"Filled with laughter, spiced with sex, and peopled with characters who are fun to meet." - Fredericton Daily Gleaner

 
Richard Bauer, AnnaMarie Lea, Susan Greenfield and Marshall Button in the Upper Canada Playhouse production of Sadie Flynn Comes To Big Oak. 2003

 

 

 

The gossip mill is working overtime when convicted husband killer Sadie Flynn gets off the bus in Big Oak after her release from prison. Soon after her arrival, strange things begin to happen in the small town.

In this scene, Tom Shaw and Orson Hubble begin their day at Millie's Cabin, the local diner owned by Tom.

   
Orson:: The problem, Tommy, is that nothin' ever happens in this town, that's the problem. There's a monotony loomin' over Big Oak like a smog and it's chokin' each and every one of us. (He sits at one of the tables.)
Tom: Orson, a lot of us like the fact that nothing ever happens in Big Oak. That's why we live here.
Orson:

Oh, now that's a very dangerous attitude, Tommy. Very dangerous. Boredom is the devil's compost. A person's got nothin’ to do, sooner or later they get into trouble. And that's what's gonna happen here. I mean, we've got nothin' to talk about. Nothin' going on. What we need is somethin’ like what happened over in Dempsey.

Tom: What was that?
Orson: Geez, Tommy, don't you read the paper? Leo McKinney is suing the owners of this big office building in Toronto because one of their elevators caused him to lose his sex drive.
Tom: His what?
Orson: Well, it seems that last year, Leo took a trip to Toronto to try and sell Dempsey as a getaway spot for vacationing city-dwellers. He even thought up a catchy slogan for the brochures. "Small Town Charm. We've Got It Up The Arse." He figured using arse would be charming in a small town way.
Tom: I get it. And?
Orson: So, Leo's in Toronto and he's riding up the elevator in one of those high rises, when all of a sudden the elevator starts to malfunction. Well, for the next forty minutes, there's poor Leo hangin' on for dear life, while the elevator is shootin' up and plungin' down, shootin' up and plungin' down. Well, after that, Leo said he didn't feel like having sex anymore. Said he was afraid of it. The doctors, on the other hand, said it was a fear of motion that he was experiencing, not a fear of sex. Course, Leo's wife, Myrna, said that Leo never was one for much motion anyway. Certainly not forty minutes worth.
Tom: So, did he ever get over it?
Orson: Guess not, cause' he's suing them. But, there is a positive side to this because I read somewhere that men who don't have sex tend to live longer.
Tom: No, it probably just seems longer.
Orson: So anyway, that's what we need. A little excitement to break up the tedium. I mean, look at you and me. Every morning we do the same thing. You set out the breakfast dishes, you get the coffee brewin’, you bake the muffins, you write up the daily specials, and I read the paper. No wonder we’re bored. People have got to have diversity in their lives, Tommy. You and me, we don't have it. Nobody in this town does.
Tom: Yeah, well, the only diversity I'd like to see is a few more customers through here in the run of a day.
Orson: Well, that can be taken care of too. In fact, I've been reading up on that very thing. (He goes behind the counter and takes out a magazine.)
Tom: On what?
Orson: On how to improve your business. Here. It says here in this magazine that a good restaurant offers it's customers variety, because these days, people don't like to feel like they're in a rut.
Tom: What magazine is that?
Orson: Today's Restaurateur. And Tommy, this magazine is gonna show you how to run a better establishment here.
Tom: What's wrong with my establishment the way it is?
Orson: Well, for example, they have some tips on presentation.
Tom: Presentation?
Orson: Yeah. For instance, it says that a maitre-de gives a restaurant an air of sophistication, so I think we should get us a maitre-de in here.
Tom: A maitre-de?
Orson: Yeah. And I know just the fella. Dwayne Kingston.
Tom: The funeral director?
Orson: He’s got his own tuxedo.
Tom: No, I am not going to have a funeral director seating my customers. That doesn’t send the right message about the food here.
Orson: Well, maybe we can just borrow the tuxedo then.
Tom: Forget it, Orson. We don’t need a maitre-de.
Orson: All right then, it also says here that flowers can change the whole look and mood of a restaurant. So, I think we oughta start putting flowers on the tables. In fact, I took the liberty of bringing something in from home this morning. (He exits to the kitchen. Off.) I had this in my trailer, but I think it'll do better for us in here. (He enters from the kitchen carrying a very large potted plant. He sets it on one of the tables.) There. Now, how's that for a centerpiece?
Tom: That's not a centerpiece, Orson. That's a hedge.
Orson: You're resisting, Tommy. Resisting is not going to give the citizens of Big Oak the change they so desperately seek.
Tom: Look, I know these people, Orson. I was born and raised here and I think people in Big Oak are happy with things just the way they are.
  (Bev Dupuis enters the diner.)
Bev: You know, I must've done something to really piss off God, because my life is comin’ apart like a fat boy’s pants. (She moves to the counter.)
Tom: What'll it be, Bev? Large double cream, Sweet n' Low?
Bev: Good guess, Tom. I've only been ordering the same bloody thing every morning for the last eight years now.
Orson: There you see, Tommy? (Indicating Bev.) This is an example of a rut.
Bev: A what?
Orson: A rut.
Bev: Oh.
Orson: (To Tom.) The woman's existence is pure tedium from sunup to sundown. Her excitement quotient doesn’t even register. It is flatlining! How's it goin', Bev?
Bev: How's it goin'? I'll tell you how it's goin', Orson. Fiona calls me at seven-thirty this morning to tell me she won't be in today. Meanwhile, I've got April Angotti, her three bridesmaids, and her mother coming in to have their hair done for a two o'clock wedding. I'm supposed to do this myself? What am I, Edward Scissorhands? Oh, and get this. April's mother calls me yesterday, and she says that when she looks in the mirror after I’m finished, she wants to see a young Jane Fonda. Yeah, right. I'll try, Mrs. Angotti, but don't be surprised if you see ol’ Henry staring back at you. And then there’s April. She came over to my place last night because she's having second thoughts about getting married and she wants me to tell her she's doing the right thing, so I say ‘’April, do you love him? And she says yes. She says she loves him so much, it's like a fever. So, I say, ‘Well, if you're looking for something to bring that fever down, Honey, marriage is it.’ You know the first thing I noticed after I got married? It was the wide variety of noises that come out of a man’s body. In fact, I’m convinced that you men must have one or two secret orifices that you’re not telling us about. How else could you explain the cacophony of sound erupting from one body. Oh, and the sex? Now, there's a treat. When we first got married, we’d make love every day. Then it was once a week. Then a couple of times a month. Towards the end there, if he said ‘Pull my finger’, I’d count that. And on top of everything else, I'm two months behind in my rent for the shop, the bank's threatening to close me down, and right now I've got cramps that would hobble a plough horse. That's how it's friggin' goin', Orson! (Bev slams some money down on the counter, grabs her coffee from Tom and exits R.)
  Copyright 1996 Norm Foster

 

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