Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags
Miss. Sensibella Wittymore
Early evening. Wittymore residence on W. Logical Avenue. Sensibella Wittymore is rather huffy and seated at the dressing table. Mrs. Wittymore is standing in the doorway.
Mrs. Wittymore. Come, dear, it is going to be a wonderful party and you will certainly have a lovely time. You know it is not everyone that gets invited to the Moneybags’ party; I may even go so far as to say that you should feel honored that we are even invited. Your poor father would have been so happy if only he had not gone and got himself killed; the poor man simply did not have the will to live.
Sensibella. Mother, daddy did not go and get himself killed. He died defending our country against the vile and repulsive Dictatoria. I am quite certain many would consider it a very noble thing to do – giving up one’s life for one’s country – as senseless as it may be.
Mrs. Wittymore. My dear, I know you respect your father highly, and you know that I loved him dearly, but it was most thoughtless of him to drop dead in Dictatoria while I was in the midst of looking for a new butler, and I still had not found a replacement for our murderous cook - I am quite convinced he was trying to poison me – and you were a child too!
Sensibella. Mamma, I was eighteen when daddy died, hardly a child by any stretch of imagination, and the cook was not trying to poison you – he came highly recommended from the royal family of Buffetistan. Anyway, I have no contention with the Moneybags – they are the least callous of all the wealthy people I know; they possibly even have some real feelings left in them – it is those obnoxious people they invite that I have issue with.
Mrs. Wittymore. They are not obnoxious, child, they are merely being rich people; it is becoming of wealthy people to be that way.
Sensibella. Or is it that wealthy people become that way? Be that as it may, I am not looking forward to the party tonight.
Mrs. Wittymore. I am told Mr. Futballer will be present tonight. Isn’t he the most handsome man in the whole world? He would make you a lovely husband, dear, if only you would not spurn his advances.
Sensibella. Mamma, there is not a better definition of obnoxious than Dick Futballer. He is vain and selfish and I find his company perfectly odious.
Mrs. Wittymore. You lovely little thing, you are in love with Mr. Futballer, aren’t you? A mother can always tell, dear.
Late evening. Moneybags residence on Greenback Ct. The butler leads the Wittymores into the great room and announces them.
Butler. Mrs. and Miss. Wittymore.
Mr. Moneybags. Delighted to see you, Mrs. Wittymore. Don’t you look lovely tonight. And Sensibella looks positively radiant. She resembles you more everyday, Mrs. Wittymore.
Mrs. Wittymore. Thank you, Mr. Moneybags. You are still quite the charmer, aren’t you?
Mrs. Moneybags. My dear Mrs. Wittymore, I assure you, my husband could not charm a bee into its hive. You have done something with yourself, haven’t you? Whatever it is that you have done, it has taken a dozen years off you. You hardly look fifty.
Mrs. Wittymore. But Mrs. Moneybags, darling, you are terribly mistaken - I am not quite forty yet. Allow me to say I love your dentures; they fit quite nicely and look almost real.
Mrs. Moneybags. Pardon me they are not dentures but my real teeth! I am far too young to need dentures, darling. Sensibella, dear, you do look adorable and quite unlike your mother. You are very fortunate that you take after your poor father.
Sensibella. Thank you, Mrs. Moneybags. You appear to have invited a lot of people tonight.
Mrs. Moneybags. Yes, dear. Some you hope accept your invitation and others you wish wouldn’t, but it never quite works out that way, does it? You will be delighted to learn that Mr. Futballer is here tonight and is out on the balcony eagerly awaiting your arrival, I trust. You should not keep him waiting much longer, dear.
Sensibella. I will head that way to the inevitable, Mrs. Moneybags.
Mrs. Wittymore. Now, now, you will be sure to tell Mr. Futballer how much you missed him, won’t you, darling?
Sensibella. I will be sure to do so mamma, even as he is taking the shortest path down from the balcony to the garden below.
Mrs. Wittymore. Darling, I am absolutely appalled!
Sensibella. So will Mrs. Moneybags be, mamma, when she sees what his fall will have done to her lovely roses in the garden below.
