When Maddie Met Sunny…
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Act 1 Scene 1
Exterior, Hayes/Addison Home
Monday, 7:45 pm
A black cherry vintage Corvette pulls up in front of the house. The driver sits slumped in the front seat.
After a moment, David Addison emerges from the vehicle. He is in shirtsleeves, his suit jacket slung over one shoulder. He exudes weariness – it has been a long day.
But it takes more than tiredness to quash David’s inimitable spirit. He pauses for a moment, checking out the car in the dim light that comes from the doorway. He spots an almost imperceptible smudge, and leans over to buff it with his elbow.
He addresses the car.
David: Lookin’ good, baby…good as new...well, good as vintage. Thanks to the generosity of our old friend Jinx, that is. Sure was nice to get that bill marked “paid in full”.
He straightens up and looks towards the house.
David: I am dead dog tired. Guess it would be too much to hope for that I could just go straight up the stairs and right to bed – to sleep!
He squares his shoulders.
David: Time to check up on my other girls.
He proceeds towards the door, singing.
David: I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way…
My girls…my girls…my girls…
Talkin’ ‘bout my girls…my girls.
He turns his key in the lock, continuing to whistle the song. He swings open the door, and his whistle dies slowly.
The camera pans the living room. We have not seen this room look so haphazard since the break-in in the pilot.
Seriously, it is out of kilter – especially by Maddie Hayes standards. There are several overflowing baskets of laundry next to the sofa, and blankets and burp cloths litter the furniture. The top of the Spanish chest is covered with assorted baby paraphernalia, a pile of mail, and a few parenting books, half opened and propped on their spines.
The baby swing sits in the middle of the floor, empty, but swinging rhythmically…..almost in a ghostly fashion. Add a sprinkling of dog toys scattered across the carpet, and the picture is pretty much painted.
Miss Me catapults into the room, barking and running in circles around David. He drops his briefcase and jacket, and leans to ruffle her fur, calling out at the same time.
David: Good evening, ladies. Daddy’s home. Where’s my welcoming committee?
He starts to straighten up -- all of his attention captured by a vision coming through the kitchen doorway. The scene is backlit, almost like a horror movie. Maddie is holding the baby, but this is no “Madonna and Child” portrait. The baby is fussing, and Maddie is wild eyed, with hair flying in a hundred different directions. Maddie looks around the room with an air of exasperation, and spots David. He grins as she marches towards him.
David: How are my two favorite Blondie Blondes?
Maddie thrusts the baby towards him as she speaks in a drawn out, strained voice
Maddie: Taaaakkkkke her.
David takes the baby and cuddles her, tickling her under the chin.
David: How’s my little terrorist? Been holding your mama hostage today?
Ellie rewards him with a grin and a couple of spit bubbles.
David: Look at that, spit bubbles at her age! Our child is a genius!
Maddie shakes her head.
Maddie: Well, I’m glad you are so easily amused. This day has been just……
She looks around and spots his jacket and briefcase on the floor. She is practically breathing fire.
Maddie: David, honestly…..this place is not enough of a disaster, without you adding to the mess?
She watches him playing with the baby, trying to get her to settle.
He looks up from admiring his daughter, then gives Maddie the charming smile. He shifts Ellie to the other arm, and picks up the offending items.
David: I was distracted by the sheer beauty of my lovely little family.
Maddie: Stow it, Addison. I’m not in the mood.
David: Clearly, you are not. What happened to our happy household? Seems like only 8 hours ago that we were celebrating Ellie’s first gourmet dining experience. In fact, isn’t that some of her cereal in your hair?
Maddie seethes, but David, unobservantly carries on.
David: What’s rice cereal anyway? Looks like wallpaper paste……and I did not see Snap, Krackle OR Pop on the box. Wouldn’t she have liked it better if we had started with Count Chocula?
He makes a move as if to bite Maddie’s neck, then thinks better when he reads her expression.
Maddie: Eight hours….well…a lot can happen in eight hours. And you can laugh about it, but I have been walking this child all day long.
David shows concern.
