Thursday, March 30, 2017




The school gym. Students are on stage rehearsing a play. Chuck is painting scenery backstage.
Pete: Avast me lubbers. ‘Tis Peter Pan and his Lost Boys come to board me.
(Ida blows her whistle.)
Ida: Cut, cut, bloody cut.
Pete: What? I did it right.
Ida: Pete, this is Robin Hood, not Peter Pan, and your playing Robin Hood. (To the other kids) OK, let’s take five.
(Pete walks offstage.)
Mrs. Gonzalez: Don’t worry, Pete, I thought it was good. Den again, I don’t know the diference between Peter Pan and Robin Hood.
Ida: (To Mrs. Gonzalez) I just wish these kids would cooperate.
Mrs. Gonzalez: (Robotically) Don’t worry. If you need to talk, I’ll be in my office.
(Chuck throws down his paintbrush.)
Chuck: Come on, Pete. We don’t want to be late to meet Dad.
Pete: No, I think I’ll stay here. This is important, and I don’t want to risk incurring the wrath of Miss Crabby. Tell him I’ll be there next week.
Shift to a bowling alley. Chuck’s dad is standing in the opening of an empty lane. Chuck enters.
Mr. Riley: Hey, Chuck. How are you?
Chuck: Pretty good. (He picks up a bowling ball) Pete couldn’t come. He had something after school.
Mr. Riley: Something after school! He’s not in trouble, is he?
Chuck: No, it’s something for English.
Mr. Riley: English! So he got that part in the play he wanted?
Chuck: He’s the lead if you can believe it.
Mr. Riley: Wow! I was in a play once. Me and the other guys beat up this other guy who was a snitch and stabbed this shive in his back. Or maybe that was a cough syrup trip. Well, I’ve got to go now before those stupid guards realize I’ve escaped. I’ll try to bust out again. Maybe I can come to the school and go to your hockey games for a few minutes.
Chuck: Yeah.
Shift to outside of Chuck’s house. His mother is standing outside of the open door of the cab.
Chuck: Mom, could you fix this tear in my jeans? I have to go over to Tena’s to work on the play.
Mrs. Riley: Tell me I didn’t just hear you ask me to fix the tear in your jeans. With your father in jail, I have to drive this cab and do the maintenance. I don’t even think I’ll have time to make dinner. Why couldn’t he have just passed that account onto a collection agency, or at least hired mafia guys to kill the guy for him?
Cab Radio: Der werber der werber werber werber.
Mrs. Riley: Someone wants a cab at Union Station. I have to go.
(Chuck goes inside. He pulls out a bag of flour and two bowls. He measures flour into the bowls.)
Chuck: Pete, dinner’s ready.
Shift to the front door of Tena’s house. He rings the doorbell. Mr. Sheldon answers.
Mr. Sheldon: Oh, you must be the new boy I’m going to ride to work
Chuck: No, I’m here to work with Tena on the school play.
Mr. Sheldon: This way.
(They go into the back room)
Chuck: Hi Tena.
Tena: Hi Chuck. This looks like Lincoln green, don’t you think?
Chuck: Yeah, considering I don’t know what the heck Lincoln green looks like.
Shift to the bowling alley. Chuck is standing at the snack counter. Mr. Riley enters.
Mr. Riley: Hi, Chuck.
Chuck: Hi, Dad. (Hesitating) Here’s a ticket to the play tomorrow. (He pulls a ticket out of his pocket and gives it to his father)
Mr. Riley: Thanks. I gotta go. We’re under lockdown. See you tomorrow.
Shift to the school gym. The play is about to begin.
Pete: Hi, I’m Robin Hood. Did you know my dad is in jail. See, these guys said they were going to pay him for a cab ride, then they didn’t so he broke down one of the guy’s apartment doors and killed him. Then, these other guys owed him some money from an illegal gambling ring but they didn’t give it to him so he beat them up. And, this other time this guy owed him twenty bucks so he busted his kneecaps. (Everyone looks horrified) Hey, I forgot my lines. Jeez.
Chuck: (Backstage) Hey Tena, let’s go meet my dad.
(They go out into the audience where Mr. Riley is sitting beside Chuck’s mom. Tena’s father comes up to them.)
Mr. Sheldon: Say, Riley, since your son appears to like my daughter, let’s say I get you a government job and have your record expunged.
(Everyone cheers.)


The kitchen of a house. Snowflakes are falling against the window. Catherine steps off the fridge toward the counter, as if walking on an imaginary balance beam. She falls.
Mr. Peters: (From upstairs) Catherine, did you pack fruit in your lunch?
Catherine: Yes.
(Catherine stands up. Her father comes down the stairs. They put on their winter clothes and exit.)
Shift to the school gym. Catherine gets on the balance beam and walks across.
Catherine: Boy, that went a lot better than the last time.
Gym Teacher: OK, here is the team for Monday: Casey, Tracey, Lacey, Bacey, and Catherine.
Shift to an apartment building. Catherine enters and starts to walk upstairs. Music can be heard coming from upstairs. Catherine enters the apartment.
Mrs. Peters: (Sings) Destiny. Destiny. Destiny (Stops) Ok, guys, I don’t know. Something isn’t right with this song. Our hair could stand to be a little curlier.
Band Members: Yeah, your right.
Catherine: Hi, Mom.
Mrs. Peters: Catherine, how are you?
Catherine: Pretty good.
Mrs. Peters: How is school?
Catherine: Good. I’m getting good marks---
Mrs. Peters: (To the band members) What you say we resume tomorrow. (The band members nod) Great. (To Catherine) Whare do you want to go for supper?
Catherine: I want to go to one of the various crummy burger joints that inhabit this neighbourhood.
Shift to a shopping mall. Catherine and Mrs. Peters are walking through the main part of the mall.
Mrs. Peters: So, a huge makeup kit, some new bracelets and two new outfits. That should be enough to show that worthless father of yours. (They stop at a table in the food court and sit down. A really fancily-dressed waiter comes over) We’ll have two extra large deep fried bacon with butter. (Later) Well, how about another.
Catherine: Well, I’m pretty full.
Mrs. Peters: Com on. It isn’t every day you get to eat things like this since your useless father makes you eat healthy food. Killjoy.
Catherine: Well, I guess.
Mrs. Peters: (Signals the waiter over) Two more, please.
Shift to outside Mrs. Peters’ apartment building.
Catherine: Oh by the way, Mom, I made the gym team.
Mrs. Peters: That’s wonderful. When’s your meet.
Catherine: Monday.
Mrs. Peters: Good. I’m going to come.
Catherine: Great.
Mrs. Peters: See you this weekend. We’ll have a really good time. We’ll have three helpings this time.
Catherine: OK.
Shift to Catherine’s father’s house. Catherine enters. Her father is sitting on the couch, listening to music.
Mr. Peters: Hi. How was it?
Catherine: Good.
Mr. Peters: What did she feed you? Probably hamburgers and French fries. Well, come on and I’ll make you a drink with proteen.
Catherine: Well, actually---
Mr. Peters: Follow me. (Mr. Peters goes into the kitchen. Catherine follows him. He takes steak, chicken, pork chops and bacon out of the fridge and puts it in the blender. He blends it and pours it into a tall glass.) There you go.
Catherine: Well, actually, Dad—
Mr. Peters: I said drink it.
Catherine: Oh, by the way I made the gym team.
Mr. Peters: Great. When’s your meet?
Catherine: Next Monday.
Mr. Peters: Great. I’ll be there.
Catherine: Great.
Shift to outside Mrs. Peters’ apartment building. Catherine is wearing one boot and one shoe and has bandages running from her right ankle to her right knee. She enters the building and walks perfectly up the stairs and into her mother’s apartment. Music can be heard.
Mrs. Peters: Catherine, what happened?
Catherine: Oh, I fell during practice.
Mrs. Peters: Oh.
Catherine: It’s just a little sprain. I’m going to have to miss the meet, though.
Mrs. Peters: Oh, there’ll be other meets. (Turning to the band) OK, let’s take Destiny once more from the top. (They begin to play. They finish and the band members exit.) Well, we won’t be going out tonight. I’d hate for you to have to try to keep up with me with that leg. How does pizza sound?
Catherine: It sounds great. Mom, suppose you had two drummers and they were both really good, but you could only choose one. How would you choose?
Mrs. Peters: Well, that would depend on a lot of things, like how cute they were and how curly their hair was.
Catherine: Would you lie?
Mrs. Peters: Of course! (A knock is heard at the door) That must be the pizza.
Catherine: I’ll get it.
(She leaps off the chair and walks perfectly over to the door.)
Mrs. Peters: Catherine! You don’t have a sprained ankle after all.
Catherine: I know. Dad is supposed to come to the meet, too, and I didn’t want you there because you and Dad would just fight.
Mrs. Peters: We will just fight, but there’s no way that looser of a father of yours is going to make me look like a bad parent by me not coming to your meet. This is just typical of you. You invite your father. You are a horrible child. You’re a freeloader. You don’t appreciate any of the things I’ve done for you, like the time when you were a baby and you wouldn’t stop crying and I finally suckered the Fuller Brush man into giving you a glass of milk, which you promptly spilled all over the floor. Ugh, milk and dirt, that would have been a joy to clean up, if I had actually cleaned up. Jeez, at six months old, you would think you would be able to hold a glass. And the times I would brush dust off your closet door. (A knock is again heard at the door. Mrs. Peters answers the door to the pizza delivery man.) Give it here. (She stuffs the entire pizza in her mouth) (To Catherine with a full mouth) Go to your box.
Catherine: Night, Mom.
Mrs. Peters: Screw off.
Shift to the school gym. Catherine is coming out of the change room with one pink slipper and one blue slipper. Mr. and Mrs. Peters enter.
Mr. and Mrs. Peters: You.
Mr. Peters: How dare you come here and screw this up for me.
Mrs. Peters: Me?
Mr. Peters: Yeah, you. Are you so stupid you’ve even forgotten who you are?
Mrs. Peters: What you say is what you are, so if you call me stupid that means you’re stupid.
(Mr. Peter’s grabs Mrs. Peters’ arm.)
Mr. Peters: You put me through such horrible things in our marriage.
Mrs. Peters: Well, who through the neighbour’s barbecue against our wall.
Mr. Peters: You never took care of Catherine or the housework. You only cared about the stupid band. You were always off to gigs with them.
Mrs. Peters: Oh yeah, well, you didn’t not care about taking care of Catherine or doing the housework so that makes you stupid.
Mr. Peters: Ohhhhhh.
(They begin to beat each other up.)
Anncr: And in second place, Catherine Peters.
Mr. Peters: Second place. Typical of a member of this family.


