'OLD RINGERS'


     In this semi sequel to 'Men Are Dogs,'  four senior women try to fight the shrinking economy and their shrinking pocketbooks by opening up a home phone sex service after receiving an unsolicited obscene phone call!   This is an adult bawdy comedy and although two characters are reprised from 'Men Are Dogs' the play stands on it's own and a production of the earlier play is not a pre- requisite!


What the critics said!


"A comedy masterpiece! Mr. Simonelli has provided a timely take on how four seniors cope with a shrinking .economy and their shrinking pocketbooks!  Go see it now!"

Joe Franklin - Bloomberg Radio


"Go see Old Ringers to experience the lighter side of the economic downturn as told by comic playwright Joe Simonelli. Balancing obscenity with drier subjects  like social security checks, keeps the play believable but doesn't deract from it's raucous, crowd pleasing comedy!"

Monterey County Weekley





                                                                                                 
                                                                                                   Excerpt
                                                                                            ‘OLD RINGERS’
                                                                                                      By
                                                                                             Joe Simonelli

                                                                                          CHARACTERS
                         Kathy Ann – early 60’s
                         Diane - mid 60’s
                         Rose - late 70’s
                         Verna - mid 50’s
                         Harry - early sixties
                         Amanda - early thirties (Diane’s daughter)
                         Tony Rumson -40 - ( cop)