David: Is she sick? Does she have a fever? Did you call the doctor?
Maddie: Of course I did. I’m not an idiot.
David’s own weariness starts to peek through.
David: Nobody said you were an idiot – just trying to help.
Maddie’s voice is heavy with sarcasm.
Maddie: Yeah, thanks.
David: Could it be those shots she had?
Maddie: Those were two weeks ago, David, and they probably hurt us more than they hurt her.
David: You cried louder than she did.
Maddie: And you cried louder than both of us put together.
David: Hope that is not a swipe at my manhood.
He grins, she ignores.
David: So what did Ben Casey say anyway?
Maddie: Not Ben Casey……Dr. Benz….Casey Benz.
Maddie: He has no idea. – he said it might be colic again.
David: I’m not sure I could take two more weeks of that colic stuff!
Maddie: But his best bet is just general fussiness…like many babies get.
Ellie is wiggling…making it a challenge for David to hang onto her.
David: Whoa, cowgirl…..
Maddie wants to be heard.
Maddie: David…..how can I deal with that?
Maddie: Meaning I can’t deal with that kind of an answer.
She indicates the baby books on the table with a sweeping gesture.
Maddie: I have read and read everything in these damned books and I can’t find any logical explanation for what’s wrong with her.
David (laughing): Maybe she is just having a bad day.
Maddie eyes burn into him.
David: Maddie, she’s a human being….a unique human being made up of one part you and one part me. She’s gonna have ups and downs…just like both of us…..sometimes unexplainable.
Maddie: Thank you, Doctor Spock.
David: What does that pointy eared dude have to do with this conversation?
He rolls his eyes.
David: I know you get frustrated, Maddie. We’re both new at this. I’m frustrated too. Recently she’s been the perfect child, and then last night and today – a screaming Mimi again. I sure didn’t expect to work a twelve hour day today after being up with her at 3 AM.
Maddie: And I am sure your 10 AM nap took care of that.
David: You do realize, that for the most part, I am running our business on my own right now…right?
Maddie: Yeah, you and the other nine knuckleheads. I’m all alone here.
David: What are we…taking attendance? I’m not here? I don’t do my part with Ellie?
Maddie: Not during the day. Not with all the other things that have to be done around here.
She grabs a pair of heart boxers from the laundry basket and waves them in his face.
Maddie: These are not Ellie’s. How come since I’ve been home, laundry and housekeeping have become my particular challenge?
David takes a deep breath, and attempts to put the baby in the swing. Dissuaded by a long loud wail, he picks her up again. He turns backs to Maddie, trying to speak calmly.
David: Well, let’s face it Maddie, you are home all day. I certainly can’t take the laundry to the office.
Maddie’s voice drips with sarcasm.
Maddie: What a perfect answer. And I guess there is some kind of rule about doing laundry after 5 PM?
David: I am finding it hard to believe you don’t think I am pulling my weight here.
Maddie: You come home every day, and play with the baby. I know you’ve worked all day, but I have too. I’m not chatting on the phone, sitting with my feet up and eating bonbons while watching daytime TV. I’m taking care of the house and providing the primary care for our daughter.
David: While I am taking primary care of our business --
Maddie: Right…water cooler roulette and two hour lunches. What I wouldn’t give for a little adult conversation and just one day that didn’t involve three loads of laundry. Instead, I get dirty diapers and a maid that flees to Mexico.
David: You are not seriously suggesting that Carmen’s mother’s illness is some kind of sinister plot to turn you into the un-happy hausfrau, are you?
Maddie: Of course not….it’s just more piled on top.
David: So there’s no reason why you haven’t replaced her temporarily.
Maddie: You…you…you…again! Why me…when you should be very cognizant of what is going on around here?
David: So, you want me to make a call to a temp agency? Is that what this is about?
Maddie: Yes….no…..I don’t know.
Maddie is clearly frustrated at trying to express what she means. Her eyes fill with tears.
Maddie: I just don’t know how to do it all.