Open on a pool. Lisa, Casey and several other girls are standing in the shallow end of the pool.
Instructor: Welcome to the water safety course. This course is to teach you the proper ways to swim so you don’t drown. Not that we really care if you drown because you’re poor, but if you did it would be too much paper work. I want you to start by treading water. Lean back as if you were sitting on achair, bring your knees up to your chest and pump your legs.
(Lisa tries without success.)
Lisa: (To Casey) Boy, I’m never going to learn this stuff. We have ten more weeks of this?
Casey: Come on.
(She pushes Lisa under the water. She splutters to the surface.)
Instructor: Hey. Oh, you didn’t drown.
Shift to the street outside Lisa’s house. Lisa and Casey come up the street and enter.
Don Canard: Hey, we’re moving to Vancouver.
Lisa: What?
Gail Canard: We’re moving to Vancouver.
Don: This guy, Robert Picton, thinks he can get us a good job as junkies in the downtown east side.
Lisa: But---
Don: You know I haven’t been able to find a job. We’re about to be evicted.
Lisa: We’re about to be evicted. I didn’t know that.
Gail: And these yuppies have agreed to rent the house because they want to live like poor people.
Shift to the school. Lisa enters and begins rampaging around beating up kids.
Lisa: Lisa mad.
Shift to Lisa’s house. Lisa enters. Don and Gail are sitting on the couch.
Lisa: You know, I was thinking I could live in that shack my friends and I are using as a clubhouse.
Gail and Don: OK.

Closing credits.

Based on “Catherine Finds her Balance and Other Stories” by Kit Hood, Linda Schuyler and Eve Jennings.

Friday, March 24, 2017



Scene 1
The apartment. Nadeen enters. Her mom and dad are sitting on the couch with the real estate agent looking at photos.
Dad: Come over here Nadeen and look at this.
(Nadeen goes over to the couch.)
Nadeen: What’s that?
Mom: Those are photos of our new house. We’re moving to Rivercrest.
Nadeen: Rivercrest! But that’s like a million miles away. What about my life here?
Mom: Now honey, you know I’m going to have a baby shortly. Parkdale is no place to raise a child.
Nadeen: Why not? I was raised here and I turned out fine.
Dad: This apartment’s falling apart at the seams. This is a chance to get into a nice neighbourhood into a house with a big backyard so the baby will have lots of room to play when he gets older.
Nadeen: But I don’t want to live in a good neighbourhood. I want to be a b-girl.
(Nadeen faints.)
Bill: I don’t think she took that news well.
Dad: Yeah. Speaking of bad news, I think someone just stole your car.
Bill: (Looks out window) Oh my---
Mom: Let us call you a cab.
Bill: No thanks, I’ll walk. You should probably see to your daughter.
Dad: You’re right. Can we have your wallet to stuff into her mouth so she doesn’t swallow her tongue?
Bill: Sure.
(Bill exits.)

Scene 2
The new house. Nadeen and her mom and dad pull up in their car, the moving van following behind them.
Dad: Well here we are. Rivercrest at last.
Nadeen: Yeah, White People City.
(A crowd of people descends upon the family.)
Jodie: Welcoming committee! I’m Jodie. I live next door to you.
Lucy: Hi, I’m Lucy. I live next door to you on the other side of Jodie.
Liberty: Hi, I’m Liberty. I live across the street with my husband.
Gloria: Hi, I’m Gloria. I’m Liberty’s grandmother. I live with her.
Jim: And I’m Jim, Gloria’s grandfather.

Scene 3
The kitchen. Nadeen is standing at the counter. Her mom and dad enter.
Dad: Hey, look what we’ve got!
Nadeen: (Uninterested) What?
Mom: The ultrasound photos! (Pulls out a picture and hands it to Nadeen) That’s your new brother.
Nadeen: I hate this stupid baby. It’s because of him we had to move up to this boring neighbourhood.
Dad: Hush right now, girl.
(Nadeen: No I won’t. This baby is ruining my life.
She tears up the ultrasound photo. Nadeen’s mother slaps her across the face. A knock is heard at the door. Nadeen’s dad answers it. Charles Henderson is standing there.)
Charles Henderson: Hello. My name’s Charles Henderson. I live behind you. I take it you three were engaging in a bit of TNB?

Scene 4
The house. Nadeen is sitting at the table, looking bored. A knock is heard at the door. Nadeen answers it. Charles Henderson is standing there.
Charles: Oh, hi Nadeen. Is your dad home?
Nadeen: No, he’s at work.
Charles: Oh, he works after all. Well, I brought you a present, something I thought you could use. (He pulls a bicycle out from behind him) My ex-wife left it in the garage when she moved out. I thought it might be useful for someone without a car.
Nadeen: Thank you.
Charles: Don’t mention it. Oh, and don’t worry, I told all the neighbours I was going to give it to you so you won’t get anybody thinking it’s stolen.