Sensibella exists left to the balcony.
Large balcony off the west side of the great room. The night is clear and the balcony is bathed in the light of the full moon. There are a few people standing in little groups making conversation. Sensibella is standing on the balcony looking down at the garden below. She turns at the sound of a voice behind her.
Dick. If it isn’t the lovely Miss. Wittymore herself! You look more beautiful than ever, darling.
Sensibella. How do you do, Mr. Futballer? And you look more muscular than ever. It could be a nice thing if one were into that sort of a thing I suppose.
Dick. You have a keen eye, Miss. Wittymore. Yes, I have indeed been working out a lot lately; it is an attribute of the active lifestyle that I lead.
Sensibella. I find your oblivion to sarcasm quite delightful. Tell me, Mr. Futballer, what have you been doing with yourself lately?
Dick. Not much besides watching a lot of sports, I fear, Miss. Sensibella. However, when one is such a great sports lover as I am there is hardly such a thing as too much sport I suppose.
Sensibella. That’s perfectly tragic. Pray tell me, Mr. Futballer, what sporting events are these that you confess to being such a great lover of?
Dick. O, any and all, my dear Miss. Wittymore, any and all! I simply find the thrill of sports very alluring and irresistible. I would like nothing better than to take you out to a sporting event if you will…
Sensibella. I fear I cannot accept such an invitation; my feelings about sports, Mr. Futballer, are quite contrary to yours I am afraid.
Dick. In all frankness, Miss. Wittymore, I fail to see how watching a sporting event cannot thrill anyone. Have you not experienced the elation of seeing your favorite sport team clinch victory from the jaws of defeat?
Sensibella. But, Mr. Futballer, don’t you also feel dejection when your favorite team clinches defeat from the jaws of victory? I find it all quite childish really. Don't you think you could find better use for your time if you were to pursue more satisfying endeavors, particularly those over which you had more control?
Dick. I fear I don’t see what other endeavor could possibly be more satisfying than watching two teams battling it out in the elements and seeing one’s team come out victorious.
Sensibella. You describe it quite perfectly when you use the term battling – team sport is not very much different from military warfare, is it? Both events are orchestrated by a small group of individuals while those involved in the action have very little say in the matter, and the large majority of us are mere spectators or audience cheering our respective sides on. Each side believes as fervently as the other that they are more deserving of victory, and also that nothing short of complete annihilation of the opponent would satisfy their bloodlust.
Dick. I never observed the similarity of a sporting event with that of a military warfare before, I must confess, but don’t you think you would enjoy the edge of your seat excitement afforded by sports, or the joy of having your prayer answered when your team scores that winning point at the very last minute?
Sensibella. Talking of prayer brings to mind another very instructive correlation – the one between team sports and religion.
Dick. How so, Miss. Wittymore?
Sensibella. Pray tell me, how do you decide what team it is that finds favor with you, Mr. Futballer?
Dick. Is it not obvious, Miss. Wittymore, that most people generally support their home team? Most people will, I believe, support either their town, state or national teams.
Sensibella. O, that is quite obvious, Mr. Futballer; what is not so obvious, however, is what happens when one does not continue to live in the town, state or country of birth anymore. Does one pledge one’s allegiance to the new town, state or country of domicile?
Dick. Ah, you naïve little thing, one does not switch loyalties so easily; you see, one feels a certain kinship with one’s original team.
Sensibella. So team sport is indeed like religion then – one’s allegiance to a team or religion is formed by mere happenstance; one is born into both and is not really making a choice that is informed or based on any logical or intelligent rationale. Furthermore, one is so blinded by irrationality that one continues to follow one's team or religion with unquestioning loyalty. This irrational methodology will function without any problem as long as everyone surrounding you believes in the same thing; problems arise when there are others that do believe, with equal fervot I might add, in other or different religions or teams. Don’t you think that causes unnecessary complications, Mr. Futballer?
Dick. I suppose people are given to strong feelings in matters concerning faith in their religion or team. But is that not natural, Miss. Wittymore?
