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Twenty-four Hours a Day

The First Nighter

Twenty-four Hours a Day

Jul 16 1937



CAST:

NED, the boy

BETTY, the girl

JACKSON, Betty's father

MACK, Ned's scientist friend

MRS. MORAN, Irish landlady

MINISTER

plus five WOMEN with one line each

and VOICES at a night club and a wedding





THE FIRST NIGHTER

Twenty-four Hours a Day

by

Anthony Wayne

Sponsored by the Campana Corporation


ANNOUNCER: Opening and commercial credits.


Act 1


BIZ: SOUND OF AUTOMOBILE DRIVING ALONG: TRAFFIC NOISES, AUTO HORN, ETC.


NED: (Nervously as they drive.) Well . . . er . . . Betty, I don't quite know how to say what I want to say. You see. . . .


BETTY: Red light, Ned!


NED: (Stopping car.) Oh, yeah! . . . Thanks!


BETTY: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. Go ahead, please.


NED: Well, as I was saying . . . I . . . Well, we kinda like to do the same things and . . . Oh, heck, Betty, will you marry me?


BETTY: (Bursting.) . . . Ned!!!


NED: You mean you will?


BETTY: Yes, Ned! Yes! . . . Oh, of course I will!


NED: (Exuberantly.) Oh . . . oh BABY! . . . Oh, let me kiss you, Betty!


BIZ: SOUND OF AUTO HORN BLOWING: THEN ANOTHER AND ANOTHER JOIN IN THE CHORUS UNTIL ALL THE CARS ARE HONKING.


NED: (Mystified.) Hey! What's going on? What are they blowing their horns for?


BETTY: Silly . . . look! The light's green and we're holding up traffic!


NED: Oh, gosh!


BIZ: SHIFTING OF GEARS AND GRINDING OF MOTOR INTO FIRST.


BETTY: Let's go tell Daddy right away, Ned!


NED: That's okay with me! I wanna tell the world!


BETTY: All right, he's home now! Let's go!


MUSIC: TRANSITION.


JACKSON: I'm very sorry, children, but I can't give my approval.


NED: But why, Mr. Jackson?


BETTY: Yes, why, Daddy? Ned has a good job. He's the best reporter on the Star. Gosh, I always thought you liked him.


JACKSON: I do. I think he's a charming young man.


NED: (Puffing and easing up.) Well, gee . . . thanks, Mr. Jackson. I've always thought you were a great old guy yourself.


JACKSON: But he's--lazy!


BETTY: Lazy?


NED: I'm lazy?


JACKSON: You're intellectually lazy . . . without ambition.


NED: Aw, you're rollin' 'em down the wrong alley now, Mr. Jackson.


JACKSON: No, sir. You're a good reporter, but that's all you'll ever be.


BETTY: (Vehemently.) That's not true, Dad. Ned is going to write a novel soon.


NED: That's right! I'm going to write a real novel!


JACKSON: (Cynically.) When?


NED: I've got all my. . . . What?


JACKSON: I said . . . "When?"


NED: Oh . . . one of these days. All I need is a little time. Why, I could knock the darn thing off in a week if I didn't have to grub for a living.


JACKSON: Alibis, alibis! You're just lazy, Ned. You haven't the push.


NED: No kidding, I work from nine in the morning till nine at night. Where do I have time to write? I've gotta sleep sometime.


BETTY: Just because you discovered gold in Arizona when you were young and worked like a slave, you think everyone else should.


JACKSON: Ned says he can't improve himself because he hasn't time. There's no such word as "can't" in my vocabulary.


BETTY: Well, try striking a match on a cake of soap.


JACKSON: Well, this is getting nowhere. I'm sorry, but I can't

give my consent.


NED: Wait a minute. I suppose if I wrote a novel and sold it, you'd give your consent?


JACKSON: (Hesitantly.) Well--er--Yes! I would.


NED: How long will you give me to write it?


JACKSON: Well, you said you could do it in a week. I'll give you two.


NED: Only two weeks!


BETTY: But that's impossible, Daddy.


JACKSON: Nothing's impossible to a man with ambition!