Scene 5
The school cafeteria. Nadeen is sitting on a bench by herself with her headphones on. Maddie slides down the bench and taps her on the shoulder.
Maddie: Excuse me.
Nadeen: (Taking off her headphones) Yes.
Maddie: Hi, I’m Maddie. Can I touch your hair. (Maddie starts touching Nadeen’s hair anyway) Oh, it’s so nice and thick, not like the thin hair I felt on the Chinese girl. Where were you born?
Nadeen: Toronto.
Maddie: No, where were you born?
Nadeen: Women’s College Hospital.
Maddie: Then---
Nadeen: My mom’s parents were Mexican, my dad’s father was born in Jamaica and my dad’s mother was French.
Maddie: Oooh, can you speak Jamaican?

Scene 6
The girls’ washroom. Nadeen is washing her hands. Ashley enters and starts fixing her makeup.
Ashley: So, you’re from Toronto, right?
Nadeen: Yeah, Parkdale.
Ashley: So, you must have seen some things.
Nadeen: Things?
Ashley: Like murders and parties and cool stuff.
Nadeen: No---
Ashley: Do you have any stuff on you?
Nadeen: Stuff?
Ashley: (Pulling a cigarette out of her purse) You know, stuff.
Nadeen: No, what makes you think I use---
Ashley: Well then, I guess I’m just going to steal your IPod.
(Ashley reaches into Nadeen’s backpack, grabs her IPod and runs out of the bathroom. Nadeen chases after her.)

Scene 7
The principal’s office. Nadeen and Ashley are sitting in chairs in front of Mr. Winkley’s desk.
Mr. Winkley: So Nadeen, Ashley claims you stole her IPod.
Nadeen: No sir, it’s the other way around. That’s my IPod.
Mr. Winkley: Really? Why should I believe that?
Nadeen: Look at what’s on there.
Mr. Winkley: Oh, I hate this technological stuff. Miss Douglas, could you come in here and help me with this I-thingamabob?
(Miss Douglas enters. The principal hands her the IPod and she gets it to the list of files.)
Nadeen: See. Chubrock, Outkast, Notorious B.I.G. Does that sound like stuff Ashley here would listen to?
Mr. Winkley: I don’t know. Maybe Ashley likes rap or hip hop or whatever it’s called.
Ashley: Oh yeah, I love Snoopydoopy and MNM Koojay.
Mr. Winkley: Well that clinches it, then. Miss Douglas, call the police.

Scene 8
Outside the school. It is the night of the Haloween dance. Teenagers are dressed up in costumes going into the school. Nadeen catches the eye of Devon. Devon starts break dancing. Nadeen begins break dancing as well, trying to outdo him. The principal comes up to Nadeen.
Mr. Winkley: What is this, exactly?
Nadeen: It’s called break dancing.
Mr. Winkley: Well, whatever it is it doesn’t sound like the kind of thing we do here at Rivercrest High School. Leave the premises immediately.
Nadeen: Fine. Whatever.

Scene 9
The school hallway. Nadeen is walking down the hall. Mr. Winkley comes up to her with a stack of file folders in his arms.
Mr. Winkley: Nadeen Durant.
Nadeen: Yes, sir.
Mr. Winkley: I looked up break dancing on the webnet on the weekend. It carries serious risks. I think you should look at this information.
Nadeen: But Mr. Winkley, it really isn’t that---
Mr. Winkley: You should also look into the information I’ve gathered on spoons and recliners.

Scene 10
Baby Warehouse. Nadeen and her parents pull up to the cash register with a huge cart full of stuff. The cashier adds it up.
Cashier: That’ll be 175 dollars.
Mom: I’ll use my Mastercard.
Dad: (Whispering) It’s maxed out.
Mom: Well, I was planning to use the Visa to buy groceries.
(Nadeen’s father pulls out an American Express card.)
Mom: Where did you get that.
(Nadeen’s father pays for the stuff. Nadeen and her fanmily exit.)
Cashier: Well, that’s what you can expect from those kind of people

Scene 11
The cafeteria. Nadeen is sitting at a table alone, eating her lunch. Devon comes up and sits beside her. He is wearing a cowboy hat, Budweiser t-shirt, overalls, and old sneakers.
Devon: Hi, I’m Devon. I’ve seen you around school. You like hip-hop. Well, so do I. I mean, I like all kinds of music generally. I particularly like old school hip-hop. Seems so much more innocent. ‘course some of the new stuff’s good, too, the more underground stuff that’s harder to find. I’ve seen you b-girlin behind the school sometimes. You should enter the Hogtown Showdown.
Nadeen: There’s no way I’d ever get into something like that, especially not by myself.
Devon: Well then, put together a crew and enter the battle.
Nadeen: Are you kidding? Put together a break dancing crew around here?!
Devon: No, I’m serious. Besides, this movie needs something exciting to happen soon or most of the audience is going to walk out of the theatre.
Nadeen: In that case I’ll do it.

Scene 12
The Hogtown Showdown. Nadeen, Maddie, Alia, and Devon are standing at the entrance.
Maddie: I’m so excited.
Alia: Yeah, this is going to be our big moment.
(They enter the club.)
Lexie: Ladies and gentleman, please welcome last years champions.
(A huge cheer goes up. Four dancers come onstage and start doing a ballet routine. Shouts are heard from the crowd.)
B-boy: Hey man, I thought this was a break dancing competition, yo.
Lexie: Yeah, the flyer was misprinted. This is a ballet competition. Sorry.
Crowd: Oh man.
Maddie: We can still win this thing. I was forced to take ballet for ten years.
Alia: Me, too.
Devon: So was I.
Nadeen: But I don’t know a thing about ballet.
Maddie: Just follow my lead. Besides, it’s not like we really have a choice. We either do this or go home with egg on our faces.
(Nadeen, Maddie, Alia, and Devon step onstage. Maddie starts ballet dancing and the others follow her lead. At the end, Lexie claps.)
Lexie: All right, that was wonderful. Anyone feel like coming up and challenging these girls?
Devon: And guy.
Lexie: I said, anyone feel like coming up and challenging these girls?
(The crowd groans.)
Lexie: Then by default, first prize, second prizes, all the other top places, and all the honourable mentions go to (looks at registration sheet) Hydroforce.
(The crowd cheers. Mr. McTavish comes out.)
Mr. McTavish: As the owner of this club and sponsor of this competition I’m so glad to present Team Hydroforce with this honour. You turned in an electric performance. (The crowd starts throwing bottles.) Tnb, I guess. Anyway, Maddie, Alia, Devon, and Nadeen, take a look at all the fabulous prizes you’ve won. Wheel ‘em out, boys.
(The prizes are wheeled out by two burly men. Team Hydroforce eagerly runs over to examine them.)
Nadeen: What?
Maddie: There’s a sack of flour, a sack of sugar, a cooler full of (opens cooler) meat, a bag of apples… Sir, what is all this?
Mr. McTavish: Well, we’re in Parkdale, you see, and since I figured most of the competitors would be black, rather than money I decided to award the winners things they would actually need. Give these people money and they’ll just spend it on booze. (To Nadeen) Don’t worry. No need to steal a car, we can cart all this stuff home in mine.

Closing credits.

Based on “Break on Through” by Jill Murray.

Thursday, March 16, 2017



Scene 1
The classroom. Raspberry is sitting at her desk. An announcement comes over the PA system.
Anncr: Would Strawberry Fields come to the office. That’s Strawberry Fields, come to the office.
(Raspberry gets up, walks out of class and makes her way down to the principal’s office.)
Secretary: Raspberry, you’re mother has been attacked. You better go to the hospital right away.
(A bunch of kids come storming into the office.)
Kid 1: You said you were gonna play “Strawberry Fields” over the PA system.
Secretary: No I didn’t. I was calling a student to the office.
(The kids tear the office apart.)

