-wife.

CHARLOTTE Joshua. You're looking well.

JOSHUA That's his fault.

PHILIP He's upset over the diet I've got him on. All he does these days is lose weight and "kervach."

JOSHUA That's kvetch.

PHILIP I know. I say it that way just to get on your nerves.

JOSHUA And why shouldn't I kvetch?

CHARLOTTE He certainly did enough of that while I was married to him. Why on earth would he stop now?

JOSHUA I thought I could stop. I left Scarlett O'Hara for Rhett Butler and ended up with a cross between Liam Neeson and Richard Simmons. He tried to get me to exercise.

CHARLOTTE I can just see you in a leotard. "Leo-tard." Is that one word or two? I wonder how many of mine you've tried on.

JOSHUA We found an alternate solution.

CHARLOTTE Water aerobics with the Polar Bear Club Ladies Auxiliary?

JOSHUA Whenever he thinks I need exercise, he schtups the shit out of me.

PHILIP For fuck's sake, do you have to be so bloody vulgar all the gad damn time? You're in the presence of a lady.

JOSHUA I know. Then she walked into the room.

CHARLOTTE I did not come here to be insulted.

JOSHUA Where do you usually go?

PHILIP Ladies, please. Don't be getting your knickers twisted on such a happy day.

JOSHUA Ah, yes. We aren't here for each other. We're here for David. Fruit of our loins.

CHARLOTTE I wish you'd stop calling him that. I should have fought you for custody. Why I didn't, I'll never know.

JOSHUA At the time you thought you were Blanche DuBois trying to get schtupped by pretty young boys.

CHARLOTTE Yes. I should have realized I was actually Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer.

JOSHUA Eat me.

CHARLOTTE I was in a loveless marriage to a closeted pervert. Sorry, Philip, but it was true. When we were younger, I was swept away by the young, rakish carpetbagger who looked longingly at me in my hoop skirt. Little did I know he wanted the hoop skirt and not me.

JOSHUA When have I ever cross-dressed?

PHILIP That Halloween party you went as a nun and I went as a naughty Catholic schoolgirl possessed by Satan.

JOSHUA Outside of Halloween and purim.

PHILIP He's got a point there, Lottie. He's not into the TV scene.

CHARLOTTE What do you mean? I couldn't get him away from the damn thing.

PHILIP I mean transvestite, cross-dresser, "looks-like-a-pump-so-I'll-ditch-my-sneakers" thing. Not as much as I am.

CHARLOTTE I beg your pardon? No. But you're such a rugged, masculine, what did Joshua call you� Mensch. That's it. You are mensch. I couldn't even imagine�

PHILIP You should see me in a leather mini and bustier. I'd knock your socks off, or confuse you for a good while at least.

JOSHUA He's got great polkis. Legs like butter.

PHILIP True enough.

CHARLOTTE I know. I've visited in the summer.

JOSHUA Oy, does he have great legs. And his knees have actually met one another. Are yours still at war?

PHILIP I hear another car.

CHARLOTTE I don't hear anything.

JOSHUA He's got good ears, too. Have I mentioned his fingers?

CHARLOTTE More times than I care to remember. Ah, there it is. Oh, it will be so nice to see my baby again.


PHILIP He's in the driveway. And there's someone with him.

JOSHUA I wonder who it could be this time? An athlete, a scholar, a future second Gay President of the United States?

(PHILIP rushes to the door and admits DAVID and his friend, who wears a hooded parka. Shouts of glee come from the parental figures as DAVID hugs PHILIP.)

DAVID Hello, Philip. (JOSHUA and CHARLOTTE vie for attention.) Parents, hello. (Hugs both parents at the same time. As he does this, PHILIP helps David's friend off with their coat to reveal what seems to be a fashionably dressed female.) Oh, I missed you all. Everybody, I'd like you to meet Bernadette. Bernadette, this is my family.

BERNADETTE Nice meeting you all.


JOSHUA (Inspects BERNADETTE's wrists and hands as he shakes them.) I'm David's father. The pleasure is all ours.

BERNADETTE (nervous about the close scrutiny, but trying to maintain calm.) How sweet. Isn't the ring nice?

JOSHUA You have very narrow hands.

BERNADETTE Oh. Thank you?

PHILIP (intervenes between BERNADETTE and JOSHUA) Hi, there. I'm Phil.

BERNADETTE I gathered. David's described you all so vividly. Of course, the snapshots helped. (To CHARLOTTE:) And you must be�

CHARLOTTE You're very good.

