(A Short Play)
Click here to send comments
Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques
Margaret and Tom are aboard the SS Samboa, due for the cruise of a life time, to the Caribbean. The cruise is a surprise present from their daughter, Felicity. The play starts where they have just arrived at their cabin for the start of their ‘second honeymoon’.
Tom: Thanks. (He tips the porter for carrying the cases.)
Margaret: Ooh I can’t believe it, us on a luxury cruise!
Tom: You’d better believe it, my dear, you’re not dreaming.
Margaret: It was so kind of Felicity to give us a present like this. (She smiles, wistfully.)
Tom: Well, our darling daughter can afford it. You’re not an actress in a top rated soap opera without getting the benefits, my dear. (Laughs.)
Margaret: Mmm, I suppose so. But, I think we’d better get her an extra special present to thank her, don’t you?
Tom: (Nods.) It goes without saying...
There is a knock at the door, Tom rushes to answer, almost as if he is expecting it.
Margaret: Now who can that be? We only left Southampton ten minutes ago.
Voices can be heard in the corridor. Tom comes back into the room wheeling a silver trolley with a bottle of champagne and two fluted glasses.
Tom: Oh, I almost forgot..(Presents Margaret with a bouquet of red roses.) To thank you for forty good years.
Margaret: Oh Tom..... (She has tears in her eyes.)
(Tom uncorks the champagne with a load pop! Margaret falls back on the bed laughing, glass in hand.)
Two hours later, Tom and Margaret are lying in bed, blissfully in one another’s arms.
Tom: Margaret are you awake? (He nudges her gently.)
Margaret: Mmmmm, just let me lie here for a while. That was heavenly.
Tom: What? The champagne?
Margaret: (Giggles.) No. Well the champagne was nice, I meant the making love bit. It’s been a long time hasn’t it?
Tom: (Looking embarrassed.) Yes, I suppose it has.
Margaret: Now aren’t you glad I made that appointment for you to see Doctor Erikson for some Viagra?
Tom: Well, actually I have a confession to make...
Tom: I didn’t see Doctor Erikson, I chickened out.
Margaret: Well who did you see instead?
Tom: No one. I haven’t been to see any doctor or taken any medication.
Margaret: Well your performance...it was like when we first got married. (Smiles.)
Tom: The only thing I can put it down to, is being away from the pressures of work.
Margaret: Can you smell something?
Tom: (Indignant.) Well it definitely isn’t me!
Margaret: No it’s not that. It smells like......smoke.
Tom: I’ll just slip my dressing gown on and take a look outside in the corridor.
Margaret: Take care....
Five minutes later and Margaret is very concerned that Tom hasn’t come back. She hears shouts from overhead and dashes out into the corridor, where she finds Tom running to meet her.
Tom: Now keep calm, m’dear. We have to leave the ship. A fire has broken out in the boiler room. A crew member told me we’re not in any serious danger, but the Captain isn’t taking any chances. Actually we’re not far from shore. While we were sleeping it off earlier, there were some problems. There are some boats coming to meet us.
* * * * * * * * * *
Margaret and Tom are sitting with other downcast passengers on a boat to take them to safety.
Margaret: Who would have thought we would have spent our anniversary in a boat heading back to Southampton?
Tom: Mmm it wasn’t what we had planned. Still never mind, it could have been a lot worse.
Margaret: How could it have been any worse?
Tom: Look you have to look on the positive side of things. You know your glass is either half empty, or it’s half full.
Margaret: Well mine was definitely half empty. I could have done with some more champagne! (She lets out a deep sigh.)
Tom: (Sounding angry.) What I meant was the alternative could have been a lot worse. We’re damn lucky. What if that fire had got out of control?
Margaret: Please don’t raise your voice to me. I will not be spoken to it that way.
Tom: What do you expect? Can you hear anyone else on here complaining? They’re all happy to be getting out alive.
Margaret: Well actually there was a lady over there complaining to her husband. Anyhow, what about all my new clothes I had to leave behind?
Tom: Typical! You women are all the same.
Margaret sulks until they pull into Southampton.
* * * * * * * *
Margaret and Tom have booked into a hotel that the cruise company has paid for. They are sitting in their hotel bedroom.
Tom: I’m sorry about earlier. Look, things aren’t as bad as all that.
Margaret: Yes, they are. Our anniversary is totally ruined. I can’t even go down to the hotel restaurant looking like this? I haven’t got my make up with me, or anything decent to wear.
Tom: I tell you what, we’ll take a taxi into the town to cheer you up. I’ll buy you a new frock , an extra present for our anniversary. We can do a little shopping, maybe go to the cinema and have a nice meal afterwards.
Margaret: As long as I can buy some make up too?
Tom: Yes, whatever. I’m just going to use the phone in the foyer. See if I can find out anymore about the cruise that never happened.
Tom returns 20 minutes later, looking pleased with himself.
Tom: Got some great news. The problem on the ship was minor. It’s been fixed and we sail tomorrow. We should get some compensation for this.
Margaret: I should think so too!
Tom: Now why don’t you take a nice leisurely bath m’dear. This hotel is quite posh. Look they even provide us with a monogrammed dressing gown each. There are all sorts of toiletries in the bathroom. I’ll order room service for some tea and cakes to be brought up, then we’ll hit the shops. Take your time....
Margaret: After the shock of what happened and the rough crossing in that boat, I could do with a long hot, soak. (Smiles wearily)
When Margaret comes out of the bathroom some time later, there is no sign of Tom. She is dressed in a bathrobe and towel dries her hair. There is a knock at the door. Making sure she is well covered, she rushes over to answer. She is delighted to see her daughter, Felicity.
Felicity: Surprise! (Hugs her astonished mother)
Margaret: What are you doing here?
Felicity: Dad rang me about an hour ago. Here look, I’ve brought some decent clothes for you to wear, you can borrow my make up. I’ve booked for the three of us to go to Maxim’s Restaurant. I’m going to make sure this is a night you won’t forget.
Tom, who has been hiding in the wardrobe, jumps out.
Tom: Ta Ra!
Margaret: Oh Tom, thank you. Thank you both. Just one thing though.....
Felicity and Tom, look at one another a trifle concerned.
Margaret: Who would have thought we would be spending our second honeymoon with our daughter?
Felicity: Just as well I wasn’t around for the first!
Tom: You were the little twinkle in your father’s eye Felicity.
Margaret: Mixed with a a glass or three of Moet and Chandon in Clacton-On-Sea!
They all laugh and embrace.