David just looks at her for a moment, then his attention is drawn to his daughter. She has stopped fussing, and makes little grunting noises. Her little face is red and screwed up. After a moment, she finishes her task, and then gives her father a little grin.
David: Can it be as easy as all that? A little gas…a little bodily function required? You’ve got the Addison hallmark all over you, Bunny.
He lifts her in the air, and she coos. David laughs again.
David: Ok, smelly Ellie, let’s –
Maddie (interrupting): Don’t call her that!
David: She’s an Addison…gotta toughen her up. Told you when we named her, she’s gonna hear it sooner than later.
Maddie looks as if she wants to continue the discussion, but instead, starts halfheartedly folding a blanket.
David takes over. He grabs Maddie’s arm, and steers her towards the staircase.
David: Ok girls, I vote for bathtime. Ellie, you and I get the nursery bathroom, and Mommy gets the big tub full of bubbles all to herself….for now!
He winks at Maddie, who barely reacts. He nudges her towards the bedroom.
David: Go get unkinked. I’ll take care of the princess here.
Maddie protests weakly.
Maddie: But I’m not finished…..
David: Yes you are…for now.
He looks at her, not taking maybe for an answer.
David: You need to go take care of you. I’ll take care of her and see you….hopefully, all of you…in a bit.
Maddie smoothes Ellie’s hair, such as it is, then does the same to David’s…also, such as it is. They turn into the bedroom, Maddie heading for the bathroom, and David proceeds singing, towards the nursery door.
David: C’mon Ellie, just the chorus…..Splish, splash I was taking a bath, long about a Saturday night…….
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Act 1 Scene 2
The Master Bathroom
Monday, 9:15 PM
Maddie is lying quietly in a tub full of bubbles. Her eyes are closed.
David stands in the doorway, watching her thoughtfully. She senses his presence, opens her eyes, then closes them again. David moves into the bathroom. He places the baby monitor on the vanity sink, and takes the only seat in the room.
Maddie speaks without opening her eyes.
Maddie: She’s OK?
David: All quiet on the teenytown front. Once she hit the warm water, she folded like a card table. I barely got through two verses of Lydia the Tattoed Lady and she was snoozing.
Maddie: Probably in self defense.
David: I could finish singing it for you.
Maddie: No thanks.
Maddie: Poor little thing…she’s got to be exhausted.
David: Like somebody else I know. If I were a gambling man….
Maddie opens her eyes to give him a look. He crooks his eyebrow at her, and continues.
David: Yep, if I were a gambling man, I’d bet I know two girls who’ll be sleeping through the night.
Maddie: David, earlier…you know I didn’t mean that you’re not there for me…for us….
David: Got it, Blondie. No harm, no foul. A little temporary insanity is good for a relationship.
Maddie: As long as we take turns, huh?
David: Been there, done that. Think we are about even.
She closes her eyes again. David appears to be thinking – phrasing his next comment carefully.
David: Soooooo, I guess it is safe to say that you’re ready to come back to work full time…?
Maddie opens her eyes and looks at him carefully.
Maddie: Yes……no…..I don’t know….
David: What don’t you know, Maddie?
Maddie: At this point I don’t know if anything I am doing is the best thing…for any of us.
David: What do you mean?
Maddie shakes her head in frustration.
Maddie: I’m staying home with the baby, but I don’t seem to be making her happy. The house is a complete wreck. And you are overwhelmed with running the business on your own.
David: Ho, ho, ho, no putting words in my mouth. That water’s a little too shallow to be diving in so deep. Let’s take a gander at those things in priority order, shall we? The house…..
Maddie: Our home….
David: Yes, it is our home, and let’s face it, it’s never gonna make the cover of House Beautiful. My Mom used to say our house was clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.
Maddie: David, that’s sweet, but a little unrealistic…
David: It’s completely realistic. I am not suggesting we turn the place into Animal House, but things are going to be occasionally out of place …
Maddie (emphatically): Occasionally? Define occasionally.
David: Alot? So we…and specifically YOU… have to come to a compromise about that.
Maddie: I guess I can try.