NED: Okay, Mr. Jackson, I'll take you up on that! Two weeks . . . and then I can marry Betty?


JACKSON: If you write and sell a novel! But . . . no alibis!


NED: Don't worry . . . I'll be on deck, even though I may be on a stretcher.


JACKSON: Well, good luck, and . . . good-by.


BIZ: SOUND OF DOOR SLAMMING.


BETTY: Oh, Ned . . . can you do it?


NED: I don't think so!


BETTY: Then why did you agree to Daddy's terms?


NED: It was that or nothing.


BETTY: Oh, Ned, I won't be able to sleep for worrying about this.


NED: I wish I could get along without sleeping. I might be able to write this darned book.


BETTY: Have you any idea what you'll write about?


NED: Not the slightest!


BETTY: Gee, it ought to be good!


NED: Yeah . . . I suppose I might as well give up now. There isn't a man living who could win such a bargain. . . . If I could just find the time!!


BETTY: Oh, I didn't mean to be discouraging, Ned. You mustn't give up now. Really, I've got worlds of faith in you.


NED: Have you?


BETTY: I think you can do it. And I'll do anything I can to help you.


NED: Never mind that, darling. Just keep on loving me. I don't know how . . . but some way or other, I'll figure out a way.


BETTY: Well . . . er . . . Ned, I don't want to hurry you off, but if you're going to write this in two weeks, hadn't you better go home now and start thinking or something.


NED: Yeah, . . . I suppose so.


BETTY: I won't bother you for two weeks. Then you can devote all your time to your writing. O.K.?


NED: I suppose so. Gosh! Whatta life!


MUSIC: TRANSITION.


BIZ: DOORBELL RINGS: DOOR OPENS.


MACK: (Heartily.) Ned Weaver! What are you doing here at this hour of night?


NED: (Wearily, despondently.) Hello, Mack. I just had to talk to someone.


BIZ: DOOR CLOSES.


MACK: (Disturbed.) Why, say! Come over here by the light! . . . Man! What's the matter with you? You look like Banquo's ghost!


NED: Yes, and I feel awful! I've had about four hours sleep in the last forty-eight.


MACK: Working?


NED: Yeah . . . working! (Sighs.) Mack! I've got to scribble a masterpiece in the next twelve days or lose my girl.


MACK: Well, that ought to be easy for you.


NED: You think so? Just try it. I start writing at nine o'clock, and by twelve-thirty I'm so sleepy I'm typing the same word over and over again.


MACK: Um hm.


NED: You know, sleep's a vicious thing! It's like a drug . . . you can't do without it. (Yawns.) Why, half a person's life is spent in bed. It's awful!


MACK: Yes, I've thought a great deal about it.


NED: Mack, you're a scientist . . . you ought to do something about it. Figure out a way for a man to get along without sleep.


MACK: (Jumping up.) Somebody's told you!


NED: Told me what?


MACK: About my experiments . . . my discovery!


NED: Why, nobody's told me. . . . Say! Don't tell me you've found a way to get along without sleeping?


MACK: I can't discuss it with you, Ned.


NED: Whatta you mean, you can't discuss it with me? Aren't we pals? Didn't we go through school together? . . . C'mon, Mack . . . unload, dish up this discovery!


MACK: You wouldn't understand it.


NED: Who cares whether I understand it!! If you know a way to beat this sleep jinx . . . I'm your customer! And let's not waste time.


MACK: (Excited.) Well, Ned . . . I do know how! I've thought the same things you have . . . how much time man loses by sleeping! One day, here in the laboratory, I stumbled onto something that seemed unusual. I began making tests with it. . . .


NED: And it works?


MACK: I've conducted experiments with rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and just lately . . . monkeys! Ned, it's the most amazing thing in the world!


NED: Well, what do you do? Feed 'em canned goat glands?


MACK: Now wait a minute. It's dangerous, and my tests haven't progressed far enough to know how long it will last.


NED: Well, it's good for two weeks, isn't it?


MACK: My tests on the rabbits will be two weeks old tomorrow.


NED: That's good enough for me. Where is it?