Scene 2
The hospital room. Raspberry is sitting beside her mother’s bed. The TV is on.
Anncr: A woman was viciously attacked with a lead pipe today as she stood outside her apartment building. The perpetrator has been identified as Shaketa Nixon, a close friend of the victim who lives only two doors up the street from her. When reached for comment, Shaketa Nixon told our newsteam, “I am not a crook.”
(Raspberry’s father walks into the room.)
James Hill: I’m so sorry about what happened. I was at McDonald’s, you know, trying to collect all the Finding Nemo Happy Meal toys, and I saw it on the news. Well, I must be going now. Give Daddy some sugar, baby girl. (Raspberry kisses him) No, some actual sugar, for my coffee. The lady forgot to put any in.

Scene 3
Dr. Mitchell’s car. Raspberry is lying on the back seat.
Dr. Mitchell: Raspberry, do you want to stop for pizza before we take you back to our house for the night?
Raspberry: Pizza be fine.
Dr. Mitchell: All right, then.
(They pull up to the pizza place. Dr. Mitchell, Zora and Raspberry get out of the car and enter the restaurant.)
Spiros: Hey ugly man, hey beautiful ladies. What you want.
Dr. Mitchell: The girls will have the Greek pizza, and I will have the frog legs. Oh, and could I get that with a bottle of 1941 Chateau Le Vie de Rothchild?
Spiros: You got it. Before I can serve you the frog legs, though, I have to chase it down the alley.
Dr. Mitchell: Oh, I’ll help you do that.
Spiros: Right this way.
Zora: I’ll help you too, Daddy. Raspberry, watch my purse for me.
(Spiros, Dr. Mitchell and Zora exit. Raspberry takes a wad of bills out of Zora’s purse, then puts most of it back.)

Scene 4
Dr. Mitchell’s car. Dr. Mitchell pulls up to Raspberry’s apartment.
Dr. Mitchell: Now remember, just go in there, collect a few things and make sure the place is all right. Don’t take too long. (On the steps of the apartment building, Dr. Mitchell, Zora and Raspberry notice people smoking marijuana and drinking whisky) We’ll come back for your things some other time.
Raspberry: You was raised in the projects, Dr. Mitchell. Don’t you know how to fight?
(Dr. Mitchell gets out of the car.)
Dr. Mitchell: You wait here.
Girl 1: You better get back in your ride if you know what’s good for you.
Miracle Nixon: Hey Raspberry.
(She makes her way over to the car.)
Dr. Mitchell: Raspberry can’t talk to anyone right now.
Miracle: I just wanna see her, Pops. Hey Raspberry, tell your mother to chill and lay off Shaketa. (Bangs her fist on the roof of the car) You hear me, girl?
Raspberry: Everybody saw what Shaketa did.
Miracle: Your mother was always pickin on her, so she got what she got.
(People start throwing bottles at the car.)
Zora: (Opens door) Daddy! (A bottle comes flying through the door and smashes the window on the other side) I didn’t see that coming.
Dr. Mitchell: Lock the doors and windows, now. (To the people on the steps) You hit her mother with a pipe, and now you want to go after me and my kids?
(Zora dials 911 on her cell phone.)
Operator: Yo, 911.
Zora: My dad’s a cop, I mean a doctor, and he needs help.
Operator: Don’t worry, he a cop, he can take care of hisself.
Zora: No, he’s a doctor.
Operator: He a cop.
Zora: No, he’s a doctor.
Operator: Look, foo’, he a cop. He take care o’ hisself.
Shaketa: Look, it’s your mother’s fault for tryin to live like a decent human bein. She should be ‘shamed o’ herself.
(Dr. Mitchell gets back into the car and they speed away.)

Scene 5
May’s driveway. May, Raspberry and Janai are playing basketball.
Janai: Your family’s cursed.
Raspberry: A lot of black families are cursed.
(May’s mother and father enter.)
Mrs. Kim: We’re back from picking up the chicken feet and collard greens.
(They go into the house.)
Janai: Look at all the bad stuff that’s happened to you over the past few years.
Zora: Yeah, first your father went on dope, then you and your mother moved in with friends until y’all got kicked out. You were homeless for a while, then you moved into the projects and was robbed.
Raspberry: Zora, you’re not helping. Besides, your family got problems too, like … all those problems you have.
Mrs. Kim: (Sticking her head out the door) Why are you two being so mean.
Zora: We didn’t mean—
Mrs. Kim: Go make yourselves useful. Come help me unpack the groceries. The collard greens don’t look so good, but if you scrape off the hard and wilted parts they aren’t so bad.
May: They’re completely hard and wilted.
Mrs. Kim: Oh, never mind, then.
(Janai follows Mrs. Kim into the house. )
Raspberry: It’ll be time to go soon. Mama should be done her catscan by now.
(May sinks a basket. Her sleeve rolls up, revealing a brand new tattoo which says ONE HUNDRED PERCENT BLACK.)
Zora: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, when did you do it.
May: Got it done yesterday. Don’t touch it. It still hurts.
(Janai comes out of the house and notices the tattoo.)
Janai: What you wrote on your arm ain’t even true.
May: It’s like, a joke or something.
Mr. Kim: (From the kitchen) May, you have branded yourself like a slave.
Janai: Like you would know about that.
Mr. Kim: Actually, Japan invaded Korea many centuries ago and made the people their slaves.
Janai: (Running away) Aaahhhhhh, knowledge.

Scene 6
The hospital room. Raspberry enters. Her father is there. There is a man sleeping on the bed.
James: Hey, baby girl. This Shabooboo. Shabooboo, wake yo’ butt up. This my daughter, Raspberry.
Shabooboo: Hey, there. Your father and I went to high school. Who’da thought we’d end up on the streets together? Regular pals. Friends for life. Partners in our success.
James: Well, we better get out of here soon. Virginia never could stand no riffraff. Do you wanna use her shower and her toothbrush before we go?
Shabooboo: Sure, I do dat shortly.
James: Not before me, you ain’t
(He goes into the bathroom.)
Shabooboo: Well, while your father’s in the shower, we might as well get this party started. We gonna crank up the godfather of soul, Mr. James Brown.
(He pulls a small cassette recorder out of his pocket. An old James Brown cassette starts to play. Shabooboo pulls out a bottle of whisky, drinks and starts dancing around wildly. Raspberry passes out.)
Shabooboo: Pussy.

Scene 7
Outside Raspberry’s apartment building. Raspberry and Sallow are hanging out. Raspberry is drinking a pop.
Raspberry: I’m so thankful the local TV station held a telethon for Mama and me. It raised five thousand dollars.
Sallow: Yeah, yo’ mama probably down at the car dealership right now buyin a new ride.
Raspberry: Ha, yo’ mama don’t even have a car. She walkin. In fact, isn’t that her walkin down the street right now?
Sallow: Jeez, it is. How about a sip of your pop.
Raspberry: No. I don’t want your germs.
Sallow: Give me your ****ing pop. (He playfully takes it from her and runs down the street. Raspberry chases after him. They run two blocks in about five seconds) Shoot, I’m all out of breath. Let’s sit down over here on this rusty old car.
(Sallow sits on the car and it collapses.)
Shabooboo: Oooohhhh.
Sallow: Shoot, I think somebody lives in there.
Raspberry: You owe me fifty cents for that pop.
Sallow: Screw you. You got money.

Scene 8
The courtroom. The judge, the district attorney and Shaketa’s lawyer enter.
Shaketa’s Lawyer: So, what sentence do you think would be most appropriate for this girl given all the publicity it’s gotten?
Judge: Well, since the court system is so overburdened to begin with, I think it’s best if we find some way to avoid this matter going to trial altogether.
D.A.: What do you suggest. I mean, this girl’s records as thick as a phone book
(Holds up a phone book.)
Judge: No, Mr. District Attorney, that is an actual phone book.
D.A.: Well, regardless.
Shaketa’s Lawyer: How about we flip a coin.
Judge: That sounds like a good idea. Heads it goes to trial, tails it doesn’t.
D.A.: But what’ll we tell Shaketa, the victim and her daughter and of course the media?
Judge: Just say something like too many technicalities or some bull like that.
D.A.: OK, here we go.
(He pulls a quarter out of his pocket, throws it in the air, catches it, and turns it over to the back.)
Shaketa’s Lawyer: Well, that’s settled. Let’s play battleships.