David: And honestly, after working all day, I want to come home and play with Ellie, not with fine washables. So, we need to find out what the deal is with Carmen…..and when she comes back, maybe expand her to two or three days a week if she can do it.
Maddie: That’s not a bad idea. I think one extra day would be great, if even just to help with Ellie’s laundry.
David: Ya don’t say…that little chicklet did come with some baggage, huh?
Maddie: I think she has more clothes than I do.
David: Minus one outfit. The clothes I just took off of her went right in the trash.
Maddie: David! Terri and Walter gave her that onesie!
David: That onesie is twenty three skidoo. It was either that or get someone to fumigate it. Rice cereal, bah!
David: As far as work….I miss you. We’re partners. I’m the Blue and you’re the Moon – anatomically speaking, of course.
Maddie: Of course.
David: I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard. Although our staff has risen to the task….they’re not you…won’t ever be you. We’re both better detectives when we are bouncing things off of each other.
Maddie: How come you can make the simplest statement sound dirty?
David: Who me?
Maddie: I do feel like I’ve left you in the lurch.
David: That guy from the Addams Family?
He winks, then goes on.
David: You’re doing the important stuff now…and Ellie has definitely needed you. I’m not gonna lie and said it’s been easy, but it’s easier knowing you are here with her.
Maddie: Do you think so? I don’t feel confident about that. She is my child and it breaks my heart not to know exactly what’s wrong with her. I want to be able to meet her every need.
David: Don’t you think every parent feels that way? Now she can’t tell us what she wants. When she’s a teenager, she won’t!
Maddie: But I am talking about now. Today I was all wrong….I had no idea what to do. What if she’s upset, and I’m impatient and crazed? What if I say the wrong things? I would die if I thought I was hurting her.
David: Maddie, although I truly believe you are a super woman, you don’t have to be Superwoman. You can’t do it all.
He shakes his head.
David: You need to give yourself a break. I told you years ago that you were going to be a great mother and you are. What’s more, you don’t need me to tell you that.
She listens intently as he goes on.
David: In the great scheme of things, I think that the woman that you are is going to be more important to Ellie than anything you say. And although you are a great mother, and partner, you thrive on being a businesswoman too.
Maddie: I love being Ellie’s mother and being here with her – much more than I ever imagined I would. But you are right. There is a part of me that needs to work….with you. Is that selfish of me?
David: No, it’s who you are. And our daughter will grow looking up to a woman who is a strong, accomplished role model….and she is lucky to have you.
Maddie: So that’s that?
David: Yesiree bob…it’s simple. Well, maybe it’s not so simple…but we need to make it work for all of us…from the princess to the queen.
Maddie: And you are?
David: The jester….the juggler. I’m the guy who’s gonna help you keep all the balls in the air.
David: So Ms. Hayes….you’re hired again. And when would you like to start? Tomorrow?
Maddie: Well, I was coming in for a little while tomorrow anyway. But I think we’d better start…or RE-start on the nanny search in earnest.
David: Oh, I’m looking forward to that. Guess maybe we’d better stop thinking we’re going to find our own personal Mary Poppins, huh?
Maddie: We need to be confident enough in someone to trust them with our child, but I think we’ve learned to be a little more realistic about what’s out there.
David pauses for a moment, looking at Maddie in the tub.
David: Gotta say…this is a pretty serious discussion to be having when you are so….slippery. How’s the water?
Maddie (teasing): It’s getting a little cold. Want me to add some hot?
David: As much as I can’t believe I am saying this, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Maddie: This might be a first.
David: Honey, I’m afraid if I joined you, we’d both fall asleep and drown...and I’m not too keen on leaving little orphan Ellie.
Maddie: How about we just go to sleep?
David reaches for a large bath sheet and holds it up in front of her. She rises and steps out of the tub, and he wraps her in the towel, and pulls her into his arms.
David: You feel good. Are you feeling better?
Maddie: You feel better. Let’s go to bed.
She kisses him on the nose, and they walk towards the bedroom. David retreats for a moment to snag the baby monitor, and they exit.
