By Derek Wenmoth
Four people are hooked on gambling.
June, typical mother and housewife, dressed up and obviously getting ready to go out somewhere.
Alex, June's husband, also getting ready to go out.
Rose, the next door neighbour
Brooke, Daughter of Alex and June - also preparing to go out
Scene: A typical lounge room. June is applying the last of her lipstick, obviously keen for other members of the family to get themselves organised to go out.
June: (calling off stage) Alex - are you ready? (to self) Oh - why is it always like this, every week we're rushing to get there! You'd think we'd have it together by now! (Calls) Come on everyone - we're going to be late!
Brooke: (from off stage) Mum, have you seen my new earrings - my lucky charm ones which go with my green top?
June: On top of your duchess - next to your hairbrush (to self) and probably under a pile of washing waiting to be put away! (Calls again) Alex - did you hear me - we're late!
Alex: (from off stage) OK - OK - just let me find my tie... you know I always wear a tie!
June: Why don't you put it away each time? Look, if we don't get away soon all the best seats will be taken.
Alex: (Walks in doing up his tie) I don't see what you're worried about - things always take a little while to warm up.
June: (looking at Alex) Alex - you're not going to wear that!
Alex: What do you mean?
June: That tie
Alex: What's wrong with this tie?
Brooke (Rushing into the room, past her dad) Hey Dad - cool tie! (continues through to the other side of the room)
Alex: Thanks Brooke - but your mother doesn't seem to think so..
June: It's not that I don't like it, it's just that you wore that one last week, and remember Murray Sparks was wearing one the same? No, Alex - go and change it, we don't want that sort of embarrassment again. (Doorbell rings) Oh, who can that be? (Goes to door and opens it)
Rose: Hi June... hey - nice dress!
June: Oh - Rose - it's you, come in (glances at the dress she's wearing) - and thanks.
Rose: (Glances at Alex as he passes to go out) Hi Alex - nice tie! Hey - are you guys going out?
June: (Indignantly) Supposed to be - but we're probable going to be late as usual!
Alex: (Enters room again with different tie) There - is that better?
June: That's much better dear, now - where is my bible?
Rose: Your bible? Are you guys off to church?
Brooke No, mum's bible is her book of numbers?
Brooke: Yes - her numbers - you know, for Lotto
Rose: (confused) Lotto
Brooke: Yes - you know (sings) Saturday, it's that day...? Lotto?
June: Yes Lotto - and it's nearly 8 o'clock! Come on everybody - get in here, this could be our lucky night! Rose - are you staying? (Rose rushes out of the door) Rose! (to others) What did I say? (others shrug)
Alex: Here's your bible honey - have you got the tickets?
June: Great - come on - it's just starting (All of the family rush to sit in a row on the couch in front of the TV)
Rose: (Rushing in the door) Has it started yet?
June: Rose - where did you go?
Rose: (waving tickets) Home - to get these, my lotto tickets (she snuggles in to join them on the couch, all four staring intently at the TV)
Brooke: The first number, Mum - it's 21 - my age - did we get it?
June: (Glances down the ticket) Yes - it's in four of our lines! (Mutters of 'yes'. Focus on June, others freeze)
June: I said this would be our lucky night - oh to win first division - a new house, a new car, an overseas holiday? I mean, what we've got is OK, but the fridge is getting a bit old, and a dishwasher would be good. Wanting those things isn't really being selfish - they'd just make our lives a bit more comfortable. Please Lord - let it be tonight.
Alex: Quiet everyone - here's the next number...
Brooke: It's 39 - our street number - we must have that one! (Focus in on Brooke, others freeze)
Brooke: Please let us win - oh please - just enough for me to have my own car, and a new wardrobe - even second division would be enough! I know I probably don't really deserve it, but if we win I promise I'll settle down and get my life sorted - I'll even give some of it to the Hospice fund! Please Lord - let it be tonight.
Rose: Look - the next number - it's 7, my birthday!
June: We've got that one too!
(Focus in on Alex (others freeze)
Alex: Oh boy - just a couple more numbers and I may never have to work again. Imagine it - going to the golf course whenever I want to, driving around in a new Pajero instead of our clapped out 323. Why shouldn't we be able to have a bit extra in our lives - everyone else seems to be getting ahead, this could be our big chance! Please Lord, let it be tonight!
Brooke: Number 40 - he said number 40
(Focus in on Rose (others freeze)
Rose: I knew it would come up tonight - please Lord, all I need now is the bonus - please let it happen. If I could just get a division three I'd have enough to pay back the grocery money and then Trevor would never know I've been buying these tickets every week - please Lord, let it be tonight!
Alex: The bonus - it's.... 17 (glances at others) whoever heard of 17 as the bonus (several dejected looks around the room)
June: (rips up her ticket) Oh well - there's another week with nothing won!
Brooke: Never mind - there's always next week
Alex: Yeah - you didn't really expect to win did you, there are thousands of kiwis with tickets in this thing - and only a handful can win
June: You're right dear (looks across at Rose) How'd you go Rose?
Rose: I got two - but I needed the bonus!
June: Bad luck - better luck next week!
Rose: Yeah - better luck next week - (glances at her watch) Must go and let you people get out.
Alex: You could come with us if you want, Rose
Rose: No thanks, Alex, I'd better get home or Trevor will wonder where I am. Anyway - he'd kill me if he knew that I'd bought a Lotto ticket!
Brooke: Well, bring him with you
Rose: No way - it's Saturday - he's got an unbreakable appointment in front of the Sky sports channel watching the trots. (smiles all round)
Alex: OK Rose - we'll let you off (shows her to the door as others gather their coats etc. and prepare to follow her out)
Rose: Thanks Alex - (halts at the doorway and glances back) anyway - where are you three going, all dressed up like that? (goading) are you sure you're not off to church?
June: Of course not, silly - we're off to the Casino.
Brooke: Yeah - Dad's been working a system on the roulette wheel - and he reckons tonight's the night (smiles at Alex).
Rose: (gives the three of them a good look) Yeah - tonight's the night (shrugs and walks off - others follow her out the door).
© Derek Wenmoth 1997
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