MACK: But listen, I've never used it on a human being.


NED: What do I care? I'm as good as a rabbit.


MACK: You see what happens. A mild schizophrenic condition is induced. With this splitting, or division, of the senses, half of your senses sleep while the other half remain awake and active. Except for one eye being closed, you appear to be normal and awake all the time. You never go to bed.


NED: In other words . . . I'm operating on half a brain!


MACK: Oh, all your sensibilities and powers are unimpaired. You're just the same, except that you never have to go to bed, and you're never tired.


NED: Baby doll!!!! . . . Feed me some of that stuff quick!


MACK: Now wait! You've got to realize, Ned, that my experiments on this are still incomplete. I don't know why this works as it does yet, or what the exact physiological effect is. I don't know how long it lasts, or how it will leave you.


NED: It won't kill me, will it?


MACK: I don't think so.


NED: You don't think so! Don't you know?


MACK: Not for sure.


NED: Whew! . . .


MACK: Wait until I've tested further, Ned.


NED: Well . . . Oh! I can't wait! I'm working against time. . . . C'mon, Mack, give me a treatment!


MACK: Ned, I'd rather not.


NED: You've got to, Mack. . . . Now c'mon! Drag out your stuff and wake me up.


MACK: Very well . . . if you've made up your mind . . . come into the laboratory, and I'll give you an injection.


Act II


MUSIC: DANCE MUSIC IS PLAYING IN BACKGROUND OF CROWDED NIGHT CLUB.


BIZ: BUZZ OF VOICES IN BACKGROUND.


BETTY: (Worried.) But Ned, we shouldn't be out dancing! You ought to be home working on your novel!


NED: (Full of confidence.) Oh, scaddle dee-doo, darling. Forget the novel. It's coming beautifully.


BETTY: That's what you keep saying, but I don't see how it can be when you're over at my house every night.


NED: It gives me relaxation.


BETTY: But how can you find time to write?


NED: Now just leave that to me, sweetness. I'll have that old novel finished in another few days.


BETTY: Is it really that far along, Ned?


NED: Sure! Why, it's a cinch.


BETTY: I can hardly believe . . . (Troubled.) Ned! Why do you keep your left eye closed like that?


NED: My left . . . Oh! Why . . . er . . . why, I got a cinder in it this afternoon. Yeah, that's it.


BETTY: Well, let's sit down and let me get it out for you.


NED: Oh, no, no, no! I got it out! The cinder's gone. It just feels more comfortable to keep the eye closed.


BETTY: I hope it's not infected.


NED: (Unconsciously.) Yeah, so do I. . . . I mean, I'm sure it isn't. Don't worry!


MUSIC: STOPS.


BIZ: SCATTERED HANDCLAPPING: BUZZ OF VOICES UP.


BETTY: Now listen, Ned. There's the end of the dance, and it's twelve o'clock. We've simply got to go.


NED: Oh, there's plenty of time. I don't have to go to work till nine o'clock tomorrow.


BETTY: But you've got to write!


NED: Plenty of time for that.


BETTY: Ned Weaver, I don't understand you! Ten days ago the very thought of having to write this novel in two weeks scared you silly. Now, you're just as cocky as a rooster.


NED: Well, I've discovered that I'm a lot better than I thought I was. Words just flow off of my pen as fast as the ink will come out.


BETTY: Well, we're going home just the same. You've got to get some sleep.


NED: Why, I'm as fresh as a daisy!


BETTY: Nevertheless we're going! Come on!


MUSIC: TRANSITION.


BIZ: KNOCK ON DOOR: DOOR OPENS.


MRS. MORAN: (Irish.) Yiss sir?


JACKSON: Does Mrs. Daniel Moran live here?


MRS. MORAN: That she does, an' I'm her. What kin I be doin' fer you?


JACKSON: I'm Mr. Jackson.


MRS. MORAN: (Immediate recognition.) Ah, yes, Mr. Jackson. (Warily.) Come right in quick.


BIZ: DOOR CLOSES.


MRS. MORAN: Just be steppin' into the parlor, if ya will please.


