"OUT AT THIRD" 


     The slow descent into insanity of a middle aged, unemployed, advertising executive is explored in this      graphic drama. 



WHAT THE CRITICS SAID!


'Joe Simonelli takes a dramatic turn in this commentary on the condition of our country, priorities, and sanity! Not to be missed!'


Joe Franklin - Bloomberg Radio


Excerpts

'Out at Third"

(Adult content and language warning)

Out at Third
By
Joe Simonelli
2
CHARACTERS
Sammy Spinelli - unemployed Ad man 55
Marsha - his second wife 50
Lydia - his daughter (1st marriage) 30
Barney - his younger brother 48
3
Disclaimer: This play is not meant to offend or shock. It is simply a commentary, as the author see’s it. As with any literary work, the reader can assign or disregard any meaning they choose.
Act I, Scene I
SETTING: The living room of Sam and Marsha Spinelli. Usual furniture including an old television set. One main front door leads to house, another smaller door back leads to basement. An archway leads off to den and other rooms.
Time: Morning
AT Rise: Marsha sits at table drinking coffee while reading the newspaper. Cereal bowls are on the table.
MARSHA
Sammy, come on in and have your breakfast before it gets cold.
SAMMY
(From off)
How can cereal get cold?
MARSHA
It’s oatmeal wiseguy. You’re favorite, raisins and spice.
SAMMY
(from off)
I can’t find my damn glasses.
MARSHA
That’s okay you can see the oatmeal fine without them.
SAMMY
(entering)
Funny Marsha. You’re a real card. You know I read the internet blogs first thing in the morning.
MARSHA
A lot of good it’s doing you.
SAMMY
(sits)
What’s that supposed to mean?
4
MARSHA
Mr. conspiracy theory. I wish you would occupy yourself with something else besides those blogs. It’s not healthy.
SAMMY
Really, and what’s more healthy than being well informed huh? It’s our only defense.
MARSHA
Against what?
SAMMY
Ourselves mostly. Our own conditioning. Our human nature.
MARSHA
Oh no Sammy. Come on. It’s too early for that. I’ve got a long day ahead of me.
SAMMY
Sure, ignore it and just go on living life like a drone. Well maybe you can but I can’t. I’m out of work, the economies in the crapper. There isn’t anything to watch on T.V. besides sports. All they have is that reality television crap. Can you imagine what passes for entertainment these days. A bunch of talentless nobodies cashing in by exposing their inadequacies. And then the idiots out there watch the shows and make the talentless nobodies richer. I wish someone would follow me around with a fucking camera, at least they might learn something.
MARSHA
What, how to rant at seven in the morning?
SAMMY
(getting agitated)
You think this is ranting Marsha, you think this is ranting?!
MARSHA
Oh shit, I’ll never learn. Look what I started. Drop it Sammy, it’s just the way things are.
SAMMY
Just the way things are?
So what! So fucking what Marsha! You think I like the way things are…you think I like being an unemployed middle aged ad-man? Thirty years of hard work with nothing to show for it. You think you know what’s wrong with this country? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. People are so fucking greedy, so needy that all they can think about is their next vacation. The fucking banking system nearly fails…do you know…do you fucking realize how close this whole fucking country came to financial destruction in 08?
MARSHA
I don’t want to hear this again Sammy!
5
SAMMY
Well you’re gonna hear damnit! Somebodies gonna hear it! Those greedy fucking Wall street pigs! Do they give a fuck what happens to the country? Not a fucking chance…they create hybrid mortgages based on nothing that no one understands and sell it to the public as sound investments. Then they raise our taxes to bail them out. And do those motherfuckers wind up in jail….nah, oh maybe a few just so those cock sucking no nothing politicians can justify their fucking existence. Cause they’re just as bad. They add nothing to the mix. They’re just fucking yes men there to satisfy their constituents and get re-elected so their whore wives don’t leave them for a younger politician with better prospects. And what’s their motivation? What’s their fucking motivation, all these bastards? To keep what they got! To get more…to keep they’re fucking trophy wives even though those same needy bitches are fucking the landscapers behind their back. So they’re ruining the country. Their own children’s and grandchildren’s future…to keep their fucking giant screen televisions and Land rovers. Come on Marsha, come on enough…are you telling me that we have the technology to create a black hole but we can’t figure out a way to make a car run on anything but oil? They can probably make a car that runs on sea water but are they ever going to let a company market it? Never! Cause the head of the big oil companies won’t let them. The head honcho of Exxon, or Gulf or whoever the fuck they are won’t let them. And just who do these fucking guys think they are, fucking with us?!