                                                                                                           ACT I
                                                                                                        SCENE I
SETTING: The living room of Diane Bongiorno and
her daughter Amanda. Front door is back left.
Bedroom is up right. Kitchen is down left. There is a
couch, easy chair, dining room table and chairs.
AT RISE: Amanda, a thirty one year old ‘Evangelical born again Christian’ is sitting at dining room table working on her lap top.
AMANDA
(to herself as she types her blog) ‘Salvation can only truly be gained by those willing to forgo
the physical rewards of the flesh for the spiritual rewards of the soul!’ There, that sounds about
right!
DIANE
(From bedroom)
Amanda Honey…did you bring in the mail?
AMANDA
Yes mother, it’s right here on the table. (she grabs five letters and holds them up)
DIANE
(enters holding a glass of Vodka, she grabs the letters)
Thanks sweetie…what are you up to?
AMANDA
Just finishing up my daily blog.
DIANE
(as she starts to look through letters)
4
Which one today, the ‘Holy Rollers Society’ or the ‘Church of latter day Martyrs of the Bronx?’
AMANDA
I like living in the Bronx and you are not funny Mother. Make light of my religious beliefs if you
like but don’t come crying to me when the time comes for you to be called home and all the
spiritual energy you have is gained from that Vodka you are consuming at (she looks at her watch) eleven thirty A.M.
DIANE
(perusing mail) Gas bill, electric bill…
(coy ) it is not Vodka, it’s water.
AMANDA
Sure, add lying onto the tab of sins you are committing!
DIANE
It's only a venial sin!
AMANDA
Venial sin?
DIANE
I forgot you weren’t raised Catholic. It's a term for a less egregious sin …..(back to mail) Cable bill, telephone bill…
AMANDA
Less egregious? How many types of sins are there?
DIANE
Two, venial and mortal...sort of like a misdemeanor and felony for Catholics.
AMANDA
And what do you think God say about you drinking spirits at all hours of the day?
DIANE
I don’t know, what did he say about your father running off with a pole dancer from Newark.
Ah, here it is! Social security check!
AMANDA
God had nothing to do with that happening. Dad simply lost his way.
5
DIANE
No he didn’t, he took the George Washington Bridge to the Jersey Turnpike and got off at exit
Thirteen-A.
AMANDA
That’s not what I’m talking about! Just because daddy succumbed to the ‘sins of the flesh’ is no
reason you should have to follow. I suppose your lothario friend Harry will be over for his usual
noontime liaison?
DIANE
He better be… Besides don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
AMANDA
Fornicating without matrimony is not acceptable in the kingdom of heaven!
DIANE
Then I sure hope I’m going to the other place.
AMANDA
Besides, you know I’ve been saving myself for marriage mother.
DIANE
Suit yourself, but you’re thirty one years old, you know if you don’t let the train in the tunnel
once in a while the tunnel might collapse.
AMANDA
That’s disgusting mother, you’ve been hanging around with that trampy friend of yours again
haven’t you?
DIANE
Which one?
AMANDA
You know perfectly well which one! Verna!
DIANE
Verna trampy?
AMANDA
And that’s an understatement.
6
DIANE
You’re right, Verna is looser than a broken shingle in a Miami Hurricane!
And her ears must be burning because she and my other friends are on
their way over here for coffee as we speak.
AMANDA
Oh I see, first Vodka than coffee.
DIANE
Well I have to sober up later on for Harry don’t I?
VERNA
( fifty- five trying to look forty- five, enters, she is dressed provocatively in
a low cut blouse.)
Hi all, the door was open.
AMANDA
Speak of the devil, look who’s here! What’s wrong, did Sodom and Gomorra close early today?
VERNA
(To Amanda) Good to see you too dear. (To Diane) Is she still…
DIANE
A virgin?
AMANDA
Yes, for the time being. Hopefully there is still a man left in this state who you haven’t slept
with yet. My job is to find him.
DIANE
(As she reads the social security letter) Better try Connecticut….she’s already lived in Jersey.
VERNA
(Moves towards easy chair) Can I sit here?
AMANDA
Makes sense, it is the ‘easy’ chair!
7
DIANE
Oh shit! Shit! Shit!
AMANDA
Mother, such language!
DIANE
Sorry, oh Darn, darn, darn!
VERNA
What’s the matter honey?
DIANE
Those God damn bastards from social security…
AMANDA
MOTHER!
DIANE
Sorry, those most inconsiderate people from social security!
VERNA
What did they do?
DIANE
They cut my check down by twenty five percent because her no good father is marrying that
tramp pole dancer!
VERNA
Can they do that?
DIANE
I guess so, part of it was his portion.
VERNA
Son of a bitch!
AMANDA
(to Verna)Now you! Sinner, sinner! Repent lest thou fall into the breeches of hell.
8
VERNA
Would you get her the hell out of here so we can curse in peace!?
AMANDA
Fine, fine, I’m leaving, I’ll be at the church meeting house if anyone wants me….
(she exits front door)
VERNA
Still a Virgin at her age. What did you do, keep her chained up in her room for thirty years?
DIANE
Hey, I wouldn’t even care if she were pitching for the other team.
VERNA
The dry spell I’ve been in lately, I’m thinking of switching sides myself.
DIANE
Not me, I love the penis. The trick is to try to find one without an asshole attached to it!
VERNA