JACKSON: Yes, of course.


MRS. MORAN: There. Now, I'll close this door. It'll be more private-like an' we won't be disturbed.


JACKSON: Well, just what did you want to see me about, Mrs. Moran? You sounded so mysterious over the phone.


MRS. MORAN: Aye! An' well I might be mysterious, too. Sich goings on in this place! Listen! It's yer daughter's thinkin' o' marryin' young Mr. Weaver who rooms here with me, isn't it?


JACKSON: Yes, that's right.


MRS. MORAN: An' a sweet girl she is too. I've seen her when she's called fer Mr. Weaver many a time.


JACKSON: (A little impatient.) Well, thank you, but that's not what you wanted to tell me, is it?


MRS. MORAN: Indade it isn't. Mr. Jackson, I don't know how long it's been goin' on, but it's over a week now I been noticing it. An' I felt it me duty to tell ya about it.


JACKSON: Very well.


MRS. MORAN: Mister Jackson! It's not a fit person he is, to be marryin' yer daughter!


JACKSON: (Astounded.) Who? . . . Ned Weaver?


MRS. MORAN: That's him! It's shameful! An' she sich a trustin' little body!


JACKSON: You mean he's unfaithful. You don't think he loves my daughter?


MRS. MORAN: That ain't fer me to be sayin' . . . but what would ya think if I told ya that his bed ain't been slept in fer over a week!


JACKSON: He hasn't come home all night?


MRS. MORAN: I don't know about that. It's a respectable hour I go to bed. But when I go up to make his bed in the mornin' . . . there it is! Just as fresh and untouched as when I made it the mornin' before.


JACKSON: Why, that's unbelievable! And you say this has been going on for over a week?


MRS. MORAN: All of that. It's near two weeks now.


JACKSON: (Sagely.) Um-hum. Well, I'm very much obliged to you, Mrs. Moran. I'll look into this by all means. Thank you.


MUSIC: TRANSITION.


BIZ: STREET TRAFFIC NOISES: AUTO HORNS, ETC.: CLOSE-UP OF AUTO HUMMING ALONG.


NED: (Is singing with an excess of cheerfulness. Some song such as "Oh, boy, I'm happy, I'll say I'm happy. . . . This is my happy day.")


MACK: You're feeling pretty good tonight, aren't you, Ned?


NED: Boy! I'll say I am! Novel all finished and sold!


MACK: That's certainly great.


NED: And tonight's the night! Just two weeks to the minute!


MACK: My sleep injection hasn't let you down, has it?


NED: Not once! I haven't been to bed for 12 days, and I feel like a million!


MACK: You haven't felt any . . . er . . . ill effects from it?


NED: Naw! (Then, thinking.) The only trouble is . . . I get so lonesome at night when everybody else is in bed. . . . There's no one to talk to.


MACK: Yes, I can understand that.


BIZ: AUTO PULLING TO A STOP.


NED: Well, here we are. This is the Jacksons' house. And will old man Jackson be surprised!


MACK: Are you sure you want me to wait, Ned?


NED: Absolutely! Just sit here in the car. I'll give Papa Jackson the news, claim my bride, and be right out.


MACK: O.K.


BIZ: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS UP STONE STEPS: KNOCK ON DOOR: NED WHISTLES: DOOR OPENS.


BETTY: Ned!


NED: Hello, sweet, is your Dad ready to receive the good news?


BETTY: Yes. Come in!


BIZ: DOOR CLOSES.


BETTY: He's in the back.


NED: Fine. Shall we go right after him?


BETTY: (Bubbling.) Oh, Ned, I can hardly believe it! Isn't it wonderful?


NED: Aw, there was nothing to it. I knew I could do it.


BETTY: Well, there's Daddy in there.


NED: O.K.! (Calling.) Good evening, Mr. Jackson!


JACKSON: Oh! Hello, Ned. . . . I'm glad to see you. Sit down here.


NED: Thanks. I've got some news for you!


JACKSON: Yes?


NED: Two weeks ago tonight we made a bargain.


JACKSON: Yes.