.
MARSHA
I don’t know Sammy, I don’t know who they think they are.
SAMMY
No, no I mean really. You see, you see Marsha nobody ever thinks of it but I think of it. I’m the only one who wants to know what entitles these mother fuckers. What entitles them to tell us what to do and impinge on our freedoms? What happened in the life of that motherfucking head of the multinational oil company when he was fifteen years old? When he was a pot smoking pre pubescent punk who was only worried about getting laid or driving his old man’s Bently to get cigarettes. What epiphany befell him at fifteen years old that told him he would one day grow up to run a big multinational oil company. You think he’s better than me or you?
MARSHA
I don’t know Sam.
SAMMY
It’s a rhetorical question Martha, I’m in the middle of a fucking rant here!
MARSHA
Well is it almost over cause I have to clean the breakfast plates and go to work soon?
SAMMY
You see that’s what I’m talking about? Fuck the breakfast plates. Is the fucking world gonna come to an end cause you didn’t clear the breakfast plates on time this morning? Does it throw off some fucking psychic schedule in your head and throw off the cosmic balance of the universe?
MARSHA
Fine Sammy fine, the head of the big multinational corporation is no better than you or me.
6
SAMMY
Damn straight he’s not. That fucking prick. So now what has he got? Now he runs the big oil company and answers to share holders, and heads of cartels, and a board of director and for what? What’s it getting him? A big house, ten big houses? How many fucking big house’s does he need? How many fucking trophy wives? Give it up, give it all up, who wants the fucking aggravation? Does he think he has it made? Does he think he’s free? Strip it all away and you’re free. All the possessions, throw them the fuck out. Go live on a farm and grow your own food and be self sufficient, then you’re free. Because you know what’s gonna happen if the country continues on the same path as it’s going now Marsha?
Chaos, fucking chaos. People think it can’t happen? People think the world economy can’t collapse under the pressure and bullshit and inflated economy? Oh it can. They thought the same thing in 1929.
And you know who the first guys were who cracked, who jumped from the roofs of the buildings? The fucking greedy Stockbrokers, and heads of oil companies and politicians! Poetic fucking justice. They couldn’t handle giving up their Bently’s and houses in the country. Can you believe it? They give up their fucking lives cause they lost they’re possessions. Those weak minded, fucking cowards. The coward’s way out, suicide. And these are the fucking people we put it charge? I’m just saying…were they ever in a fox hole with someone shooting at them? With explosives going off in front of them like I went through in combat? Fucking entitled pussies, that’s whose running the country. They don’t know what real fear is.
MARSHA
Are you done? Are you done ranting cause guess what? One of us has to go to work around here to keep the lights on.
SAMMY
(rises from table)
And what the fuck is that supposed to mean huh?
MARSHA
It means maybe you should be looking for a job!
SAMMY
In this economy? At my age? I’m fifty five years old and washed up. Whose gonna hire a fifty five year old washed up advertising man?
MARSHA
There must be some ad agency that could use you.
SAMMY
Fuck that! I’m done with that shit. Picking my brain, using my talent, stealing my ideas. How many Cleo awards did they steal from me? Me, the guy who thought up the international courier theme song. And Ajax the ice cream man! Ajax the fucking giant ice cream man! As iconic a figure as the fucking Green Giant!
MARSHA
Ajax the ice cream man was twenty years ago Sammmy. You need to find something to do now!. You need to get out of this house. You sit here all day in your bath robe and watch T.V.
7
SAMMY
I watch the commercials! To see which of my ideas the’yre stealing.
MARTHA
Then try doing something else.
