copyright © 2005 Jeff Goode

Go Fish!

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 2005

(Rambunctious KIDS playing, loudly. Their MOM enters, getting ready to go out.)

MOM. Kids, I’ve got to go now. The new babysitter will be here in a minute. And I want you to try not to traumatize this one, for a change. Okay?

KID. Go Fish!

MOM. I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that.

KID. Go Fish!

MOM. Nuh uh. We are not gonna play that game tonight.

(TINA the BABYSITTER comes in.)

TINA. What game is that, Ms. Patten?

MOM. Oh, hello, Tina. Thank you so much for coming on such short notice. I’ve been turned down by every babysitter in the neighborhood. (pointedly, to the KIDS:) I don’t know why. (to TINA:) They’re really not bad kids, they’re just--- Okay, they’re bad kids, I know it, I know they are. Are you sure it’s okay for me to leave you alone with them?

TINA. This isn’t my first time babysitting, Ms. Patten. I’m sure everything will be super-keen. I promise. You go to your thing and have fun. We’ll be fine here.

MOM. Okay. The house rules are simple: They are not to stay up late. They are not to watch too much TV. (pointedly, to the KIDS:) They are not to find out where the cookies are hidden and eat them. (to TINA:) They are not to leave the yard, or get into anything they shouldn’t be in. (pointedly, to the KIDS:) And they are not to play Go Fish with the babysitter. (cutting them off before they can say "Go Fish") Ah! …I gotta go grab my purse, I’ll be right back.

TINA. Hi, guys. My name’s Tina. Nice to meet you. What do you say we have some fun tonight, huh?

KID. Go Fish!

TINA. Well, your Mom says that’s against the rules. But maybe if you start by telling me your names, we’ll see if we can work something out. What do you say?

KID. Go Fish!

KID. We’re your worst nightmare, lady.

KID. You won’t last 2 minutes with us.

KID. We’re going to eat you alive.

KID. You’re going down, lady.

(TINA smiles.)

TINA. Y’know, the other babysitters told me you guys were little rascals. But I just don’t think they really gave you a chance.

KID. Go Fish!

TINA. I’ll tell you what, I’ll make you a deal: (whispers, conspiratorially:) After your Mom is gone, we can play Go Fish, if you promise not to tell her about it. How’s that?

KID. Aw, lady, we don’t wanna play Go Fish!

KID. That’s just what we call it when we want to say Go Fuck Yourself in front of our momma.

KID. Cuz she can’t wash our mouth out with soap for saying "Go Fish".

KID. We’re not talking about some stupid card game!

TINA. Oh... Well, that’s okay, because I’m not talking about cards, either.

KID. You’re not?

TINA. No. "Go Fish" is a game I invented for when I have to babysit rascally little characters like you. Neat, huh? Do you want to know how it’s played?

KIDS. Uh huh.

TINA. Well, there’s just one rule to Go Fish: For the rest of the evening: Whatever I say...GOES. Or I will gut you like a fish.

(MOM returns with her purse, hands TINA a twenty.)

MOM. I can’t thank you enough for this, Tina. You really saved me life. You’re sure you’re gonna be okay with these two?

TINA. We’re going to be fine. Aren’t we, guys?

KIDS. Yes, ma’am.

(MOM eyes the children suspiciously for a beat.)

MOM. Okay. …Bye, then.

(She leaves. TINA grins at the terrified CHILDREN, threateningly.)

TINA. Go Fish.



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