I wouldn’t know, my bullshit meter has been out of action for a few years.
DIANE
Why, how long has it been for you?
VERNA
New Years Eve.
DIANE
What year?
VERNA
I think the year I won Miss turnstiles. Get my drift. If I don’t get my pipes cleaned soon they’ll
have to cap me like a dry oil well.
DIANE
Come on, it can’t be that bad.
9
VERNA
What do you know, you’ve got Harry the Hat to keep you satisfied. Why do you call him that
anyway?
DIANE
Because when he’s completely naked he still has a place to hang it.
VERNA
Really, we talkin Stetson or Derby?
DIANE
Top hat!
VERNA
Wow! Does he make house calls?
DIANE
He’s an accountant, not a doctor.
VERNA
Perfect, I file quarterly!
DIANE
The only extension he’s filing is with me sister. Find your own boyfriend.
VERNA
So what are you drinking?
DIANE
(Playing coy again) Water.
VERNA
Yeah, right.
DIANE
Vodka. You want some?
VERNA
Why not? (she moves towards bar) Wait, I thought you told me your daughter emptied out all
the liquor bottles in the house?
10
DIANE
She did. So I emptied out a bottle of seltzer and poured the last bottle of vodka in there before she could get
to it. It’s under the bar with the rest of the mixers. There’s some orange juice under there too.
VERNA
Well, if I can’t have a screw I might as well have a screw driver.
(she mixes herself a drink as there is a knock at the door)
DIANE
It’s open.
(Kathy Ann enters, she is sixty two years old with a sweet demeanor. Tastefully dressed in a
sharp dichotomy from Verna. She is sweet and very naïve. She carries in a bakery box)
KATHY ANN
I brought some donut holes.
DIANE
How sweet of you.
KATHY ANN
Just a little something, they just cut back my hours at the Dentists office so I’m trying to
economize.
DIANE
So is Verna, she’s buying smaller shirts….I’ll get the coffee…
(she exits to kitchen)
VERNA
So the dentist cut your hours, huh?
KATHY ANN
Isn’t it terrible? In this bad economy people cut back on everything, even going to the dentist!
VERNA
As if they needed an excuse to cut back on that!
KATHY ANN
It’s throwing off my whole schedule. I used to get up in the morning, have breakfast, watch
11
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo reruns on Animal Planet…take a shower….
VERNA
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo? You don’t watch the morning news show, or the financial channel or
something like that?
KATHY ANN
Too complicated and depressing. I like to watch the animals or cartoons, Bugs Bunny is my
favorite.
VERNA
Really?
KATHY ANN
Some prefer the more modern cartoon shows but I think they are a bit too crass. No I prefer the
old Warner Brothers classics. But, now with all this extra time to fill in my day I don’t know
what I’m going to do with myself. You know ’an idle mind is the devils playground.’
VERNA
You should know.
(Diane re-enters with tray of coffee which she sets down on the table)
VERNA
Did you know that Kathy Ann watches cartoons?
DIANE
Who doesn’t?
(Rose Monahan, mid seventies, enters. She walks with a cane)
DIANE
Hi Rose, you’re just in time, have a seat.
ROSE
Thanks, my hip is killing me. Ever since I had it replaced it acts up on rainy days.
KATHY ANN
But it’s not raining.
12
ROSE
Great, thanks for the news flash, now it hurts in any kind of weather. Anybody got a cigarette?
DIANE
I thought you gave up smoking?
ROSE
I did. Force of habit makes me keep asking…besides, who can afford cigarettes at their current
price! Between that, rent increases and the price of gas, people can’t even afford to
commute to their job anymore. It’s a good thing I stopped working, I’d go broke!
DIANE
Tell me about it. Social security just cut my benefits!
KATHY ANN
And the dentist just cut back my hours.
ROSE
(to Verna) How about you Lady GaGa - Godiva?
VERNA
Pick one or the other. And I’m independently wealthy. Trust fund.
ROSE
How nice for you. Too bad the rest of us need to scrimp and cut corners whenever we can.
DIANE
Like tipping a lousy waiter or waitress. Rose is the expert.
VERNA
How so?
DIANE
(to Rose) Tell her.
ROSE
Simple, if I get lousy service I leave an eleven cent tip.
KATHY ANN
Eleven cents? Why not just leave nothing?
13
ROSE
If you leave nothing they might think you’re just an old lady who forgot to tip them! If you
leave eleven cents they’ll know the service was lousy!
VERNA
Makes sense.
KATHY ANN
Yeah, eleven cents.
(knock at the door)
ROSE
Why does everybody knock? Don’t you believe in door bells?
DIANE
Do you know how much it costs to fix a doorbell? This house is ancient, that old relic has been
out of commission for five years.
ROSE
Sounds like my last boyfriend.
DIANE
And it used to work great! Just hit that old button in the right spot and it would light up and ring
like a church bell!
VERNA
Sounds like my last boyfriend!
(knocking persists)
DIANE
Who is it?
HARRY
Lover boy! At your service!
VERNA
I’ll let him in.
14
DIANE
(to Verna) Down girl. (to door) It’s open Harry.
(Harry Hitchcock, mid sixties, enters)
VERNA
We’re ready for you ‘Lover boy’!
HARRY
Four of you huh? Be right back.
(He turns to exit)
DIANE
Where are you going?
HARRY
Back to my car to get the Viagra.
DIANE
Have a seat Harry. Have some coffee and Donuts. You know all the girls.
HARRY
Of course. Hello girls.
VERNA
How’s it hanging Harry?
HARRY
(To Diane) I hate when you women talk shop. (to Karen) Why Kathy Ann, how pretty you look. I
love that blouse.
KATHY ANN