SAMMY
Like what something else? I’m an ad man, an idea man. What should I do at my age, flip hamburgers?
MARSHA
Why not? At least it will stop you from moping around the house.
SAMMY
Whose moping Marsha? Are you saying I’m moping?
MARSHA
Are you still taking your depression medication? Because if I find out you went off your medication Sammy…
SAMMY
You’ll what? Leave me like my first wife left me.
MARSHA
I didn’t say that.
SAMMY
Yeah, yeah I’m still taking the fucking medication that the fucking pharmaceutical companies are fucking getting rich off of.
MARSHA
Now we’re back on that kick…I gotta go to work, I can’t stand here and listen to this anymore.
(she starts to gather her things)
SAMMY
(He moves in front of her)
No wait Marsha…Marsha honey, just wait a second…I’ve got tell you something.
MARSHA
Tell me what?
SAMMY
I dream I had Marsha honey. I dream I had last night.
MARSHA
Why don’t you tell a shrink.
SAMMY
8
No please, just sit…just sit down for one more minute.
(he sits her down gently in a chair then sits opposite her)
Thanks.
MARSHA
So tell me about the dream.
SAMMY
Well, I dreamt I was at Yankee Stadium watching the ball game. And all the regular players are on the field except for the first baseman. And someone hits a grounder to third and the third basemen throws the ball across the diamond to first base only instead of the regular first baseman there’s an elephant playing first!
MARSHA
An elephant is playing first base for the Yankees?
SAMMY
Yeah but not like a real wild elephant. Like a human sized cartoon elephant wearing a Yankees uniform and cap. And you know what the best part is Marsha, you know what the best part is?
MARSHA
He works for peanuts?
SAMMY
No, no, hey that’s a good one. No the best part is, get this Marsha, the best part is…
Well he’s got a really long trunk and the first baseman’s mitt is on the end of it so this elephant can catch everything! I mean an infielder can’t make a bad enough throw that this elephant can’t catch! It’s amazing.
MARSHA
(she rises)
It sure is Sammy….look, I gotta go to work.
SAMMY
But what did you think of the dream?
MARSHA
I think it could revolutionize baseball. An all animal team. Maybe you can get an armadillo to play catcher. He wouldn’t need a chest protector.
SAMMY
But it has to mean something?
MARSHA
Oh it does.
9
SAMMY
Well what does it mean Marsha?
MARSHA
It means I’ve got to go to work and you’ve got to go back to your shrink. I’ll call you later.
SAMMY
Wait one sec Marsha. Have you heard from my daughter…have you heard from Lydia? I haven’t heard from her in a while?
MARSHA
(in doorway)
So why don’t you call her?
SAMMY
I can’t call her, she’s busy…besides, I’m the father, she should be calling me.
MARSHA
Yeah, right Sam.
SAMMY
And she’s very busy with that law practice in New York City.
MARSHA
Pick up the phone and call her why don’t you. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Oh and Sammy, the pilot on the furnace went off again so stay out of the basement till the repair man shows up. There’s fumes down there. I opened the windows but you should stay out of there anyway.Sammy, are you listening to me? This is important.
SAMMY
Yeah, yeah, I’ll take a look at it later.
MARSHA
Sammy, you’re not listening. Stay out of the basement for a day or two. The repair man should be here by tomorrow the latest. You hear me?
SAMMY
Yeah, I hear you. I’ll stay out of the basement.
MARSHA
Good. I love you. I’ll talk to you later. Call your daughter.
(she exits)
SAMMY
(talking to the door)
Yeah but she’s very busy with her law practice in New York City.
10
(he sits at the table and starts to flip through the newspaper. He up a cordless telephone and starts to dial it, then hangs it up. He looks out the window. Turns the remote on the Television but it doesn’t come on.)
Where’s the picture?…it’s broken.
(He tries to turn it on from the television itself but still no picture)
What’s with this piece of crap.
(he checks the plug)
It’s plugged in….god damned piece of crap. I told her we needed a new set.
(he sits at the table and reads the paper again. Then gets up and dials the phone again)
Hi, can I speak to Lydia Spinelli please….yeah, tell her it’s her father…..yeah, sure, I’ll hold…..
