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Sycamore Hill Day 3: Gay Dar-Alert

As my silly summer script reading experiment continues (I hope it's working, because I'm nowhere near a computer for the next week, so if you hate it, I haven't a clue), here is another installment of "Sycamore Hill."

When we last left Mayvene, Bill was discovered dead from natural causes inside his condo at the 55-and-over-only complex known as "Sycamore Hill." The neighbor women reacted as they always do, by reminiscing about how their own husbands died. Now the plot thickens, slightly.

ACT I

Scene A (continued)

LINDA tearfully hands over the wallet.

MAYVENE

Dan, what happens now?

POLICE OFFICER DAN

We wait for the coroner to check him.

MAYVENE

What’s to check? He’s deader than

Mississippi roadkill in August.

Oh, sorry Linda.

LINDA sobs.

LINDA

I can’t leave him!

JOANN

(quietly to the others)

More like she can’t leave his

things. And he sure does have nice things.

JOANN slyly looks over the condo’s contents, reaching out to longingly touch BILL’s widescreen TV.

POLICE OFFICER DAN

(to LINDA)

Ma’am, do you live here?

LINDA

Well, no. I have a place in the Crocus

Building, but I spend most of my time here.

IRMA

She doesn’t want Bill’s kids to know

they’re having S-E-X. (winking)

LINDA gasps and sobs.

POLICE OFFICER DAN

Please, everyone, I need you to clear

out so that the coroner can come do her job.

(to LINDA) Do you know who his doctor is?

And I need numbers for his sons.

LINDA stares mutely at him.

MAYVENE

Linda, where is Bill’s address book?

LINDA

In the top drawer of his desk.

MAYVENE

I’ll go get it.

MAYVENE EXITS, and the crowd reluctantly leaves.

JOANN takes one last look around, lingering at the TV. On the wall are paintings that look like copies of “American Gothic” and “The Scream.”

JOANN

Check out the size of that TV!

IRMA

I see Bill has a couple of Randolph

van Ryan’s copies of famous paintings.

GERTIE

Oh, Randolph lives over in the Daffodil

Building. (pause) Alone. (wistful) He’s

very handsome.

IRMA

Gertie, he’s gay. I’d bet my Social Security on

it.

GERTIE

How do you know?

IRMA

He cleans himself. And those paintings!

I remember he wanted to charge me $200 for one.

I told him, “You gotta be kidding me!

I could practically buy a REAL Picasso

(pronounced pi-CASS-oh) for that price,

with the parts of the face in all the

right places!”

PARAMEDIC BRIAN

Irma, am I gonna see you Friday for GTA?

IRMA

You bet!

GERTIE

What’s GTA?

IRMA

(lying)

Oh, nothing.

LINDA

(wailing)

Why me? Bill, why did you do this to me?

MAYVENE ENTERS and hands Bill’s address book to

POLICE OFFICER DAN, WHO EXITS.

MAYVENE

Linda, I don’t think Bill did this

to you. “This” was done to him.

LINDA

What will I do without him? I’d finally

found someone after Bruce died, oh remember

that day? He was watching football and

had a massive stroke.

PARAMEDIC BRIAN

49ers game. We got there in the third

quarter. Guy was face-down in the bean dip.

PARAMEDIC JOE chokes down a laugh. LINDA cries, MAYVENE comforts her.

MAYVENE

Thank you, Brian. There are worse

ways to go.

PARAMEDIC JOE

(trying to control his mirth)

Yeah, like the time Mr. Evans o-d’d

on that herbal sex stimulant at Mrs.

Pincus’ place, and she tried to explain

his…stiffness down there…what was that

called?

MAYVENE

HARD-AL. One “L”. H-A-R-D-A-L.

They stare at her in surprise.

MAYVENE

(to Linda)

Come on, hon, let me make you some

coffee at my place.

MAYVENE and LINDA EXIT.

(end of scene)

Up next: Sex and Iwo Jima in the same conversation.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com