JOSHUA Philip. Please, tell I'm I'm wrong.


JOSHUA David's boyfriend�

CHARLOTTE At that "dressing up" thing. The three of us were talking about it a few minutes ago. Although, I never imagined David was interested in such femininity. Tell me, what do you stuff in your bra to make your bust look so real?


JOSHUA Oy, Gavalt.

CHARLOTTE You mean you're�

(JOSHUA buries his face in PHILIP's chest.)

CHARLOTTE You mean those are really yours?

BERNADETTE Yes. My tits, my ass, my uterus. Would you like to get a better look at any of these items?

CHARLOTTE If you think that'll happen, you are in the wrong house.

BERNADETTE David. I thought you already told your mother and fathers about us.

DAVID So did I. Dad, didn't you get my letter? It explained everything.

(CHARLOTTE starts laughing hysterically and embraces and kisses BERNADETTE.)

BERNADETTE David, I thought your father was the gay one.

PHILIP Don't be alarmed, miss. She does this with all of Davy's dates. We're all just a little--

JOSHUA (unsuccessfully holding back tears) I'm sorry, Bernadette. I'm a little feklept. It's been so long since I've seen my Davila. My little boy who I raised since birth to be honest and forthright with not only the world, but himself as well; who has now flattened my heart with a steamroller. It's nothing personal. And if my fucking shiksa ex-wife continues to fondle you like that, it might not even be an issue much longer. If you'll excuse me. (exits to den)

PHILIP Forgive your father, David. He hasn't been this surprised since he saw The Crying Game.

CHARLOTTE I am so happy. I cannot tell you, my dear, sweet child, how happy I am.

BERNADETTE Don't worry. I think I can guess.

DAVID I should have told him in person, but�

BERNADETTE You certainly should have. How do you think that poor man must feel about this?

CHARLOTTE Why didn't you just tell me, David? You know nothing would have made me happier.

DAVID I didn't want Dad to find out through you.

CHARLOTTE I never would have breathed a word to your father about this beautiful, young, female woman. You know that. I'm just too happy to even speak. I mean it. I am simply speechless, dumbfounded and shocked into silence. (Continues to hug and kiss BERNADETTE, until PHILIP pries them apart.)

PHILIP Charlotte, why don't you get everyone a drink? That's a good girl.

(CHARLOTTE skips out to the kitchen.)

DAVID I'll go talk to him.

PHILIP He'll be fine, Davy.

(JOSHUA sobs and wails.)

PHILIP Back in a flash.

(PHILIP enters the den. Lights up on PHILIP and JOSHUA in the den. DAVID and BERNADETTE talk in the living room.)

PHILIP Stop your crying, for fuck's sake! We can hear you wailing like a banshee.

JOSHUA Oh, sure. Fine. This is easy for you. He's not your son.

PHILIP Actually, he is. Charlotte and I never told you 'cause we didn't want to hurt your feelings.

BERNADETTE I don't know what to say, David. I'm a woman, and a very feminine and well dressed one to boot. I did not know what to expect when I got here. After all, your family isn't exactly� Anyway, look at me and tell me� (stands, walks back and forth to model her outfit) Do I even remotely look like a transvestite? Now, I know there are some men who are very convincing. For instance, that snap of Philip dressed as Hillary Clinton had me going. But is there anything about me, David - about my face, my figure, my manner - that would indicate I'm a man in drag?

DAVID I think you're incredibly sexy.

BERNADETTE From you, David, that does not answer my question.

(DAVID pulls her onto the couch with him.)

DAVID Get down here, you vixen. To tell you the truth, you're a little too mensch for a drag queen. (She slaps him playfully.) Keep it up, I'll have to call 911. You know I love hot-blooded, brawlingly tempestuous Italians.

BERNADETTE Like Sylvester Stallone. Just what a girl wants to hear.

(They kiss passionately.)

JOSHUA How did this happen? I'm not into women. His mother's not into women.

PHILIP His mother's straight enough.

JOSHUA Which means this is all her fault. That bitch.

(CHARLOTTE enters the living room with four glasses and a bottle of Manischewitz Cream Red Concorde Wine. When she sees DAVID and BERNADETTE kissing, she starts sobbing loudly from sheer joy. They stop kissing.)