(a few beats as he picks up remote and tries the television again)
Piece of shit…(to phone)oh, no I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking to you….oh, she’s in a meeting, yeah but this is important, can’t I speak to her for just a second please? Please? It’s very important….thank you…
(two beats)
Lydia, hi it’s daddy….yeah well I just needed….ii know you’re in a meeting….I just needed to tell you something fast….yeah it’s important, it’s about this dream I had….yeah but Lydia honey…yeah but….okay….
(he hangs up the phone sits at the table and buries his head in his hands. He lifts his head)
You see, this elephant was playing first base for the Yanks.
(head back in his hands as there is a knock at the door)
Go away.
(knocking persists)
Go away, there’s nobody home.
BARNEY
Sammy, open the door. It’s Barney.
SAMMY
My brother Barney?
BARNEY
No, your sister Barney. Open the goddamned door.
SAMMY
11
(he opens the door and Barney enters)
Hey Barney, what are you doing here. I thought you were in Florida?
BARNEY
I was in Florida. But your daughter called me. Said I should come up and visit you.
SAMMY
Lydia called you?
BARNEY
That’s right. She called me. So did your ex-wife.
SAMMY
Nancy called you?
BARNEY
That’s right. They’re worried about you. They think you’re cracking up.
SAMMY
They do?
BARNEY
Yeah Sammy, they do. I do too. I’m sure Marsha does too.
SAMMY
Nah, not Marsha, she’s a good egg.
BARNEY
Yeah, well I think maybe somethings gotta be done, don’t you?
SAMMY
Nah, I’m fine.
BARNEY
Don’t you Sammy?....Can I sit down?
SAMMY
Sure come on in, sit down. You want something to drink? You want to watch t.v.?
BARNEY
No, I didn’t fly all the way up here to watch T.V.
SAMMY
Well anyway we can’t watch T.V. Cause the fucking T.V.’s broken. .
BARNEY
Then why’d you ask me if I wanted to watch? You see, I think you are cracking up.
12
SAMMY
(screaming)
I’m not cracking up! Does it seem Like I’m cracking up!
BARNEY
Alright, alright, calm down. Sit. You’re not cracking up okay?
SAMMY
Okay that’s settled then.
BARNEY
It’s settled. Calm down.
SAMMY
I am calm goddamnit!
BARNEY
You’re sure?
SAMMY
(sitting in chair)
Yes, yes I’m sure. You see, I’m sitting in the chair, nice.
BARNEY
Okay Sammy. Good (he pulls out his cell phone) Excuse me, I’ve got a call coming in.
SAMMY
Anyone I know?
BARNEY
Your ex wife. (into cell phone) yeah, I just got here Nancy. I’m with him now….how is he?
SAMMY
Don’t say it. Don’t you say it Barney.
BARNEY
He’s fucking cracking up.
SAMMY
(On his feet screaming at the cell phone) I am not cracking up Nancy! Don’t you fucking believe him, I am not fucking cracking up!
BARNEY
(to Sam) Allright, allright calm down. (yelling) Sit down Sammy…Sit down and shut up!
(Sammy sits as Barney talks to cell)
You heard that Nancy?… yes, I know, nuts or not, he still has to pay the alimony…how sweet of you to remind me. Yeah, sure,I’ll keep in touch.
13
SAMMY
You know what this is, don’t you Barney?
BARNEY
No, what is it?
SAMMY
It’s a conspiracy. The fucking world is about to go to hell in a hand basket and all the big wigs need a scape goat.
BARNEY
And you’re the scape coat Sammy?
SAMMY
Me and a few enlightened other s, yes.
BARNEY
Why?
SAMMY
Cause we know too much. We’re on to them.
BARNEY
On to who?
SAMMY
All of them. The bankers, Wall Street, the politicians, organized religion. They’re all in cahoots.
BARNEY
They are huh. Why?
SAMMY
(up on his feet again)
Cause they need control Barney, don’t you see that?
BARNEY
Control of who?