NED: Well! I've fulfilled my part of it! There's a letter from the Roxbury Book Company confirming acceptance of my novel. And here's an advance royalty check of fifty dollars!


JACKSON: Um hum! . . . Very interesting.


NED: (Eagerly.) Well, I guess I win, don't I?


JACKSON: Ned! I want you to tell me the whole truth! . . . Did you yourself write this book . . . alone, unaided?


NED: Why, of course!


JACKSON: You know, it's a little strange that you could work all day . . . spend practically every evening with Betty, and still find time to do this.


NED: (Relieved.) Oh, that's very simple, Mr. Jackson. I worked nights on this.


BETTY: He just slaved away every night, Dad.


JACKSON: Ummmmm! . . . Then perhaps you can explain to me why your bed hasn't been slept in for nearly two weeks . . . if you were slaving away every night!


BETTY: Why, that's silly, Daddy. Of course Ned had to get some sleep!


JACKSON: That's what I think, too. But where has he been doing it--on park benches?


BETTY: Certainly not! He's been sleeping in his own room!


JACKSON: Suppose you let Ned answer for himself.


NED: (In a spot.) Well . . . er . . . the fact is, Mr. Jackson . . . I . . . er . . . well, I just haven't slept.


JACKSON: Haven't slept for two weeks!!


NED: Well . . . er . . . yes! That's just about it.


BETTY: Why, Ned!


JACKSON: Listen here, man, you know as well as I do that no one can go without sleep for two solid weeks!


NED: (Weakly.) Yes. . . . I know.


JACKSON: Well, your bed hasn't been touched in two weeks. Now what's your explanation?


NED: Now, listen, I was in my room working every night. This book is the proof of it.


JACKSON: Then where did you sleep?


NED: Well . . . er . . . I didn't. . . . I mean I . . . well . . . I just sneaked in little cat naps during the day. You see, the less sleep I got, the less I needed.


JACKSON: That's a very dubious story, young man.


BETTY: (Admiringly.) I don't see how you ever did it, Ned.


NED: Well, you can get along without sleep just like you can get along without anything else. Thomas Edison needed very little sleep.


JACKSON: Yes, but you're not Thomas Edison!


NED: Well, anyway, the book's written and sold! That was the agreement. Can Betty and I be married now?


JACKSON: (Reluctantly.) Yes, I suppose so.


BETTY: (Joyfully.) Ned! . . . Let's be married next week!


NED: Suits me!


JACKSON: (Still puzzled.) I still don't like this, somehow.


BETTY: I'll start making the arrangements tonight. Oh, I'm so excited!


NED: Do you still want a big wedding, Betty?


BETTY: Oh, yes! I want to have everybody . . . church full of flowers. . . . I've got mother's wedding gown, and. . . . (Suddenly.) Ned! What's the matter?


NED: (Trying to pass it off.) Matter? . . . Something the matter?


BETTY: Why, you look so strange.


NED: Oh, no . . . nothing's the matter. But . . . er . . . I think I'd better be going now if we're to be married next week.


BETTY: But you've got to help me!


NED: Really, dear, there's a lot of things I'll have to do tonight.


BETTY: (Reluctantly.) Well . . . I suppose that's so. . . . All right! Kiss me good night, then.


NED: Yeh, sure!


BETTY: (Astonished.) Why, Ned . . . what're you leaning over there for? Here I am!


NED: (Laughing foolishly.) Oh . . . of course! How silly! There, dear.


JACKSON: Well, good night, young man.


NED: Oh, yes . . . good night, Mr. Jackson!


JACKSON: Say! What're you trying to shake hands with? I'm over here!


NED: Yes, yes, of course! I'm sorry.


JACKSON: (Suspiciously.) Ned! Have you been drinking?


NED: (Quickly.) No, really I haven't! I'm just . . . I guess I'm just excited! Good-by!


BETTY: Good night, Ned. . . . I'll see you tomorrow.


NED: (Hurriedly.) Yes . . . tomorrow!


BIZ: OPEN AND SLAM DOOR: SOUND OF FEET DOWN STONE STEPS: STREET NOISES UP.


