Blog Stories Verhalen About

The Incompatibles
A play by Horace Holley,
revised and illustrated by Ayal Pinkus
CHARACTERS

—MARIAN

—FRED, just married Marian

—GEORGE, Marian's ex

 
An undesirable corner table in a Broadway restaurant, at evening. Between the man and woman who have just taken seats is a bouquet of wilting red roses.
 
 
 
No, I don't want any oysters or clams. I ate enough sea food in Atlantic City to last a season. I want some — Oh, what gorgeous flowers! Umm!
 
 
I love the smell of roses! Especially out of season. Why, the other tables haven't any! Fred, did you — ?
 
 
Sure I did, Marian. I knew you'd like 'em.
 
 
I do. But you mustn't be a silly boy any longer, Fred!
 
 
I will, too. It isn't silly, to give you flowers.
 
 
That's all right, Fred. God knows I like the flowers. But I'm not a young idiot who expects her honeymoon to last forever. I've had one experience, you know.
 
 
Yes, but you mustn't judge all men by him.
 
 
I don't. I knew well enough you're different, or I'd never have married you. But at the same time —
 
 
Well, I'm going to show you that a real man don't get over the fun of being married to a peach like you in just two weeks. You don't want me to, do you?
 
 
Course not, Fred! Didn't I say you were different? But I don't want you to set a pace you can't keep up. You'd hate me in no time if I did.
 
 
I couldn't hate you, girlie! Besides, isn't this our first night back in the old town? We shan't be having dinner out like this every day.
 
 
Well, only I don't want to have you flop all of a sudden, like he did. What'll you have, a cocktail?
 
 
Let's see.... What's the matter, Marian?
 
 
Sh! Don't turn round!
 
 
What's up?
 
 
Him!
 
 
Him who?
 
 
George!
 
 
Good Lord! Well, don't mind him. He hasn't got anything on you now. You're mine.
 
 
Sure I am. He isn't looking. He's with a woman. By jingo! It's that millinery kid!
 
 
What millinery kid? Besides, what difference does it make? Let him have a hundred, if he wants 'em. We're happy.
 
 
The nerve of him! I knew it was her right along. He thought he could fool me.

I bet he paid good money for those clothes!

The millinery kid

 
 
Oh, come on! What'll you have? Besides, she might have made the clothes herself.
 
 
Made 'em herself! Say, a fine lot you know about ladies' gowns! That came from the Avenue, straight.
 
 
Well, what if it did? I'll get you a better one, you just wait.
 
 
Sh! He's looking over here!
 
 
Hm! Look at me and you won't see him.
 
 
The nerve!
 
 
What's he done?
 
 
He smiled right over like nothing had ever happened. I'll bet he's going to say something mean about me. Oh!
 
 
Let's change our seats. I'm hungry!
 
 
Change nothing! Catch me giving him a laugh like that! I could tell her things, the young — There, now she's looking!
 
 
What if she is? Say, look here —
 
 
He's getting up! Well, of all the brass!
 
 
What?
 
 
He's coming over here!
 
 
He is! Don't you say a word. I'll take him on!
 
 
If he dares —
 
 
Hello, Marian!
 
 
Hm!
 
 
What, got a grouch on your honeymoon? That's a bad sign, Marian!
 
 
No, I haven't got any grouch! Don't you worry! You're the only grouch I ever had, thank the Lord!
 
 
Well then. It isn't every woman gets rid of an incompatible husband and gets hold of a compatible one, all in same season.
 
 
Look here!
 
 
That's just like him! Coming over here with a grin on like a kid with a new toy. Well, we don't want anything to do with you. See?
 
 
Sure. Excuse me for butting in. I just wanted to make a little announcement.
 
 
Oh, you did! Well, I'm surprised! I didn't think she was the kind you had to marry.
 
 
Huh! I knew you'd have your little knife out for her. But why you should have to be jealous now I can't see.
 
 
I'm not jealous!
 
 
What you worrying about, then?
 
 
I'm not worrying! I'm only sore because you butted in when we were so happy together here without you.
 
 
Oh, excuse me! As a matter of fact, I didn't come over to make any announcement. It's too late for that. I —
 
 
Married already! Anybody'd think you might wait a little while for common decency!
 
 
I waited a day longer than you did, anyhow.
 
 
That's different.
 
 
I beg your pardon! We were just ordering dinner. If you didn't come to make any announcement, why —
 
 
Yes, what did you butt in for?
 
 
Why, I got a letter from your friend Grace, and —
 
 
Grace? What did she have to say to you?
 
 
She said she was sorry I had to get a divorce, but I told her —
 
 
Sorry you had to get a divorce! Well, if I don't fix her!
 
 
Oh, she's getting married, too.
 
 
Who to?
 
 
That fellow, what's his name, that's got the garage over on Seventh Avenue.
 
 
Snider! So he's the one! Well! And I suppose she'll be all over town in a new car.
 
 
Sure. Saw him to-day. A big yellow one. I always told you she was out for money. And you thought she was in love with Jackson!
 
 
Hypocrite! She was. Or she told me so. Cried all over me. Have you seen Jackson?
 
 
Yes. He's as blue as your old kimono. He said —
 
 
Look here, Marian! I'm not going to wait all night for my dinner!
 
 
Order your old dinner!
 
 
What did Jackson say, George?
END