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper, "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams, whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
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Act 2 Scene 1
Blue Moon Detective Agency
David Addison’s Office
David sits at his desk, peering at a computer screen. Maddie slips in quietly, and heads towards his desk.
David: Creeping up on someone is not nice.
Maddie: How else would I get to see which computer game you’re hooked on now?
David: Wrong! I’m checking out this thing Bert talked me into getting. It’s called America On Line.
Maddie: The internet…..the wave of the future, or so they say. Isn’t it mostly games?
David: That’s kind of how it started, but now anyone with a computer and a phone line can link up to people all over the world. They have things called chat rooms that people can type to each other in real time.
Maddie: And how does this help the business?
David: They say that in
the future, the information exchange is going to be phenomenal. We’re in on the ground floor. Beside, this
Maddie: Can’t hurt, I guess.
She places the baby monitor on his desk.
David: She snoozing?
Maddie: She’s fast asleep. Think she is still busy catching up with yesterday.
David: Well, luckily we did that catching up last night. I have another kind of catching up in mind for this evening.
Maddie: Maybe I’d better wake her up so she sleeps tonight then. I was grateful that she slept this morning…gave me plenty of time to get the payroll done. But she still seems a little off schedule today, and she hasn’t eaten well.
David: I was hoping you would take this new client meeting with me before you leave…jump back in the saddle so to speak.
Maddie: What’s it about?
David: The details are a little sketchy. Agnes said the call was from a literary agent…representing an unidentified client…wanting to investigate theft and plagiarism.
Maddie: What kind of plagiarism?
David: Not sure….the “you stole my stuff” kind? I guess we’ll know in about fifteen minutes.
Maddie: I may as well stay then, but I need to get out of here early enough to stop at the market, or we’ll all be having rice cereal for the rest of the week.
David: No thanks. I’d rather eat worms. So listen, do you want me to make some nanny calls? Set up some appointments?
Maddie: Actually, I had Agnes make some of the preliminary calls for me. The agency is working on setting up some appointments.
David picks up his agenda book.
David: What kind of time do I need to block out?
Maddie: Actually, I thought this time I could do a first interview, and if I like them, we’ll schedule a second interview with both of us.
David: You are going to like some of them, right?
Maddie: I hear you. Hopefully, the candidates will be a little better this time around.
There is a knock at the door.
David: Agnes DiPesto….come on down!
Agnes walks through the door.
Agnes: How’d you know it was me?
David: After all these years, do you really think I don’t recognize all the fine nuances of your special knock. Now what can we do for you, Agnes?
Agnes: Ms. Hayes, I’ve got a list of nanny appointments for you for tomorrow.
Maddie: They’re coming to the house, right?
Agnes: Yes, ma’am. Starting at eleven.
David: Aaaaah…the bewitching hour.
Maddie ignores him and addresses Agnes.
Maddie: That’s good. I want to see them while Ellie is awake, so I can see how they react to her.
David: And vice versa?
Maddie: Most definitely vice versa. Thank you, Agnes, that was a big help.
Agnes: Glad to do it. It will be great great to get you back here full time.
Maddie: Thank you.
Agnes: And your 12:30 clients are here. The woman looks a little familiar to me.
David: Like post office wall familiar?
Agnes looks a little confused.
Agnes: Gee, I don’t think so.
Maddie: You can bring them in now, Agnes.
Agnes exits. David smiles at Maddie.
David: Lights, camera, action. Glad to have you with me, partner.
Maddie: The feeling’s mutual.
The door reopens and Agnes ushers in a man and a woman. The man appears to be in his fifties, and personifies the word “average”. His forehead shows what appears to be a permanent worried furrow. The woman who follows him is thirtyish. She appears to have taken great pains with her appearance, but is still rather plain and bookish looking.
David and Maddie cross the room, and handshakes are exchanged.
David: I am David Addison and this is my partner, Madolyn Hayes.
Man: I am Stanley Bookman, literary agent and this is my client….
Maddie (interrupting): Devon McClare. I knew I recognized you.
Devon: That’s correct, Ms. Hayes.
David: I’m out of the loop, I guess.