CHARLOTTE Don't let me interrupt one of the most long-awaited moments in the history of motherhood. (Pours and hands them each a glass as she speaks.) Of course, like everything in this family, it's a wee bit twisted. In most, perhaps in all other families, the son matures, socializes with women other than his mother, becomes a man and leaves home. In this case, he returns home after finally preferring his own manhood to that of others, and socializes with his mother. It may not be Norman Rockwell, but it's a step in the right direction. I'll be back. The happy couple might be thirsty for something other than� whatever. (crosses toward den, while taking a big swig right out of the bottle.)

PHILIP Now, be fair, kishka. What did your mother say when she found out about you?

JOSHUA My mother was fagela. I'm second generation here. I thought David was the third, but no! Oh, no. What if my mother's genes passed down through me to David and it's my fault?

PHILIP Maybe it's environmental. Davy knew that your ma married a man and loved women. He knew you married a woman and loved men. Now, it's his turn to have relationships with men and love women, and maybe he and Bernadette can have a daughter who sleeps with women and wants men. There's four - count 'em: four - generations of monumentally confused people.

(CHARLOTTE enters the den with two glasses and the wine bottle. She pours and hands them each a glass as she speaks.)

CHARLOTTE Hello. Philip, I thought you might want a drink. And Joshua, I thought you probably need one. Especially after I CHARLOTTE (cont'd) saw those two kissing in the living room. The temperature must have gone up fifteen degrees. (drinks from the bottle) Ah. I love cheap wine.

JOSHUA The same way you like your men.

CHARLOTTE I married you, didn't I? Let's stop this cattiness, shall we? This is a time for celebration. Just think, now we'll be able to have grandchildren.

(DAVID knocks and enters)

DAVID Hi, there. I need to talk to tati.

PHILIP What kind of host would I be, if I let the poor "shikser" sit out there alone? Charlotte, go keep her company.

CHARLOTTE Why me? I'm busy gloating.

PHILIP I hope your figure never gets as circular as your questions. Go on. Don't make me use force.

CHARLOTTE You hooligan, you. Alright. (Hugs and kisses DAVID as she exits.)

PHILIP I'll leave you two.

DAVID You can stay if you want.

PHILIP No. You and your da need to be alone. 'sides, I got to chaperone the ladies. Let me tell you this, Davy. You certainly threw a wrench into this year's Mother-Son-Judeo-Chrisitian-Southern-Baptist-Chickenhawking-Contest.

DAVID I almost lost last year. I figured Bernadette would give me an edge. It's still a horse race, though. Thanks, Philip.

(PHILIP exits to living room.)

JOSHUA Anything else you want to kvetch about? That you're a Gestapo spy blowing up bisexual whales in the name of Jesus?

DAVID Come on, Dad. I didn't mean for this to be a surprise.

JOSHUA Well, it is. How am I supposed to go out there and face your mother? Eventually, she's going to stop humping your� your� girlfriend� long enough to laugh in my face some more.

DAVID So I'm not who you thought I was. I'm not who I thought I was either. But this is who I am. I know you had dreams of me growing up and finding some nice mensch to spend the rest of my life with and help raise artificially inseminated grandchildren who would - simply based on their heredity - be fastidiously neat, not to mention gorgeous in a ball gown or flannel shirt, but it's not going to happen.

CHARLOTTE Tell me, Bernadette: What is it you do?

BERNADETTE I'm an associate at a small Manhattan firm. We handle sexual harassment, abuse, and personal injury cases. It only sounds cheesy, because it is. I'm the first girlfriend David's ever called at work on a one-eight-hundred line. In fact, I'm his first girlfriend.

CHARLOTTE Better late than never.

PHILIP Where did you get that outfit, my dear?

BERNADETTE Uh� Bloomingdale's. Why?

PHILIP I want one just like it, only in mauve.

BERNADETTE Pick more comfortable shoes. These heels are killing me.

PHILIP You call those heels? Lassie, let me show you heels! (grabs Bernadette's arm to lead her away)

CHARLOTTE (grabs Bernadette's arm to keep her put) Tell me, Bernadette: How did you and my son meet?

BERNADETTE At a Gay Pride march.


BERNADETTE I was marching with friends of mine. I live on Manhattan now, so I have tons of queer friends. It's like they've all actually been put on island somewhere, and into my building. I used to room with a gay guy, but it didn't work out. I got jealous of these gorgeous men he'd bring home. You know what that's like, don't you?

CHARLOTTE I can imagine.