Scene 9
Outside of Raspberry’s apartment building. Raspberry comes up the street. Her mom is sitting on the front steps, planting flowers in pots.
Raspberry: Hi Mama.
Virginia Hill: Hi, sweetheart.
Raspberry: What are you doing?
Virginia: Oh, I’m just planting some flowers. I told the old lady across the street her snapdragons looked really nice so she wanted me to take her down to the store to get some more. Oh, by the way, I have some good news.
Raspberry: What?
Virginia: I got a new job. I’m goin to be workin down at the mental institution buzzing people in and out. Well, I have to go get dinner started.
(Raspberry’s mom goes into the house. Miracle comes over.)
Miracle: Apparently yo’ mama didn’t learn not to stick her nose in other people’s business.
(She pulls the flowers out of the pots and scatters them over the sidewalk.)
Raspberry: What’d you do that for?
Miracle: I’m black. Since when do I like anything beautiful. Think about it. We prefer to live in cities with crime and absentee fathers and drugs all over the place. We hate beautiful things like classical music and flowers.

Scene 10
The bus. Raspberry and Janai are sitting together.
Raspberry: So did you hear what happened to May?
Janai: No, what?
Raspberry: Someone snuck into her house and cut off her hair. Then they hung a sign up in the girls bathroom saying HARD TIMES AT HOME, THREE BAGS FOR $2.50.
Janai: That’s awful. It’s like I always say: when you hear a suspicious noise at night, yell FREEZE AND SMILE.
Raspberry: Well, you don’t know it was a black person. It could have been someone else disguised as a black person.
Janai: Someone in blackface? Those racists!
Raspberry: I mean it could have been a white person. There always makin trouble for us. I mean they kept us as their slaves as recently as a hundred and forty years ago.
Janai: Or it could have been the Asians themselves, making it look like a black person did it. They always tryin to get us just because are people like to order Chinese food and beat up the drivers.

Scene 11
The apartment. Raspberry and her mom are sitting on the couch. Ming’s father enters.
Ming’s Father: Hello, Mrs. Hill. I was so sorry to hear about what happened. I hope you are feeling better.
Virginia: I’m feeling much better, thank you.
Ming’s Father: Sorry I didn’t come visit you in the hospital. Hospitals aren’t my thing. I figure people don’t want you to come and sit with them for hours and try to make conversation when all they want to do is recover. I didn’t even go into the hospital when my mother was dying. I mean, what would I have said? So, Mom, you’re dying. How is that working out for you? Well, I must be going now. Goodbye.
Virginia: Goodbye.
(Shaketa’s lawyer enters.)
Shaketa’s Lawyer: Mrs. Hill, I am the lawyer representing Shaketa Nixon. I just came over to let you know that the judge has decided not to prosecute her.
Virginia: Why on earth not?
Shaketa’s Lawyer: No reason.
(Shaketa, Miracle and her friends can be seen down on the street starting to have a party. They are smoking weed and drinking wine.)
Shaketa: Let’s celebrate the way blacks always do. Let’s burn down the neighbourhood.
Miracle: I wouldn’t have wanted you to go to jail. You’re my sister.
Miracle starts crying. Virginia comes outside with a carioke machine.
Virginia: OK, there’s only one song that’s appropriate for a black girl on a wine crying jag because her sister has escaped going to jail.
(Virginia puts a CD in the carioke machine. “Sometimes When We Touch” comes on. Miracle starts singing. Everyone else joins in.)
White Man: Hows she goin? What’s goin on?
Shaketa: We’re celebrating because I’m not going to be charged for beating this woman with a lead pipe.
Miracle: You lookin for a fight, white boy?
White Man: Yeah, I’m always lookin for a good time. (He pulls the cork out of a bottle of wine with his teeth and drinks) Hey, did I ever tell yous about the time I went to Vancouver?

Scene 12
Daddy Joe’s Restaurant. Raspberry, Janai, May, Ming, Sallow, and Q are sitting around a table.
Raspberry: It sure was a good idea you had, May, skippin class to come here.
May: Well, I wanted to get the chance to see all you guys before I went to California for the summer.
Janai: Why you goin to California?
May: Oh, my parents are sending me there to live with my father’s side of the family because I’m pregnant.
Raspberry: Oh.
May: Yeah, it’s gonna suck being around Koreans all the time. They get The Korean Black Channel. It shows all this black-oriented programming in Korean, and they walk around saying snatches of black slang to each other all the time.
(A waitress comes over.)
Waitress: So what do you wanta eat?
Sallow: Why don’t we just get a big plate of barbecue chips with vanilla pudding for the table.
Waitress: Right, then. It’ll be here when it gets here.

Scene 13
The apartment. Raspberry is sitting on the couch. James and a friend enter.
James: Hi, baby girl. Do your mother got any money, or do you think she’d mind me takin a few of her precious things?
Raspberry: Who’s your friend?
Friend: My name is Abduala Mohamed Husain Omar Said Ben al Akbar Khan. I am a black Moslem.
James: So how ‘bout it? I need money bad.
(He goes into the bedroom. Raspberry and the friend follow. He lifts up the carpet and starts pulling money out.)
Raspberry: Hey, daddy, that’s ours. Mama and I worked real hard for that money.
Friend: Sorry, little girl.
James: Yeah, we need some crack bad.
Raspberry: Wait, isn’t smoking crack against the tenants of Islam?
Friend: Shut up.
James: Smoking crack is my career. How dare you try and hinder me in my career.
James and the friend exit.

Closing credits.

Based on “Begging for Change: Nothing Good Comes of Bad Money” by Sharon Flake.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


The outro to a program called "Backstage at the Parlour", which featured bluegrass music.

Q107 Toronto from June of an unknown year with anncr taking a request from Coreen in Scarborough.

