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BREAD

AND BUTTER PICKLES



By

Erin Hunsader

CHARACTERS:

Eloise: A woman in her mid-20s. Shes a waitress whos a bit hardened by life.
(Cheyenne)

June: A 16-year-old girl whos sweet and sees the positive in everything. (Jess)

Ronnie: A 20-something recluse who makes a living doing bad Johnny Cash
impressions. He speaks with a phony southern accent. (Evan)




























PROPS:

Guitar Case
Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (several full cans)
Bread and Butter Pickle Jar
Purse or tote bag (large enough to fit pickle jar)
Large box and blanket (to look like a coffin)



Lights up. We see a coffin upstage center this can be made with boxes on
chairs covered with a blanket. Chairs line both sides of the stage. June and
Eloise stand near the coffin. June is wearing a skirt and sweater; Eloise is
wearing a nice blouse with jeans.


Eloise?

JUNE
ELOISE

Yes June.

Its too bad about Papa.

Yea, too bad.

JUNE
ELOISE
JUNE

It was a quiet funeral-



Yup, pretty quiet.

ELOISE
JUNE

Not many people came-



Nope. Not a soul. Just us.

ELOISE
JUNE

Why do you think that is?



ELOISE

I dont know.


Pause.

It could be because he was an asshole, June, a big, big asshole. But hey, he was still
our father, right? I guess even assholes have people at their funeral.

JUNE

Laughing to herself
If were here, does that make us assholes?

ELOISE

Laughs
Yes, perhaps our last name should be Asshole. Hey, look at us, were the Asshole
sisters.

Laughs harder
If our last name was asshole I wouldnt feel so bad saying,


Yells at coffin

Hey, bury that asshole!


They both laugh. Beat

God, Im horrible.

JUNE
Youre not horrible, Eloise. Youre good.

ELOISE
Am I, June? Sometimes Im not sure.


Checking her watch

Im going to have to get back to the restaurant soon to do second shift-

JUNE
Its too bad Ronnie couldnt come-

ELOISE
Yea, well hes an asshole too-

JUNE
Hes still our brother-

ELOISE

Joking still-
Yea, and if our last names asshole then he fits in perfect.


Collects herself. Stares at the coffin for a moment in silence.

Oh, youre right, June. I shouldnt be so hard on Ronnie. I mean, hes got his issues
but overall hes a decent guy, right?

JUNE
Right.

Enter Ronnie. Hes looks like a Johnny Cash throw-back with slicked back hair
and a black button up shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. He has a guitar case slung
over his shoulder. June is thrilled to see him. Eloise not so much.



Running up and hugging him.
RONNIE! So good to see you!

JUNE

RONNIE

Hey sis, good to see you.



Ronnie hugs her back. After he hugs June he looks at Eloise for the same
reaction.

ELOISE
Oh, yea.

Eloise fakes being excitement, waving her hands in the air as if shes a
contestant on The Price is Right.

YAY!

RONNIE
Youre as cold as ever-

ELOISE
And youre as late as ever. The funeral already happened Ronnie.

RONNIE
Yea, sorry I missed it. I was doing a Johnny Cash tribute last night down at Skinny
Dicks, and I met this red head and got lost in her burning ring of fire, if you know
what I mean.

JUNE
No. What does that mean?

ELOISE
Youre disgusting-

RONNIE
Eloise, you havent changed a bit.

ELOISE
You have. Whats with the southern accent? Were from Cleveland.

RONNIE
Well, it helps with my persona I got going on, you know, a little Johnny Cash thing-

ELOISE
Oh, is that who youre supposed to be? And whats with the guitar case, you dont
play guitar?

RONNIE
Oh Ellie, I know, youre just jealous of my success, as usual-

ELOISE

Sarcastic
Yea, because youre so successful-

RONNIE
At least Im not a waitress-

ELOISE
No, youre a singing waiter. Thats really different-

RONNIE

Yelling
I am NOT a singing waiter! I am a JOHNNY CASH impersonator!

He starts to sing Burning Ring of Fire, to himself and opens his guitar case as if
hes about to play, but theres no guitar in it, just cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. He
cracks one open and starts drinking, leans on the coffin.

ELOISE
Youre drinking? Its 12:30 in the afternoon-

RONNIE
Beer knows no time-

ELOISE
Cant you just NOT be an asshole for one day!

RONNIE
Only if you promise not to be a bitch-

JUNE
Come on you two. Stop fighting.

ELOISE, RONNIE (TOGETHER)
But hes/ Shes being a-

JUNE
No, dont fight. Papa wouldnt want that-

ELOISE
Yea, hed want to be the one to start the fight.

RONNIE
Ha, aint that the truth? Poor old bird never did have anything nice to say to
anybody. Howd the old cuss die anyway?

ELOISE
Howd he die?

RONNIE
Yea, howd he die?

ELOISE
Are you seriously asking that? He was 85 years old.

RONNIE
I know but did he die in his sleep? Did he drop over from a heart attack or what?

ELOISE
No, I guess

RONNIE
Yea?

ELOISE
I mean, I guess he-

RONNIE
He what?

ELOISE
He had a, a Charlie horse-

RONNIE
He died from a Charlie Horse?

ELOISE
Yea-

RONNIE

You mean to tell me, the man who swallowed his own chewing tobacco, drank
whiskey straight from the bottle and spoke in random Clint Eastwood quotes died
from a Charlie horse?

JUNE
Two actually.

RONNIE
How is that possible? How does one die from a Charlie Horse?

ELOISE
Well, I dont know, he rambled something to me about it in the hospital before he
passed.

RONNIE
And what did he say?

ELOISE
Well, he said he woke up one night and had a Charlie horse in both calves.