JOSHUA How did you think you were going to you let me down easy? "Dad, remember in The Godfather, when the schlemeel says Luca Brazzi sleeps with the fishes? The bad news is I'm sleeping with them too. The good news is I'm in vaginas instead of concrete shoes." Gee, David. I'm so relieved.

DAVID So, you did read it.

JOSHUA David! So help me, if that letter said anything like that, may all your teeth fall out of your head except one so you can have a toothache!

DAVID What? You would have preferred, maybe: "Dear Dad, a lot's happened in the past week. There was this major car accident that killed four people and injured several others, while causing irreparable damage to people's cars and the highway. Fortunately, that had nothing to do with me. By the way, I'm straight. Don't tell Mom. Hugs and kisses, Davy."

JOSHUA That would have been much better. Why a letter, David? Why didn't you call? Maybe we could have discussed this?

DAVID I called last week. You seemed fine. I figured you had read it and everything was okay.

JOSHUA I seemed fine was because I hadn't got it!

DAVID This I am aware of now! You know, tati, the reason I've been mad at Mom was she never accepted who I was, only who she wanted me to be. Now that I'm closer to that, she's all sweetness and light.

JOSHUA That's not what I'd call her.

DAVID But now, when the tables turn, you're being just like her. My identity is not a prize you two get to compete for. It's mine. I thought you of all people would realize that.

(PHILIP enters.)

PHILIP Don't mean to interrupt, but, Davy: how does a nice Jewish "fargalah" meet a dandy "shickser" at a Gay Pride March?

DAVID It was wonderful.

BERNADETTE It was so romantic.

DAVID She was with a group carrying a "Heteros for Homos" banner.

BERNADETTE He was in the color guard, carrying the lambda rainbow flag. They were all chanting:

DAVID AND BERNADETTE "Queers are great! Queers are groovy! Take one home or to a movie!"

BERNADETTE I noticed how clear and resonate his voice was even amidst the chanting.

DAVID I looked down because the sun was in my eyes and I saw these taut, sinuous, hairy legs.


DAVID She blushed.

BERNADETTE He stopped chanting.

DAVID We stood near each other until the demonstration ended.

BERNADETTE Then, he came up to me.

DAVID And all these emotions, just flooded out.

BERNADETTE And we kissed for Christ knows how long.

DAVID When we came up for air, everyone around us was kissing too.

BERNADETTE Men with men.

DAVID Women with women.

BERNADETTE And the occasional, odd mixed couple.

CHARLOTTE That's the most romantic thing I've ever heard happen to anyone I know. Of course, romantically speaking, most of my acquaintances are shit magnets. But it's still nice.

PHILIP Oh, Davy. Such a sweet story.

DAVID Thank you, Philip. I kinda like it myself.

JOSHUA I'm going to heave.

PHILIP Joshua! Give the kid a break, boyo. He's come home to tell you the most difficult thing a straight young lad can tell his queer da'.

DAVID (getting increasingly Irish:) Give it up, Philip. At this point, he'll either come around or he won't. But, I've got to tell you, Da'. It's quite difficult to know no matter who I am, I'm disappointing someone. Especially when, no matter how I'm perceived or preferred, I still love you and Ma and Philip. And I love my Bernadette, by God, I do. And I'll not be sittin' for any flack about it, do you hear me?

(DAVID exits to living room)

JOSHUA Oy, vay. you don't suppose straight families have conversations like this with their gay kindelah do you?

BERNADETTE How did it go, sweetheart?


BERNADETTE What is this? Tongues?

CHARLOTTE I believed, he asked "Why should this day be different from all others?" It's a Jewish phrase Joshua used quite often. Although he never sounded like Darby O'Gill when he said it.

DAVID Ah, stuff a sock in it, Ma'.

JOSHUA I'm not being fair to him, am I, Philip.

PHILIP Not at all.

JOSHUA He's not being fair to me either, though. Is he?

PHILIP You know it has nothing to do with that.

JOSHUA Yeah. So, what about the "shickser"? What's she like?

PHILIP From what I gather: sweet, sassy, great polkis, like myself.

JOSHUA She doesn't have your tochas.

PHILIP I beg your pardon. The only tochas in a skirt you're allowed to notice is mine.

JOSHUA I prefer it out of the skirt. Speaking of skirts, I hope Charlotte doesn't try to play dress up with this girl. My two greatest fears have always been that Rabbi Melman knew what I was thinking about him and that Charlotte would play JOSHUA (cont'd) wardrobe dictator for one of David's boyfriends� or whatever. I guess it's my turn to be reasonable.