99.9 CKFM-FM with Karlsburg commercial and ID.

102.1 CFNY-FM Toronto from late 1986 with anncr backselling songs and taking requests.

Friday, March 10, 2017



Scene 1
Outside the courtroom. Alexandria, her mother and Alexandria’s lawyer enter. The lawyer, Mr. Collins, is wearing a Motley Crew T-shirt and a pair of grimy, old, worn jeans. Alexandria’s mother tries to straighten out the collar of Alexandria’s blouse but she brushes her hand away.
Mrs. Hyatt: I’m just trying to make sure you look all right.
Alexandria: I look as good as I can in this outfit, but not as good as I could have looked if you hadn’t picked out my clothes for me.
Mr. Collins: She was just doing what I instructed her to do. Appearance means a lot.
(Alexandria’s father enters.)
Mr. Hyatt: (Putting his arms around her) Hi there, pumpkin.
Alexandria: Daddy! I haven’t seen you in so long. You haven’t come home in years.
Mr. Hyatt: Well, the traffic was terrible.
Mr. Collins: Before the trial begins I just want to go over some particulars. First, the kind of sentence you can expect if Alexandria is found guilty. Now, the judge might let you off with a slap on the wrist like last time and all the other times, but I doubt it. You could even be looking at serving some time.
Alexandria: Serving time! You mean I’d go to prison?
Mr. Collins: No, no, you wouldn’t go to prison. You’d go to a juvenile detention facility.
Alexandria: Juvinile detention facility? What’s that.
Mr. Collins: It’s a place where they send offenders who aren’t yet adults. You sleep three to a room, they make you go to school everyday and they make you eat your vegetables.
Alexandria: Oh no!
Mr. Collins: Yes, ALL your vegetables. And, the staff at the juvenile detention facility sets the TV to one channel, and you only get to watch that one channel, no matter what’s on it.
Alexandria: I only get to watch one TV channel?
Mr. Hyatt: What are the chances that she’ll be sent to a juvenile detention facility?
Mr. Collins: Only about ten percent.
Mr. Hyatt: That’s a relief. I always make a business deal if the odds are ninety percent that it’ll succeed.
Alexandria: Daddy, how can you look at this as just a business deal!
Mr. Hyatt: I’m a guy. That’s how we think.
Mr. Collins: See, we have to consider the charges we’re looking at. There’s the shoplifting, breech of probation and the reinstatement of the vandalism charge.
Alexandria: Why would the judge reinstate the vandalism charge?
Mr. Collins: Because you violated the terms of the sentence stemming from it. The judge might see that as committing the crime all over again.
Alexandria: That’s ridiculous. Daddy payed for the repairs to that girl’s car.
Mr. Collins: Yes, but you caused thousands of dollars worth of damage and scared the poor girl inside it half to death.
Mr. Hyatt: Yes, princess. I mean you did deliberately take a golf club to that girl’s car multiple times.
Alexandria: That’s because it didn’t roll very well and I thought if I hit it enough times I could get it into the hole.
Mr. Collins: The judge is also going to take into heavy consideration the report from the social worker.
Mr. Hyatt: Have you seen it?
Mr. Collins: No, only the judge has seen it. How do you think you did in the interview, Alexandria?
Alexandria: I did … fine.
Mr. Collins:What do you mean?
Alexandria: Well, I went to the social worker’s office but she was late and I had an appointment to get my hair done. Mommy, you know how upset Monsieur Henri gets when you’re even one minute late for one of his appointments.
Mrs. Hyatt: Well, it depends on the time of day and how much he’s had from the bottle of whisky from behind the counter.
Mr. Collins: So you skipped the interview to get a haircut?
Alexandria: No, I left a note telling the social worker where I’d be. She came to Henri’s and we had the interview while he styled my hair. It was hard to hear, though, what with the electric clippers and hair dryers and Henri singing Quebec folk songs loudly to himself.
(The judge enters and everyone goes into the court room.)
Bailiff: All rise for the honourable Judge Roberts.
(Judge Roberts and the other courtroom staff enter.)
Court Secretary: You may be seated.
Judge Roberts: Our first matter is The People versus Alexandria Hyatt. Gee, that name sounds familiar. Where have I heard that name before? … Oh yeah, Miss Hyatt was in my courtroom only two months ago. Something about smashing up a girl’s car with a golf club. Anyway, let’s focus on the matter at hand. Miss Hyatt, you appear to have a different lawyer from the last time we got the band back together.
Mr. Collins: Your honour, last time my client was represented by Mr. Kruger, the senior partner in the firm which represents her father in his business dealings. However, this time Mr. Kruger is in Hong Kong taking care of matters relating to one of those aforementioned business deals, so thus I am representing Alexandria Hyatt today.
Judge Roberts: What, was the guy who makes the coffee too busy?
Mr. Collins: Yes, your honour.
Judge Roberts: Are you familiar with the term “sacrificial goat” and the admonition “don’t shoot the messenger?”
Mr. Collins: Yes, your honour. The latter refers to a person who fears he might be killed if he delivers bad news and the former refers to someone who gets the blame, thus a sacrificial goat.
Judge Roberts: Actually, the latter also refers to the fact that they really did used to shoot messengers who brought bad news back in medieval times. Not only did they shoot them, they boiled them in oil and did all kinds of other horrible things to them. The former also refers to the fact that in ancient Israel they used to sacrifice goats and bulls and sheep, the blood making atonement for the people’s sins and the animals themselves representing the repentant human beings.
Mr. Collins: Duely noted, your honour.
Judge Roberts: That’s just the kind of thing I’d expect a cissy like you to say. Now, I’m sorry to have kept everybody waiting. Being kept waiting is personally something which I view as most unprofessional. However, I had an appointment with my doctor. Look at this.
(He pulls down the back of his robe to reveal a neck brace.)
Alexandria: Oh, how awful.
Judge Roberts: Thank you, Miss Hyatt. I have a case of whiplash. If it were not for these (holds up a bottle of pain killers) and the marijuana my cop buddy gives me after he’s comphescated it, I would be in constant pain. I got this case of whiplash from a car accident I was involved in recently. I had stopped at a red light, which was stupid because along with everyone else in society, the girl behind me realized the red light just meant the streets were still decorated from Christmas. She plowed right into the back of me. A fifteen-year old girl just about your age, Miss Hyatt, and do you know what she was most concerned about? Her versachi sunglasses which had gotten broken during the crash.
Alexandria: Hey, I payed a lot of money for those sunglasses.
Judge Roberts: Now, looking at your social worker’s report I see you skipped out on your appointment to go to a hair appointment. Do you think you could book an appointment for your lawyer, there?
Alexandria: No, Henri doesn’t take referrals.
Judge Roberts: Too bad. Take me back to the moment when you first decided to shoplift.
Alexandria: OK.
Flashback …
(Alexandria and her friend Nena are sitting on Alexandria’s bed.)
Alexandria: You know, I wish we were rich, richer than we are now.
Nina: Yeah, then we could afford nice things like expensive clothes and gold jewelery and things like that.
Alexandria: No, I’m thinking of things that have real value.
Nina: Like what?
Alexandria: Cows.
Nina: Oh wow, yeah cows!
Alexandria: You know, if we stole a couple fancy things, we could sell them and get money to buy cows.
Nina: Great idea!
Judge Roberts: When you were apprehended by store security, you were found to have over four hundred dollars in your purse. If you wanted the stolen goods, why did you not simply purchase them?
Alexandria: I don’t know. I guess because I wanted them.
Judge Roberts: How’d you get the four hundred dollars, anyway? Do you have a job?
Alexandria: No, I don’t have a job. That’s my allowance.
Judge Roberts: You get a four hundred dollar a week allowance?
Alexandria: No. I get a thousand dollars a week, but I had already spent six hundred dollars that Monday.
Judge Roberts: It is quite apparent that you have never gotten any responsible guideance from your parents in your entire life. That is why I choose to sentence you to six months in a juvenile detention centre. Bailiff, place Miss Hyatt in a holding cell, but first, court secretary, throw a pie in her face.
(The court secretary throws a pie in Alexandria’s face.)

Scene 2
The meeting room. Alexandria enters, guarded by the bailiff. Mr. Collins, Mr. Livingston and Alexandria’s mother and father are sitting around the table. Alexandria and the bailiff take their seats.
Mr. Livingston: Judge Roberts went home. He wasn’t feeling well. He also said he had a severe case of the munchees. I’ve called you here to discuss an alternative to sending Alexandria to detention.
Mr. Hyatt: For the record, Mr. Livingston, I intend to appeal Judge Roberts decision.
Mr. Livingston: I understand, Mr. Hyatt. One could make a case that the marijuana and pain medication impaired Judge Robert’s decision.
Mr. Hyatt: No, it isn’t because of that. I’ve just decided to appeal because I didn’t like the ruling.
Mr. Collins: I take it you want me to begin the process of filing an appeal immediately?
Mr. Hyatt: That’s correct.
Mr. Collins: Well, the earliest I could start on it would be the day after tomorrow. Mr. Kruger wants me to clean the firm’s gutters.
Mr. Livingston: Keep in mind, if you appeal, Alexandria will end up spending more time in detention.
Mr. Hyatt: Why on earth would that be?
Mr. Livingston: Duhhh, because until the appeal trial begins she’s still assumed to be guilty of the crimes she was convicted for under the most recent ruling.
Mr. Hyatt: Oh.
Mr. Livingston: Anyway, what I propose instead of detention is a diversion program.
Alexandria: What is a diversion program?
Mr. Livingston: It’s a stratigy designed by an organization to steer youth that are involved in criminal activity away from a life of crime.
Alexandria: What’s an organization?
Mr. Livingston: The diversion program is provided through Money Save. They collect money for, according to their mission statement and the records they show the government, “children in various countries around the world and such.” If you agreed to have Alexandria participate in this program, you’d have to pay the cost of the airfare, agree to hand her over to Money Save at a specified time and realize there’s a good chance shewon’tcomeback.
Mrs. Hyatt: What was that last thing?
Mr. Livingston: You have one minute to decide.
Mr. Hyatt: This is outrageous! This is blackmail. I am going to have Kruger’s firm draw up an appeal for Judge Robert’s ruling immediately. Then, I’m going to have them file a civil suit against you people for all the damage you’ve caused. Let’s see, there’s the mental and emotional anguish suffered by her mother and me, Alexandria’s pain and suffering, her broken Flexinail, the expense involved in washing her pie-smeared face.
Mr. Livingston: Time’s up. Your daughter is going in the program.