Thank you.
VERNA
You never mentioned my blouse.
HARRY
(staring at cleavage) I didn’t notice it. (to Diane) So where’s ‘Sister Sara’ today?
15
VERNA
If she were here she could hold a prayer meeting.
DIANA
Verna, be tolerant. (to Harry) She’s down at her evangelical church.
HARRY
(with hand gestures as if preaching) ‘Where all faiths are accepted and open to sinners
twenty four hours a day.”
ROSE
She really has gone religious on you. When did all that start?
DIANE
About a year after my ex hooked up with that…that…
VERNA
Pole dancer?
That’s the one.
HARRY
Pole dancer. Good cash business. Of course, a lot of singles but if invested properly that cash could generate a decent return.
ROSE
So who’s got extra money to invest?
VERNA
Hmmm. Pole dancer, that’s an interesting career move.
ROSE
Don’t you think you’re a little long in the tooth for that.
VERNA
So I’ll be the jello shot girl.
KATHY ANN
“Long in the tooth”. That’s a good name for a dentist’s office.
16
ROSE
I think you’ve been inhaling too much of the laughing gas honey.
VERNA
You know I once heard about a perverted dentist on long island who used to knock out his
female patients and take advantage of them.
KATHY ANN
Take advantage of them how?
VERNA
You know, the usual way.
KATHY ANN
Oh, you mean….
ROSE
Exactly, they caught him filling the wrong cavity!
KATHY ANN
That’s horrible. I hope they locked him up and threw away the key.
VERNA
They did. Caught the bum before I could make an appointment.
KATHY ANN
How could you even joke about such a thing.
DIANE
She’s right. that’s distasteful, even for you. I think you’ve sunk to a new low.
ROSE
You know my daughter is married to a dentist.
DIANE
That’s right! Cecelia finally married that dentist. Good for her!
ROSE
Yeah, but bad for me, she kicked me out of her house in Queens and stuck me in that senior
living apartment in the Bronx. Hey, I don’t blame her, I think it was that dentist.
17
KATHY ANN
Men, who needs them, especially at our age.
DIANE and HARRY
Speak for yourself.
KATHY ANN
I mean really, it’s been ten years since Jack died and I’ve never even dreamed of being with
another man. And believe me we had a very healthy sex life for thirty years! Every Saturday
night at ten like clockwork. He’d climb on top do his business, and ten minutes later, bedie bye.
HARRY
Really. So what did he die of?
VERNA
Boredom probably.
KATHY ANN
That’s a terrible thing to say. He died in an industrial accident at work.
HARRY
How? I never heard the story.
VERNA
Oh, it’s a beaut.
KATHY ANN
He was a brazier manufacturer and at one of the trade shows one of the more well- endowed
models tried to get into a smaller push up bra. Well under the pressure the bra snap broke off
and out they came! Jack got hit square in the eye.
HARRY
That’s exactly the way I want to go!
DIANE
That’s not what hit him in the eye you idiot!
HARRY
Then what?
18
KATHY ANN
Why the bra strap of course.
HARRY
Killed by a flying bra strap in the eye.
ROSE
Well, beats a stiletto heel to the head I guess.
KATHY ANN
Oh that didn’t kill him, he died six months later from a brain aneurysm that developed as a
result of the eye surgery he had.
DIANE
What a shame honey. And how long has he been gone?
KATHY ANN
It will be ten years next month.
ROSE
So you’re telling me it’s been ten years since you’ve…my God, I’m a lot older than you and it
hasn’t been that long.
KATHY ANN
Well I guess sex just doesn’t interest me anymore.
VERNA
Aside from the ten minutes every other Saturday night did it ever before?
KATHY ANN
It was every Saturday!
VERNA
Woo hoo!
KATHY ANN
(naively) And the first five minutes was foreplay.
VERNA
Five minutes of foreplay followed by five minutes of sex? No wonder you don’t miss it.
19
DIANE
Well I’ll tell you what I’m going to miss. Food on the table and a place to live if I don’t figure out
a way to make some more money.
HARRY
Come on now sugar, it can’t be all that bad.
DIANE
You’re my accountant, you see the finances, I’m practically living hand to mouth here.
HARRY
Well you just need to cut down on stuff, that’s all.
DIANE
Like what?
ROSE
You could cut back on that Viagara Harry keeps in the car. That’s pretty expensive.
DIANE HARRY
Out of the question! Let’s not get drastic!
HARRY
Alright, alright, let’s figure something else out. (he sits at computer) Let’s see. I’ll just pull up
that spread sheet of your finances that I saved. Here it is. Hmmm, that’s income, that’s
income, oohh, there’s an expenditure, expenditure, expenditure…..Oh I got, yeah, yeah, that’s
it’s so simple, why didn’t I see that before? Simple!
DIANE
You have the answer?
HARRY
I do.
DIANE
Well what is it?
HARRY
20
You have to get a job.
DIANE
Give me something to hit him with…
ROSE
Here, us my cane! (she holds it out)
DIANE
How do you expect me to get a job at my age, nobody's hiring women over fifty anymore!
VERNA
Over what age?
DIANE
Shut up Verna!
KATHY ANN
Oh you must be well over fifty. You have to be at least sixty two to collect social security don’t
you? Even I know that.
DIANE
She knows one fact and it has to be that.
ROSE
Yeah, and you’ve been collecting that check for a few years now.
DIANE
(starting to rant)
Sixty five okay, is everybody satisfied, I’m sixty five freakin years old!
HARRY
You told me you were sixty four.
DIANE
So what, when we spoke on the phone before we met you told me you had hair.
HARRY
I do have hair.
DIANE