PHILIP Good plan. Change strategies mid-game. Keeps 'em guessing.

(JOSHUA acquiesces and rises.)

PHILIP That's my little "mernsch."

(They exit to living room.)

DAVID (thick Deep South:) No, Mama! This has gone on too long! You have made me feel out of place ever since you made me sit between Aviva Rosenberg and Grandma at my Bar Mitzvah, when you know I invited Jupiter Moskovitz for that very reason. (to BERNADETTE) Jupiter, who I so nicknamed as the result of a birthmark on his left buttock which I noticed while staring at him in the shower, was not only gorgeous, but smelled so that the allure of musk was no longer a mystery. Instead of basking in his aroma, I was forced to endure the olfactory nightmare of Vick's VapoRub and Ben Gay.

JOSHUA That Rosenberg girl was always sick, wasn't she?

DAVID And contagious. Seven children, including myself and poor Jupiter, ended up being sick over spring break because you poisoned us with Aviva the Cholera Fairy!

CHARLOTTE David! I will have you know I've loved you no matter what! When you came to me and told me you were like your father, sure, I threw up, but I still loved you. When I found you and that other boy wearing my underwear pretending to be Laverne and Shirley as sorority sisters, I admit, I went ballistic. But I loved you no less. And now that you have fulfilled a lifelong wish - and I know you aren't doing this just to please me and hurt your father, just like we know you weren't living your life before to please him and hurt me - but this turn of events has made me happy. And I am never happy. I am a miserable bitch. Ask your father.

JOSHUA Like you don't know what I'd say to that.

CHARLOTTE See? I don't love you any more than I did. In fact, I'm a little disappointed. Just the thought of those young, handsome men you'd bring by over the holidays, made my quality time alone worthwhile for months.

JOSHUA Thanks for sharing, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE Can you imagine, there was actually a time I thought of you, Joshua. Of course, with our marriage, I had find something to do. And Philip--

PHILIP I don't want to to know!

CHARLOTTE You're tragically sexy, when you squirm like that. Anyway, David. I love you no matter who you are or what you do.

DAVID I really want to believe you.

CHARLOTTE I really want to mean it. I do. (Kisses him.) I'm doing the best I can.

DAVID I suppose that's all anyone can expect. (To JOSHUA:) I'm sorry for what I said.

JOSHUA Hey, who isn't.

PHILIP I'm not at all. I've been very good all though this mess.

DAVID Mr. Perfect as usual.

JOSHUA Now, if only Mr. Perfect would move his tochas and get dinner ready we could all eat. (PHILIP gives him a quick peck on the cheek and exits, as CHARLOTTE shudders.)

JOSHUA (to BERNADETTE) I'm sorry if I was behaving poorly before.

BERNADETTE No sweat. My family freaked when they heard I was dating a queer. They'll get used to it. They have before.

JOSHUA So, my Davila isn't your first convert?

BERNADETTE Oh, he is. The other time I was at Brooklyn Law and fell in love with my roommate who was this really intelligent and well read but emotionally and socially maladjusted brunette from Massachusetts. It didn't last long. She was going to be made valedictorian, but got arrested finals week for allegedly stalking Bernadette Peters. It blew her grade point average and we kinda broke up. Too bad. She was my first true love. Do you remember your first true love?

JOSHUA Oddly enough, it was her. (CHARLOTTE is as surprised as BERNADETTE.) I used to think so. Sometimes I still do. You know how it is. One day you're a milk lover, the next you're allergic.

BERNADETTE Life's sad that way.

(PHILIP and DAVID reenter with a camera and set it up to shoot automatically)

PHILIP With all the rigmarole, I almost forgot about the family portrait.

CHARLOTTE If we create more turmoil, will you forget it again?

(DAVID leads BERNADETTE to his traditional spot for the photo.)

JOSHUA You hate having your picture taken here because you know I'm going to bind all the pictures of you together so we can flip through them real fast and watch you age.

CHARLOTTE I've already done one of you and your hairline.

JOSHUA (lovingly) Battle axe.

CHARLOTTE (lovingly) Bitch.

PHILIP People! Get in your places.

(They arrange themselves in front of the camera. PHILIP focuses, then joins them.)

PHILIP Okay, everybody say "Orgiastic Saturnalia."

(Before they can speak, the flash goes off.)