Maddie: Ms. McClare is the author of the “Rusty O’Rourke” series.
David: Still loopless. Sorry.
Bookman: It’s a series of teenage novels. Rusty is a Peter Pan sort of leader to a group of……
David: Boys…I saw the movie.
Bookman: No, boys and girls. They all live in a small Midwestern town, and are involved in magical and mystical adventures.
David: Oh, kid’s books.
Maddie (warningly): David…..
Bookman: You say kid’s books, I say teen fiction empire. Devon has just completed the fifth book in the series. The first four have sold in excess of fifty million copies, all over the world. They are making a movie of the first book that is due out in November. The advance was in excess of two million dollars.
David: Double O Wow! Who knew there was so much moolah in kiddie lit? No offense intended, Ms. McClare.
Devon: None taken. And my name is Devon. Quite honestly, I am still constantly amazed at how this whole thing has taken off. That these characters, who have lived in my head since I was a child, have become beloved by millions.
Maddie: And not only children. If I am correct, your books have become popular favorites for all ages.
David: Think we’d better pick up a set for our daughter.
He smiles at Devon.
David: Ellie’s only three and a half months, so she won’t be reading for at least a year, I reckon.
Devon: I love new fathers. I’ll send you over a set of them, autographed if you’d like.
David: We’d like. Thank you.
Maddie: So, why don’t we sit down and talk about your case?
She gestures to the chairs in front of her desk. Bookman and Devon are seated. David sits on the credenza behind – his usual spot.
David: Bookman – just
Bookman (drolly): So I’ve been told. So before we start to talk about this, I need to emphasize the absolute need for complete confidentiality.
Maddie: That is understood for all our clients, Mr. Bookman.
Bookman: It is crucial. Not one inkling of this can end up in the press. The reputation of the Rusty O’Rourke books has to be above reproach, and with no hint of scandal.
David: Why would there be scandal?
Devon: Several days ago, I received a package at my apartment building. It was about twenty pages of a new Rusty O’Rourke story.
Maddie: Someone has copies of your writing?
Devon: No, these are not at all like my writing. It is a portion of a story, using my characters, but it is so far from the spirit of my books, it sickens me. The characters are poorly drawn, and their motives are far different than I have established. Quite frankly, they are behaving in ways that are just totally unfathomable to me.
Maddie: I can see that this upsets you.
Devon: Of course it does. I have spent years with these characters, and this…this plagiarist has them saying things and using words that are just wrong. The writing is amateurish, but the language and story are clearly adult in content – and quite inappropriate for a general audience. The person throws in a few key words or phrases from my original work, and thinks that makes it a Rusty O’Rourke story.
David: Maybe I am not following here, but don’t you just send a nice “thanks but no thanks” and move on?
Bookman: It’s not that simple. The package was not a suggestion for a story, it was blackmail.
Bookman pulls a piece of paper from his inside pocket.
Bookman: Here’s the note that came with the pages.
The note is typical – words and letters cut out from newspapers or magazines.
David reads aloud.
Unless you want these pages to be put on the internet as a sneek preview of your next novel, put twenty five thousand dollars in a plane brown envelope, and send it to PO Box 3537 at the West hollywood Post office on Fairfax. Do not tell anyone. Mail it by 12 midnight on Munday night.
He thinks you’re gonna mail twenty five thousand dollars…what a bonehead!
Maddie: Can I see that David?
Maddie takes the paper and reads it carefully.
David: Guess you didn’t think about preserving fingerprints, huh?
Devon: I didn’t, Mr. Addison. I was too shocked by the whole thing. By the time Stanley suggested it, we had handled it many times.
David: Do you have the envelope?
Bookman: I do.
David: We’ll take the note and the envelope. It’s a long shot, but maybe we can find something. And how about the pages?
Bookman: I’ve got them in the safe in my office.
David: We’re gonna need them too.
Maddie: There are some interesting things about this note. There are quite a few simple spelling and grammar errors.
Devon: Just like the pages. They are just terrible.