Scene 3
Alexandria’s bedroom. Alexandria is packing a suitcase. Her Irish wolfhound, Potato Famine is sitting on her shoulder. The phone rings. Alexandria walks across the room and answers it.
Alexandria: Hello.
Olivia: So is it really true? Your going to Africa?
Alexandria: Yes, I am.
Olivia: You are so fortunate. Commit a crime and get to go on a vacation.
Alexandria: Yes, I am. I’ll get to Kenya, ditch the group, do some safariing on the game preserves and meet up with the group in time to go home. I can’t loose for winning.
Olivia: So when do you leave?
Alexandria: I leave for Africa tomorrow. Well, actually, I have a stop over in Paris, Ontario. I don’t suppose you’ve ever been there?
Olivia: No, I haven’t.
Alexandria: Well, I don’t get there much myself. I’ve only been there about three times. (Potato Famine starts barking) Stop that, Potato Famine. So, I’d like you to clear a place on your calendar for the twenty-fourth. That’s the day we’re going to celebrate my homecoming, and my sixteenth birthday.
Olivia: Oooh, is your dad getting you a car?
Alexandria: I expect so.
Olivia: My dad got me a car for my sixteenth birthday two months ago. He bought me a brand new Ford Tempo.
Alexandria: Well, my dad will probably be getting me a fancier car, probably a Tata Nano.
Olivia: Oh, that’s the same kind of car our maid drives. She won it in a draw.
Alexandria: Oh, well, I have to finish packing now but remember to come see me get my brand new car on the twenty-fourth. Goodbye.
Olivia: I’ll have to check my schedule. Goodbye.

Scene 4
The plane. Alexandria is sitting in her seat.
Captain: Attention, please. We will soon begin our descent into the Leslie Cook International Airport.
(The seatbelt light comes on. Alexandria gets up from her seat.)
Stewardess: You’re going to have to sit down. We’re going to land very shortly.
Alexandria: No one tells me what I can and can’t do. I am going to the washroom to straighten out my makeup.
(Alexandria continues to make her way to the washroom. The pilot is seen, talking to his co-pilot.)
Pilot: Hey Phil, have you ever had one of those experiences where you can’t remember something you usually know really well?
Phil: Sure. My wife would tell you I get them all the time.
Pilot: That’s comforting because I’ve forgotten how to land the plane.
Phil: Just bring her down the best way you can. We’re not too high up, and all the passengers are firmly fastened snug in their seatbelts.
Pilot: OK, here goes nothing.
(He sends the plane nose-diving into the runway. Alexandria flies down the aisle and into the cockpit.)
Phil: Hey. Did you have a nice flight?
(Alexandria stands up and goes back to her seat.)
Stewardess: We have received a radio transmission. Upon disembarking from the plane, an attendant will meet you and take you to your connecting flight to Nairobi.
Alexandria: But I was hoping to do some shopping in Paris.
Stewardess: Yeah, I know it’s a shame. Whenever I get the chance to spend a few days here, I always like to go to all the Tim Horton’s. What are you going to Nairobi for, anyway?
Alexandria: Work.
Stewardess: Work? You mean some kind of charity work?
Alexandria: Yeah, I’m going down there for a month to do charity work because I shoplifted  some stuff and it was either that or go to the juvenile detention centre.
Stewardess: Wow. When my girls get older I hope they’re as good as you.

Scene 5
The airport in Nairobi. Alexandria is getting her luggage off the luggage carousel. A woman comes up to her.
Renee: Hello, my name’s Renee. Can I help you take one of your bags?
Alexandria: Hold on. How do I know you’re really who you say you are?
Renee: What do you mean?
Alexandria: Well, you could have gotten ahold of my information from some database somehow and you could be impersonating the woman from Money Save in order to kidnap me and hold me for ransom.
Renee: Well, if I am going to kidnap and hold you for ransom, it’s either a choice between that and sitting in this airport for who knows how long.
Alexandria: I guess you’re right.
Renee: Follow me to the truck.
Alexandria: When we get there I want a hot bath and a nap.
Renee: Well, you can sleep on the journey, but we don’t have a bathtub at the centre. You’ll have to have a shower. (They arrive at the truck. Nabala is standing beside it.) Throw your bags in the back and hop in. Oh, by the way, this is Nabala, our driver.
Nabala: If anyone want to ride with Nabala, they gonna have to win a fight.
(Nabala puts up his fists. He and Alexandria fight. Nabala ends up crumpling to the ground in a heap.)
Renee: OK, let’s get going.
Alexandria: I am not riding in that thing.
Renee: Well, you have three options. Stay here, get in the truck or walk to the centre.
Alexandria: I choose to walk.
Renee: (Pulling a map out of her pocket) OK, then, here are the directions
(Alexandria takes the map, puts one suitcase on each arm and pushes the other one along in front of her.)

Scene 6
The centre. Alexandria wanders through the gate with her suitcases. Renee is at the gate to greet her.
Renee: Alexandria, you’re just in time for lunch. (She leads Alexandria into the dining area) Everybody, this is Alexandria.
Everyone: Hi Alexandria.
(Everyone gets up and rubs themselves against Alexandria’s legs like cats.)
Renee: We’re going to have everyone introduce themselves and say a few words about why they are here. Let’s start with Alexandria.
Alexandria: My name is Alexandria, Alexandria Hyatt. I live in Brentwood, California and my favourite colour is blue.
Renee: Now that we’ve had Alexandria introduce herself, who else would like to introduce themselves.
Sarah: My name is Sarah. I’m from Boise, Idaho and I’m here as part of a group with my church. We had a speaker from Money Save come. We learned about children who had no fresh water or school to go to. We just had to help, so we went on our first mission.
Alexandria: To Africa?
Sarah: No, to Detroit. After that, we decided to come to Kenya.
Alexandria: Why?
Sarah: Because Kenya’s less dangerous.
Renee: Well, now that you’ve been introduced to everybody, I’ll show you to your tent.
(They leave the dining area and go down the path to a tent. Alexandria enters and lies down on the bed. Andi enters.)
Andi: Hi, I’m your roommate.
Alexandria: Hi.
Andi: My names Andrea but I prefer to be called Andi.
Alexandria: So why are you here?
Andi: I had to come here after my relationship with my second husband ended. I needed to get away for a while, y’know.
Alexandria: Oh, well I’m going to take a shower before supper.
(She exits.)

