Soft Serve Ice Cream: One Act Play

by Ruth Z Deming


Characters: Mommy, Mary Ann, Jackie, Andrea, Holly.

Setting: Somewhere in the southern United States. A dilapidated southern mansion, the home of Mommy and her two daughters Jackie and Andrea. Holly is a frequent guest. Mary Ann is a nutritionist.

They sit out on the front porch on wicker furniture. The time is twilight. The stars are becoming visible in the sky.

Jackie, with short dyed black hair: This soft serve vanilla and chocolate is the best I've ever tasted.

She licks the plastic spoon and sets it on the table.

Andrea, a blonde: For pete's sake, the last thing you eat, is always the best ever.

Mommy, on the plump side: It's surprisingly tasty. Remember when we lived up north and bought ice cream at Tanner's Orchards?

Jackie: Cherry vanilla with chunks of cherries inside and Black Raspberry. And never a single ice crystal to ruin the taste.

Holly, a black-haired beauty: I'm so glad to have met you-all! My great-grandparents used to own slaves in these parts.

Jackie: You don't say! Do you think that was right?

Holly: I suppose so. It was the law of the land.

Mommy: You need to be educated, child. Jackie, be a good girl, go inside and fetch a copy of...oh, what's the name of that new book?

Andrea: "Otherness" by Toni Morrison. Yes, we belong to the Southern Book of the Month Club and it arrived the other day. Nothing more exciting than getting a new book in the mail.

Jackie: It is a bit cerebral, though. Would Holly understand?

Mommy: We'll all help her understand. Prejudice has no place in America since the slaves were freed...when were they freed?"

Jackie: Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. One hundred and fifty years ago. Damn that Thomas Jefferson.

Holly looks quizzically at Jackie, not understanding.

A group of turkeys are heard gobbling and then walk on huge webbed feet toward the front porch. Bold, they walk/fly up the front steps and with their snouts, push aside the soft serve ice cream.

Everyone laughs, breaking the tension.

Holly: You own turkeys?

Jackie: It's fine to own turkeys but not slaves. You know why, Holly?

Holly, holding "Otherness" in her hand. "Turkeys are not human beings?"

Everyone applauds.

Mommy: Any more Soft Serve Ice Cream?

The voice of Mary Ann, a nutritionist, is heard coming from a tree, the way that poet William Blake's voice, in centuries past, once startled people.

Mary Ann: Enough ice cream for one night. I know that Soft Serve you're eating and I know how good it is. Discipline yourselves. If you don't, you'll have big bellies like Mommy.

Andrea: Oh, she's not fat, Mary Ann. You're giving us fake news.

Mary Ann: Take off the rose-colored glasses and look at the truth.

Whoosh! She was gone.

Mommy began to yawn and a chorus of yawns followed.

Each person picks up her Soft Serve ice cream cup and brings it in the house to throw away.

Scene fades as each woman enters the front door, their backs to the audience.

Mommy, the last one to go in, turns around and faces the audience.

Mommy: Shhh! (putting fingers to her lips). One more for the road.

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