Maddie: I’m not sure until we read the pages, but maybe we can pick up something to go on from them…to identify the writer, I mean.
Bookman: I should have brought them with us, but I wanted them to be safe. I can drop them off on my way home this afternoon.
David: So, let’s say we do find this person. What are you going to want us to do with him or her?
Devon: Chop off all his fingers so he can never write again.
Devon: Sorry, but it is not the money and not the fame. I love these characters. When I read the pages, it is as if he took all the members of my family and replaced them with barely recognizable look-alikes. I hate it. I feel violated.
Maddie: I can see that. Well, we would need to investigate what courses of action we really do have. You know, the internet is very new, and I believe the copyright and privacy laws are still not well defined.
Devon: I just want him stopped…..no matter what it takes.
David: Can you give Ms. Hayes and I a moment to talk this over?
Bookman: Certainly. In fact, if you don’t mind, I will use your phone and call my assistant. She can get those pages over here quicker.
Maddie: Please, be my guest. Can I get you anything?
Devon: No, thank you.
Maddie and David exit his office and take up familiar positions against the door.
David: So how you wanna do this…rock, paper, scissors?
Maddie: I think we should take the case, David.
David: No…wait…I do too. Is that a good or a bad omen?
Maddie: I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
David: No really, why do you want to take this case?
Maddie: Because I can understand this woman’s pride in her work. I can understand that she loves it so much that she has made sacrifices to make it the very best it possibly can be. I understand how she can’t bear to have that stolen away. And I’d like to help her.
David: As reasons go…..not a bad one.
Maddie: Why do you want to take this case?
David: it’s almost a rerun.
Maddie: A rerun?
David: Didn’t you recognize the address of that post office? William Macy? Love letters to a post office box?
Maddie: I wrote my will.
David: That be the place. We know the layout. And if this blackmailer is as dumb as he seems in that note, it will be a short surveillance, and a tiptoe through the parcel post to catch them.
Maddie: Well, don’t forget, I am not surveillance-available this week. You’ll have to take someone else…probably Bert.
David: Oh……maybe I’ll write MY will.
Maddie: You’ll be fine.
David: I sure will be. The thoughts of the big fat fee we are going to charge to save the teen book industry will keep me happy. And maybe we can run some of the footage from that last chase scene – that was primo!
The door opens, and Devon peeks her head out, holding the baby monitor.
Devon: Thought you might want this. It appears someone is awake.
A wail is emitted from the monitor.
Maddie: That’s my cue. Devon, Mr. Addison, will go through the specifics with you, but we’ll be happy to take your case.
David: I’ll be with you in one minute.
Devon reenters the office.
Maddie: I’m going to grab her and go. You feel ok with finishing this yourself?
David: I do..I do..I do..
He starts to sing…
David: “We’re in the money…we’re in the money…..”
He leans over and kisses Maddie thoroughly.
David: I’ll be home at around seven…you, me and Ellie -- tequila shots till the short one passes out.
Maddie: Not a chance. But I’ll do my best to make sure she’s sleeping tonight.
Another wail from the monitor.
Maddie: My very best.
She smiles as she heads towards her office, and David watches her as we:
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
Act 2 Scene 2
Tuesday 2:00 PM
Maddie is pushing a cart through the aisles. We trail her up and down as she picks things up and places them in the basket. Ellie is in her infant seat, which is perched on the front to the cart. Every once in a while, Maddie leans down to speak to the baby, or to touch her.
The shopping expedition appears to be done and Maddie rolls her half filled cart to the checkout. She gets in line behind three other patrons. Looking around, she spots a tabloid magazine, with a picture of herself as a very young model on the cover.
She picks up the magazine, and starts to read, glancing occasionally at the baby. The line creeps slowly towards the register.
There is a tap on her arm. She looks up to see the woman behind her, smiling. She appears to be in her early to mid fifties, short, and a little on the pleasantly plump side. She has curly salt and pepper hair, and wears a tie dyed t-shirt and jeans. She addresses Maddie.
Woman: Forgive me for asking, but that’s you on that magazine, isn’t it?