Sensibella. In my view, Mr. Futballer, what is natural is not the same as what is sensible. In my opinion, a true fan of any sport would not have a favorite team for any reason other than the team’s ability to excel at that sport; to play it better than any and all other teams. In such a case, the true fan is then expected to have no allegiance to any team but the one that is performing best at that moment. If a different team were to start performing better at any time, then the true fan would be expected to throw in her or his lot with that team. I would describe such a person as a true fan of the sport.
Dick. I am afraid you will find precious few fans of any sport under that stringent definition, Miss. Wittymore.
Sensibella. That is the tragedy, Mr. Futballer. All I see from sport fans, as identified by your definition, is incessant rivalry among different groups not much unlike the kind found among fervent followers of any religion or the rabid nationalists found in any country. Any good dictionary will tell you that the etymology for the word fan probably stems from fanatic, and that I believe aptly lumps sport fans with religious and nationalistic zealots.
Dick. So am I to take it that you find nothing positive at all about team sports?
Dick. What about the ability of team sports to foster team spirit, loyalty and such among the team members?
Sensibella. All intangibles, Mr. Futballer; individual egos will always prevail. Not all players on a team are equally gifted and consequently not all players are remunerated equally. Add to this the fact that there are some that are liked better by the fans than other, and you will find that this leads to feelings of superiority or inferiority among the team members, which quickly results in disenfranchisement that, without a doubt, will negate the intangibles that you mention.
Dick. Tell me, Miss. Wittymore, does this critical opinion that you have of team sports extend to individual sports as well?
Sensibella. The two are not quite the same are they, Mr. Futballer? Individual sports rarely draw the same kind of frothing and foaming fanatics that team sport does. Fans of individual sports fall more into my definition of a sport fan. Additionally, sports teams, unlike individual sport figures, survive the individual. Hence fans of an individual sport are forced to make new choices when the individuals that they support leave the respective sport. Allegiances are constantly switched to the next great player of appeal and this natural lack of stagnation greatly aids in the prevention of bigoted fanaticism.
Dick. You hold strong views on sports, Miss. Wittymore, particularly for a woman. I must confess to being in agreement with most of your views, even if some are a little more radical than I would like.
Sensibella. I will not disguise the fact that I am quite pleased that you see the validity of most of my views, but being a woman, I think, has hardly anything at all to do with the views or their expressions. It is merely common sense and I am convinced that there is more of that in women than in men. Now, Mr. Futballerm will you be kind enough to lead me to that glass of Chardonnay that has been beckoning me for some time now? All this talk has left me with a frightful thirst.
Dick. Nothing would please me more, Miss. Wittymore. It is a lovely night.
Sensibella. Without a doubt.
Dick. I cannot tell whether it is the moon or you that is adding more splendor to the night.
Sensibella. You are very flattering.
Dick. In all honesty, would you encourage a relationship between us?
Sensibella. Certainly not.
Dick. You cannot let a minor matter like this come between us, Miss. Wittymore.
Sensibella. But I am not letting a minor matter like this come between us, Mr. Futballer; it is minor matters like these that have a habit of coming in between relationships.
Dick. I can be very persistent, Miss. Wittymore.
Sensibella. Be so by all means, Mr. Futballer. Be warned, however, that persistence is a poor substitute for intelligence.
Dick. I fear you are being excessively harsh, Miss. Wittymore.
Sensibella. Perhaps you are being too sensitive, Mr. Futballer.
The two exit the balcony into the great room.
Late night. Wittymore residence on W. Logical Avenue. Sensibella Wittymore is reclined on the bed and Mrs. Wittymore is seated at the dressing table.
Mrs. Wittymore. It was not such a bad night after all, was it, dear?
Sensibella. I suppose there have been worse nights.
Mrs. Wittymore. How was Mr. Futballer?
Sensibella. He was just being Dick.
Mrs. Wittymore. What did you two talk about?
Mrs. Wittymore. Sports? Why in the world would you do that? Did you not notice how lovely the moon was? You should have encouraged him to propose to you.
Sensibella. I would hardly think so, mamma.
Mrs. Wittymore. I cannot even begin to understand what you achieved by talking sports with him.
Sensibella. A sports coup.