SAMMY
Everyone! The masses! They don’t want the common Joe knowing what’s going on. They want to keep him in the dark. This conspiracy has been going on since the founding fathers for Christ sake. The Masons, didn’t you ever hear of the Masons? They’ve got to keep the masses dumb. Dumb and poor so the only thing they’re worried about is keeping food on the table and a roof over their head. Meantime the politicians are getting ready to lower the boom.
BARNEY
How?
14
SAMMY
To start with, if they don’t get the spending under control they’re going to devalue the fucking dollar like they do in third world countries. You’re gonna need a fucking wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. I hope you bought some gold Barney cause you’re gonna need it.
BARNEY
Do you have any gold Sammy?
SAMMY
Maybe I do and maybe I don’t.
BARNEY
That’s great.
SAMMY
So why you here Barney, you’re supposed to be in Florida?
BARNEY
I’m not supposed to be anywhere. I’m supposed to be where I choose to be and right now I choose to be here with you.
SAMMY
So where you staying?
BARNEY
The Sheraton near Kennedy airport.
SAMMY
You don’t need to stay there Barney, we’re family. You’re my brother. Get your stuff and stay here. We got a guest room.
BARNEY
You sure Marsha won’t mind?
SAMMY
Nah, she won’t mind.
BARNEY
Still and all, I don’t want to impose.
SAMMY
She does whatever I say.
BARNEY
I’d feel better if you asked her. Maybe you should call her. Is she working?
SAMMY
Yeah, she’s on her way to work. I’ll call her later.
15
BARNEY
How are you doing on the job front?
SAMMY
Come on Barney, it’s a tough job market. What am I gonna do, a guy my age? Drive Limo’s. I mean I suppose I could drive Limo’s to make some dough. Although I don’t think I really need to. I’ve got a nest egg from working all those years.
BARNEY
Really? So why is your wife always complaining about money?
SAMMY
Ah, she’s just a worry wart. I still got some Ajax ice cream residuals coming in! Remember Ajax the giant ice cream man Barney?
BARNEY
How could I forget. Mom and pop were very proud of you for that Sammy.
SAMMY
Yeah, mon and pop. How long they gone Barn?
BARNEY
Pop eighteen years. Mom eleven.
SAMMY
Eleven years since mom dies. Geez where does the time go….
BARNEY
Yeah.
SAMMY
Remember when we were kids Barn. And every summer we’d get up and play baseball with the guys from the block.
BARNEY
Sure do.
SAMMY
Remember we’d pretend to be different baseball players. I was Mickey Mantle and you where Bobby Murcer.
BARNEY
And Denny Flanders always had to pitch and be Mel Stottlemeyer.
SAMMY
Yeah and my buddy Bobby Mchale, the only Met’s fan on the block, he had to be Tom Seaver!
16
BARNEY
Poor Bobby, died in that hit and run. Only twenty four.
SAMMY
You know I still have dreams about him. You think that means anything, when dead people talk to you in dreams?
BARNEY
I don’t know Sam. Well anyway we’re getting a little off the subject.
SAMMY
What was the subject?
BARNEY
How you’re coping financially.
SAMMY
Don’t worry about me. I got some money saved.
BARNEY
That’s good to know Sammy. That’s good to know because there’s another reason I came up here to see you.
SAMMY
Oh yeah, why is that?
BARNEY
A little business proposition on a deal I got going down in Florida. Oh it’s a real sweet deal.
SAMMY
No kidding? But I thought you were selling Insurance down there. Those guaranteed annuities or something. That makes me laugh. Guaranteed annuities. As if anything is guaranteed.
BARNEY
Well I was doing that for a while but then my Insurance license expired.
SAMMY
Oh yeah? That’s too bad.
BARNEY
Well it happens.
SAMMY
Yeah, I guess it happens.
BARNEY
Yeah, so anyway I got involved in this other business.
17
SAMMY
Yeah, what kind of business is it exactly?
BARNEY
It’s really sweet. It’s in the energy business. You know, shared electricity. You see they deregulated the whole energy business so now people have a choice of who they buy their electricity from.
SAMMY
Yeah I heard of that. I don’t trust it.