MACK: Well, Ned! I didn't expect you out so soon! How is everything?


NED: (Badly worried.) Terrible! Awful! Horrible!


MACK: She turned you down?


NED: No! But something's happened! I'm seeing double.


MACK: Seeing double?


NED: Yes! Wherever I look . . . There's two of everything!


Act III


NED: (Nervously.) Oh, Mac, I don't know whether I can go through with this wedding or not.


MACK: Steady, boy. The church is over half full now.


NED: I'm as nervous as a bigamist.


MACK: Oh, nonsense, Ned.


NED: Nonsense nothing! If you saw two women every time you looked at your bride, you'd feel like a bigamist too.


MACK: But I've told you that this double sight is a normal symptom following the anti-sleep injection.


NED: It's not normal for me! I can't even find my face to shave it anymore.


MACK: It means that the drug is beginning to wear off. As its power lessens, the schizophrenic or split condition of the senses weakens into double sight.


NED: When I was trying to dress this morning, I ended up with my pants on the two chair legs instead of my own!


MACK: My rabbits are subject to the same symptoms.


NED: I started to open a door yesterday and nearly fell out of a window. It takes hours to eat because I don't know which fork the food's on!


MACK: Don't let it worry you, Ned.


NED: Don't let it worry me? . . . For Pete's sake, how long is this going to last?


MACK: Well . . . I don't know.


NED: Can't you guess? What are the rabbits doing?


MACK: Well, it's varied. Evidently in accordance with the physical condition of each patient.


NED: Well, do you think it'll be another week? My physical condition isn't very good.


MACK: It might be a week, a month . . . maybe a year. I don't know. But sooner or later, you'll be back to normal and be able to sleep again.


NED: A month! . . . a year? . . . Gosh! What a little ray of sunshine you are!


MACK: Don't let it worry you, Ned. You're going to come out of it.


NED: But what'll Betty think? I can't go on prowling around all night!


MACK: It may wear off any minute.


NED: Oooooohohoho. . . . I wish I'd never taken the darn stuff.


BIZ: DOOR OPENS.


MACK: Oh, hello, Mr. Jackson!


JACKSON: (Nervously.) All set, Ned?


NED: (Weakly.) Yes . . . I guess so. Are there many people out there?


JACKSON: Yes, the church is nearly filled.


NED: Is the hangman there?


JACKSON: The who?


NED: Oh, I'm sorry. . . . I mean . . . the minister!


JACKSON: What's the matter with you?


MACK: He's just nervous, Mr. Jackson.


NED: Yes, that's right. I'm just nervous. See! I'm shaking like jelly!


JACKSON: (Seriously.) You know, you act very strangely at times, Ned. There's never been any insanity in your family, has there?


NED: Oh, no . . . no, no!


JACKSON: You know, if there's any impediment that might stand in the way of this marriage . . . it would be better to disclose it now, and prevent unhappiness later.


NED: Oh, no, no, Mr. Jackson. There's never been anything wrong with our family . . . really . . . except dandruff!


JACKSON: Very well then. Mack! You have the ring?


MACK: The ring? Oh, sure. Right--


NED: Hey! You haven't lost it?


MACK: Well, I had it right here in this. . . . (Sighs.) Here it is!


NED: Whew! Another scare like that and I'll keel over.


JACKSON: All right now. You know just what you're supposed to do?


NED: Yes.


JACKSON: As soon as the organ begins the wedding march, you and Mack come in.


NED: Yeah.


JACKSON: All right, Ned. . . . Best wishes! Here's my hand!


NED: Er . . . thanks, Mr. Jackson.


JACKSON: Where're you going? Can't you see me holding my hand out here to shake hands with you?


NED: Oh, sure, sure! I'm sorry! . . . There!


JACKSON: (Shaking his head.) I don't understand your actions at times.


MACK: It's just nervousness, Mr. Jackson.


JACKSON: I hope so. . . . Well . . . good-by.


NED: See you later.


BIZ: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.


NED: Oh, ye gods, did you see that?


MACK: You stick close to me in the church. I'll guide you.