Scene 7
The dining area. Alexandria enters and looks around for a seat.
Sarah: Alexandria, Alexandria, come sit over here. (Alexandria goes over to the table with the church group.) Alexandria, do you want tea or coffee with your supper?
Alexandria: I’ll just have a bottle of sparkling water, please.
(A waiter comes over.)
Waiter: Tea or coffee?
Alexandria: I’ll have a sparkling water, please. Perrier or Evion will be fine.
Waiter: Tea or coffee?
Alexandria: Sparkling water.
Waiter: (Slower) Tea or coffee?
Sarah: We don’t have any sparkling water.
Waiter: Man, you don’t want no Perrier or Evion. They’re owned by Coke and Pepsi anyway.
Tim: So, Alexandria, how did you raise funds for the trip?
Alexandria: I didn’t raise any funds. My father just payed for it.
Tim: Wow, is he rich or something?
Alexandria: Yes, very rich.
Tim: Wow. Do you know Donald Trump?
Alexandria: I wouldn’t say that I know him well. I’ve been over to his house a few times, the spacious penthouse he owns on the upper east side of Manhattan. Very nice. Ither he has great taste or a great designer.
Tim: But how, why do you know him?
Alexandria: My father’s done some business deals with him.
Tim: Cool! Hey, did he ever say to your father, “You’re fired?”
Alexandria: No. It was my father who said, “You’re fired” to him.
(The other kids get down and lick Alexandria’s boots.)
Renee: While everybody is finishing up their desserts, we’re going to start our seminar.
(Renee puts a video in the VCR.)
Anncr: Hi, I’m Tom Bergeron. Today we’re going to learn about the Massai. The Massai people live in Kenya. Basically, they have a bunch of horrible customs, like washing their hair with cow urine and settling disputes by seeing which party can throw a club furthest. Any good customs they had have been wiped out by colonialists. Come on, you don’t want to hear about this. You’d much rather see videos of people falling down.
(There follows a montage of various people falling down in various situations.)

Scene 8
The compound. Alexandria and the other teenagers are walking in line toward a truck.
Alexandria: I’m going to ride up front.
Sarah: But you’ll miss all the fun.
Alexandria: What sort of fun?
Sarah: We sing songs and play games.
Alexandria: Thanks, but I’m afraid this is where we part company.
(Alexandria goes to the front of the truck. Renee comes up to her.)
Renee: Come on, Alexandria, go to the back of the truck.
Alexandria: But I was going to ride up front, to keep the driver company.
Renee: Thanks, but I ride shotgun.
Alexandria: But they’re going to sing songs.
(Renee gives her a look. Alexandria walks to the back of the truck and climbs in.)
Sarah: What song shall we sing?
Andi: I know. How about “The More We Get Together.”
(Everyone except Alexandria starts singing.)
Alexandria: Please, no.
Andi: I suppose you have a better suggestion.
Alexandria: How about we sing some CCR. (Starts singing) On the highwayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy,
Thirty people lost their lives,
(The others join in.)

Scene 9
The construction site. Alexandria is wandering around, not doing any work. Renee comes up to her.
Renee: I notice you’ve been taking it pretty easy.
Alexandria: Takin it easy,
Takin it easy
Oh sorry, I’m still all pumped up from the truck.
Renee: That’s understandable. I thought you might like to see the old school building that the children hope to abandon soon so they can move into the one we’re building.
Alexandria: What do you mean by hhope to abandon exactly?
Renee: Never mind. Come.
(They enter a classroom.)
Teacher: Jambo. Welcome to Standard 4, or as you call it, Grade 4. Our school is the highest ranked in this area, which incidentally is known as Little Southside Chicago. Now, the children would like to sing you a special song.
(The children sing Ice T’s “Cop Killer” and start shooting at each other. Alexandria and Renee exit and walk to another classroom.)
Renee: This will be our last stop, Standard 8. Some of these kids will be your age or older.
Alexandria: But if this is Grade 8, how can they be older? I’m going into Grade 11
Renee: Some of these students couldn’t come when they were younger because of family responsibilities or lack of funds. Some of these students might even be a few years older than you.
Teacher: It’s not surprising really. Read “The Bell Curve.”
 Renee: Right now the students are righting the tests that will determine if they can go on to high school.
Alexandria: So if they pass they can go on?
Renee: If they pass, they are qualified to go on. They still have to pay for classes. High school is not paid for by the government. The families are responsible.
Alexandria: And if they don’t have the money?
Renee: Then it’s the end of their schooling. That’s why this class is so small. These are the only students who might have the money and the ability to go on further. Even these tests they’re taking have to be paid for by their families.
Alexandria: That isn’t fair. If you’re smart enough then you should be able to go to school.
Renee: It isn’t fair, but it isn’t that much different from back home.
Alexandria: It’s way different.
Renee: Is it? What university are you planning on going to?
Alexandria: I don’t know. I figure my parents will pay for me to go to a good school, then I’ll screw around and get drunk the first year, fail all my classes, take the courses again the following year, and let the pattern continue until I marry a rich boyfriend.
Renee: Thought so. It doesn’t seem fair that poor people can’t go to university.
Alexandria: But that’s different. Everybody can go to high school, free.
Renee: But lots of people drop out because they know that they won’t be able to go on any further after. They know they won’t be able to become doctors or lawyers and teachers and such.
Alexandria: Well, that’s because you have to go to college or university to do much of anything these days. It used to be with only a Grade 8 education you could do lots of different jobs, and those people were better educated than most university students today. It’s not my fault the government is making it harder for people to live.
(Ruth comes up to them.)
Ruth: My name is Ruth. What is your name?
Alexandria: My name is Alexandria. Jambo.
Ruth: You speak very good Swahili.
Alexandria: I only know a few words and phrases: when’s breakfast, when’s lunch, that sort of thing.
Ruth: All important phrases.
Alexandria: How do you know such good English.
Ruth: I am in standard 8. I started learning in Standard 4
Alexandria: Really.
Ruth: We must walk you home.
Alexandria: Would it be OK, Renee?
Renee: Ruth’s village is about halfway to the compound. We should be done in about half an hour. I’ll send Naballa to pick you up in about half an hour.
(Alexandria and Ruth begin walking home.)
Alexandria: So, what do you do to chill?
Ruth: Oh, we drink chilled elephant’s blood to stay cool.
Alexandria: No, I don’t mean staying cool, I mean things that are cool. What do you do for fun.
Ruth: For fun?
Alexandria: Yes, what do you do for after school.
Ruth: We gather wood and collect water.
Alexandria: I mean what do you do for fun?
Ruth: Well, when we ggo for water sometimes we sing, CCR, Ice Tea, that sort of thing.
Alexandria: Does your father help out with any of the housework?
Ruth: (Laughs and says something in Swahili) No, that is for women. “Let the bitches do that kind of work,” he says. Here is my village. Let me show you my house. (She says something in Swahili to a woman sitting on a bench outside a hut) That was me greeting my mother who is pregnant with my thirty-fifth sibling.
(They enter Ruth’s hut.)
Alexandria: This hut is filled with smoke. I mean not to be mean, but we white people, have figured a way to have a fire without the hut filling with smoke.
Ruth: What is that supposed to mean?
Alexandria: I’m saying that if white people inhabited this country we would have done something. Let’s go outside. (They exit) Can I do your eyes? I mean can I put makeup on them?
Ruth: Sure.
(Alexandria applies makeup to Ruth’s face.)
Alexandria: Gosh, you are so perfect. I have brought high fashion to the African continent. My work here is done.
Ruth: My father the chief invites you to stay for supper.
Alexandria: Your father’s the chief?
Ruth: Yes, at least for this week.
Alexandria: Well, I’d love to stay for supper.
(Judge Roberts appears.)
Judge Roberts: Alexandria, you have brought high fashion to the African continent. Your sentence is over.
Alexandria: Oh, thank you.
Judge: Now I’ve got to tell the kids back at the compound that the school won’t be completed because the organization has imbezzled all the money. Bye, everybody.

Closing credits.

Based on “Alexandria of Africa” by Eric Walters.