As Eloise tells the story Ronnie begins acts it out as if hes trying to figure out
how it killed him-

RONNIE
Wait, wait. Okay, so hes laying in bed-


Ronnie lies on the chairs. June covers him up with her coat.

ELOISE
Yea-

RONNIE
Okay, keep going.

ELOISE
And I guess he was tangled up in the covers, so he couldnt straighten his legs, you
know, to make them go away, so he kind of rolled onto the floor.


Ronnie acts that out.

When he gets to the floor he starts to straighten his legs so the Charlie Horses start
to go away but at that point he realizes he has to go to the bathroom, except he still
cant walk because of the Charlie Horses. So he crawls to the bathroom, pulls himself
onto the toilet and goes. When hes done, he gets up to go back to bed but its dark so
he cant see and when he stands, his legs give out beneath him because the Charlie
horses came back, so he falls and hits his head on the tub.


RONNIE
Lying on the floor after just acting that out.
And thats what killed him?

ELOISE
Well, theres more. After he hit his head, he realizes its bleeding pretty bad so he
decides to drive himself to the hospital. So he drives to the hospital, they stitch him
up and let him rest in one of the rooms but the windows open and theres a draft so
he catches pneumonia and thats how he dies-

RONNIE
Man, I never thought the old man would go like that. I mean, I thought maybe hed
drop over from a heart attack or get shot by one of the neighbors after fighting with
them cause they never returned his lawn mower or something, you know how he
was about his lawn mower-

JUNE
Yes, he loved his lawn mower-

RONNIE
But to die from a Charlie Horse Thats so lame-

ELOISE
Well, technically he died of pneumonia-

RONNIE
Thats still lame, I mean, he was the toughest guy I knew. He drank whiskey straight
from the bottle, he ate beans from a can with a jack knife, he shoveled the driveway
in below zero weather without any gloves-

ELOISE
Well, tough or not, he still died of pneumonia-

RONNIE
Man, I cant believe it-


They sit in silence for a moment.

What did he like?

ELOISE
What do you mean? Besides Whiskey?



RONNIE
Yea, I mean, Id like to have one good memory of my father instead of all the shitty
ones, you know? I just remember how much of an asshole he was. He wasnt even
nice to mom.

ELOISE
Why do you think she left?


Pause.

RONNIE
Im sorry Eloise.

ELOISE
Sorry? For what?

RONNIE
Sorry that I left you to take care of him and June I wasnt a very good brother.

ELOISE
Well, like father like son.


Pause

Hey, its okay. We made due-


JUNE
Pickles!

ELOISE
What June?

JUNE
Pickles! Dad really liked Bread and Butter Pickles, remember?

RONNIE
Oh do I. If there werent Bread and Butter pickles in the house we were all gettin
whipped-

ELOISE
And black licorice. God he loved that shit-

RONNIE
Oh man, thats right, he did. I remember that time he said hed give me a quarter if I
could eat a black jelly bean and he knew I hated that anise flavor so I stood there
chewing that thing about to gag and he just sat there laughing at me, scarfing em

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down by the handful, his teeth all black. Remember, how hed eat those all the time
and smile at us with those black teeth.

ELOISE
Did he give you a quarter?

RONNIE
No, I couldnt finish the jellybean. I think it made me sick. Im pretty sure I threw-
up, which he found pretty amusing.

ELOISE
Im sure.

RONNIE
Hmm, Id forgotten about that. What about you Eloise, you got any memories of him?


Eloise stares out into space.

RONNIE
Eloise?

ELOISE
Oh sorry, I was just thinking about the question.

RONNIE
Well? Anything?

ELOISE
Theres one thing I remember-

JUNE
What is it?

ELOISE
I remember when I was a kid, we had a record player and Dad and mom used to
fight over which album to play cause he liked country and she liked the Beatles.
They never could agree on that. Anyway, he liked Johnny Cash-

RONNIE
I remember that-

JUNE
Me too-

ELOISE

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But he had this one singer in particular, God, what was his name? It was like a dog
Husky?

RONNIE
Ferlin Eugene Husky!

ELOISE
Thats right, Ferlin Eugene Husky? Doesnt that sound like the name of a country
singer? Anyway, one Sunday after church when we got home Dad was listening to
those albums. He had just got done making a big breakfast for himself and he was in
this great mood that music always made him really happy. Anyway, I was wearing
a pink frilly dress and I remember Dad was so sweet to me, he said boy dont you
look pretty in that dress? Why dont you dance with your old man? And then he
picked me up and placed my feet on his feet and we danced. He smelled like
pancakes and maple syrup and I remember looking up at him thinking he was the
best man in the whole world just then-


Pause-

Id forgotten about that-

JUNE
I liked him.

RONNIE
Of course you did. He was nice to you.

ELOISE

Looking at June for a moment.
He was nice to June, wasnt he?


Pause.

Well, I suppose, I better get back down to the Diner. My shift starts in a bit-

RONNIE
Yea, okay. Well, it was good to see you.

ELOISE
Yea, good to see you too, Ronnie. Dont be a stranger.

JUNE
Good to see you Ronnie.


June hugs him again.

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Eloise, can I drive June home for you?


RONNIE

ELOISE

Surprised by his offer of help
Ah, yea. That would be great. Thanks, Ronnie.

ELOISE
All right, well, see you guys.


Eloise hugs Ronnie and June. Exits.

RONNIE
Ready to go June?

JUNE
Yes, I just have to do something.

RONNIE
Okay, well, Ill go warm up the car.

JUNE
Ill be out in a minute.

Ronnie exits. June takes a jar of bread and butter pickles out of her purse, sets it
on the coffin and exits. Lights out.




















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