NED: And did you hear what he said about impediments?


MACK: Well, you have no impediments.


NED: No, except that I'm just part owl!


MACK: I tell you, Ned, you'll come out of this just like. . . .


BIZ: SOUND OF ORGAN IN CHURCH STARTING TO PLAY: JUST AN INTRODUCTION AT FIRST.


MACK: . . . There goes the organ!


NED: Yeah! I hear it!


MACK: We've gotta get ready now.


NED: (Weakly.) I feel as though I'm marrying Betty under false pretenses!


MACK: You're crazy!


NED: I'm beginning to suspect that myself.


MACK: (As wedding march begins.) There it is! That's the wedding march!


NED: (Woefully.) . . . Yeah . . . that's it all right!


MACK: That's our cue to enter the church. Come on! Stick with me.


NED: (Weakly.) I will, as long as I know which one's you!


MUSIC: ORGAN MUSIC SWELLS UP: PLAYS ON TO FINISH OF MARCH, STOPS.


MACK: (Whispering.) Step up in front of the minister, Ned.


NED: Oh yeah, sure.


MINISTER: Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate. . . . (Minister goes on in background.)


WOMAN: (In flash-sotto voice.) Doesn't she look lovely!


ANOTHER: They say the gown was her mother's!


ANOTHER: This marriage is awful sudden, isn't it!


ANOTHER: I understand Mr. Jackson didn't approve of him!


ANOTHER: He must be smart--he's just written a book.


MINISTER: (Coming up again.) . . . I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgements when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it. (Pause.) All right. Edwin--


NED: (Agitated.) Wait a minute!


BIZ: EXCITED BUZZ OF VOICES RISES UP IN CHURCH.


MACK: What's the matter?


BETTY: Ned, what are you doing?


NED: There is an impediment!


MINISTER: What?


BETTY: Ned, you don't know what you're doing!


NED: Yes, I do! . . . There's an impediment, and I've got to confess it! I can't go through with this!


MACK: Ned! Shut up!


MINISTER: Let him speak up.


BETTY: (Nearly heartbroken.) Oh, Ned! . . .


NED: I've gotta do it. I couldn't go on with this burden on my conscience!


MINISTER: That's right, my son.


BETTY: Well, what is it??


NED: I can't sleep!!!


MINISTER: You mean you suffer from insomnia?


NED: No! . . . I never sleep! I haven't been to bed for three weeks! I stay awake all the time . . . day and night! And, Betty . . . I don't know how long this is going to last!


MACK: You fool, Ned.


BETTY: Oh, Daddy! Listen to him!


JACKSON: Why didn't you speak of this before, Ned?


NED: Mack told me it might wear off any minute, and I hoped it would happen before the marriage . . . but it hasn't!


MACK: It isn't serious, Mr. Jackson. It was a medical experiment. Ned did it so he could work nights on his book.


JACKSON: So that's it!


BETTY: Oh, Ned, you darling! To think how you've suffered!


NED: But I can't sleep! (Says this yawning.)


BETTY: I don't care, dear. Mack says you'll get over it. I'm not afraid.


NED: But I . . . (Deep yawn) . . . whenever I. . . . (Yawns.) . . . Gee!


MACK: Wait a minute! I think he's coming out of it! Ned, let me feel your pulse!


NED: (Sleepily.) Gosh . . . (Yawns) . . . I'm sleepy. . . .


MACK: He is coming out of it!


BETTY: Then we can go ahead with the ceremony!


JACKSON: Are you sure you want to?


BETTY: Of course I do! Come on!


MACK: You'll have to hurry! He hasn't slept for three weeks, and he'll be so physically tired when he comes out of this that he may sleep three or four days!!


NED: Oh, gosh . . . (Yawns.) . . . Where can I lie down?


BETTY: Oh, dear. . . . Go ahead with the ceremony, please, before he falls asleep! Quick, please!


MINISTER: Edwin wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife?


NED: (Yawning.) Oh, yeah . . . yeah . . . I will!


MACK: (To himself.) What a swell honeymoon this is going to be!!


ANNOUNCER: Closing.


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