BARNEY
Why not?
SAMMY
That’s like multi level marketing, a triangle scheme. It’s not on the up and up Barney. I’d be careful with that.
BARNEY
Of course it’s on the up and up. And the beauty part of it is, the earlier you get in, the more money you make.
SAMMY
I don’t know Barney. That’s really not for me. Course it really isn’t gonna matter in six months anyway when the shit hits the fan cause the whole economies gonna be up shits creek but still and all and all I’m a little wary about this.
BARNEY
Fine, suit yourself. But I think you’re missing out on a golden opportunity here, that’s all I’m saying.
SAMMY
Sure, and don’t think I don’t appreciate the gesture Barn. After all remember what pop said. We’re brothers and we have to watch out for each other. Remember?
BARNEY
Of course I remember….Well look, I’m going to get back to the hotel. How about I drop by later?
SAMMY
Yeah, yeah. Come back for dinner. Bring your bags and stay in the guest room.
BARNEY
Sounds great. You’re sure it’s gonna be okay with Marsha?
SAMMY
I’ll call her right now. I’ll get her on the cell.
(he dials her number)
Hey Marsha it’s me. My brother Barney is gonna stay with us a few days. Bye.
BARNEY
18
What did she say?
SAMMY
I don’t know. That was her voice mail.
BARNEY
I think you really better ask her.
SAMMY
Okay, okay. I’ll call her later.
BARNEY
(he heads to door)
Alright. Just make sure you call her.
SAMMY
Hey Barney, you want to hear about a dream I had last night?
BARNEY
A dream?
SAMMY
Yeah, a dream I had last night about the Yankees.
BARNEY
The New York Yankees?
SAMMY
No, the Sheboygan Yankees. Of course the New York Yankees.
BARNEY
Maybe later. At dinner.
SAMMY
Okay. I’ll tell you later. Bye Barney.
BARNEY
Bye Sammy.
(he exits)
SAMMY
(Barney picksup the remote again, tries to turn it on to no avail.)
Piece of shit….I’ll watch in the den.
(he exits)
19
ACT ONE
Scene two
Later that evening.
Sammy, Marsha and Barney are gathered around the table drinking coffee.
MARSHA
Would you like more coffee Barney? I’m sorry there’s no dessert. We’ve been trying to watch our weight around here. If I’d have known you were coming to visit I could have picked something up on the way home?
BARNEY
Didn’t Sammy tell you I was here? I heard him leave you a message.
MARSHA
I didn’t get any message.
BARNEY
And he was supposed to call you back again and ask you personally, right Sammy.
SAMMY
How about I walk to the corner and get some dessert? What do you like Barney? Oh I know chocolate cake! Hey, you know when we were little I always used to bake chocolate cake for me and Barney. Remember Barney? You loved that cake.
MARSHA
You baked cakes when you were a kid Sammy? Didn’t your mother bake them?
SAMMY
Nah, she wasn’t much of a baker. Good cook but not much of a baker.
20
BARNEY
(agreeing) No she wasn’t.
SAMMY
Besides, sometimes she was sick and I had to cook.
BARNEY
Yeah, that’s right Sammy. Sometimes she was sick. (glances at Marsha and indicates drinking with his hand to his mouth)
MARSHA
Yes. I remember you mentioning that.
SAMMY
(rising) I‘ll run to the store.
BARNEY
Don’t bother Sammy, we don’t need cake.
MARSHA
Your brother is right. We don’t need cake. Sit down. Have some more coffee.
(Sammy obediently sits down)
So how long are you in town for Barney?
BARNEY
A week or so. I’m trying to make a few connections.
SAMMY
Barney’s not selling insurance anymore. His license expired.
MARSHA
What a shame. Sorry to hear that.
BARNEY
It’s no biggie. One closed door leads to another open one. I’ve got something going on with the energy business.
MARSHA
Oh that’s good.
SAMMY
Multi level marketing, right Barney?
BARNEY
Shut up Sammy.
21
(to Marsha)
It’s an alternative energy program.
MARSHA
Oh that’s nice.
BARNEY
How about you Marsha, still working for the state?
MARSHA