Maddie: That WAS me...a lifetime ago.
Maddie yanks on her pony tail.
Maddie: Now that’s glamour, right?
Woman: You’re a beautiful young woman and you have a darling baby there.
Maddie: I’m not so sure about the young part, but thank you so much.
The line edges forwards, and it is time for Maddie to put her groceries on the belt. All of a sudden, all hell breaks loose.
Ellie breaks into a full scale wail, shrieking at the top of her lungs. Maddie tries to reach for her, and pull her out of the baby seat, all the while juggling groceries. She drops a bag of oranges, which roll all over the ground. Ellie continues to scream, while the cashier, and half the people in line fix Maddie with impatient stares.
Maddie starts apologizing to everybody.
Maddie: Oh, I’m so sorry, she’s usually not like this. She’s a little off her schedule, and I had to take her to work today…….
Ellie continues to wail.
The woman reaches her arms out.
Woman: Can I help?
She catches Maddie’s skeptical look.
Woman: Honestly, I’ve worked with children all my life. You can trust me.
Maddie sees no alternative and hands Ellie to her. She keeps her eyes carefully on the woman holding her child. The woman rests Ellie against her ample bosom, where she quiets a bit, but still whimpers. She makes little sucking sounds.
Woman: Do you think she is hungry?
Maddie continues to unload the groceries, while looking with concern.
Maddie: Probably. She has been off her schedule for a couple of days.
The woman reaches for a plastic wrapped object hanging at the checkout. She unwraps a pacifier, pops it in Ellie’s mouth, and hands the packaging to the cashier to add to Maddie’s bill.
Maddie: Oh, we’re not really comfortable with the pacifier idea……
Ellie sucks on the pacifier contentedly, as the woman croons to her. It is blissfully silent.
Maddie finishes paying for her groceries, and takes Ellie from the woman’s arms.
Maddie: Thank you so much.
Woman: You’re more than welcome, my dear. Such a little doll baby. She sure does like that pacifier.
Maddie smiles, thinking she will toss it as soon as she gets home.
Woman: Honey, have you had anything to eat today?
Maddie: I know I had breakfast.
Woman: Goodness, that was a long time ago. Why don’t we go next door – there is an adorable little tearoom, and we can get you something to eat. And I know for a fact, they have a lovely room for nursing mothers...you are nursing, right?
Maddie: Yes, I am.
Woman: Can you join me?
Maddie: I’ve got ice cream and perishables.
Woman (smiling): Leave that to me. I know Molly, who’s the manager here. I’ve complimented her melons in the past.
Maddie: That comment sounds like someone else I know.
Woman: You can tell me about it at lunch. We’ll pile this all up in one cart, and I will get the manager to put it in the fridge while we have a cup of tea. So, let’s do lunch, huh?
Maddie thinks for a moment and cannot think of a single reason why not.
Maddie: We would love to…..provided it’s my treat. For services rendered.
The woman smiles.
Woman: That’s a deal. Let’s find Molly and we’ll be off.
Maddie: Perfect. I guess I should introduce myself. I am Maddie Hayes, and this is Ellie.
Woman: A pleasure to meet you, ladies. I am Sunshine Peoples.
They exit the frame.
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
The Hayes Addison Home
Tuesday evening 7 PM
The front door opens a crack, and David sticks his head in. He listens a moment – so far, so good. He sneaks in a little further, and not seeing anything out of place, heads into the living room.
Smooth jazz plays in the background.
I know why I've waited, know why I've been blue,
Prayed each night for someone exactly like you.
Why should we spend money on a show or two.
No one does those love scenes exactly like you.
You make me feel so grand, I'd like to hand the world to you.
You seem to understand each foolish little scheme I'm scheming
And the dream I'm dreaming,
Now I know why my mother taught me to be true,
She meant me for someone exactly like you.
You make me feel so grand, I wanna hand the world to you.
You seem to understand each foolish little scheme that I'm scheming,
And the dream that I'm dreaming,
Now I know why my mother, she taught me to be true,
She meant me for someone exactly like you.
The room is fairly tidy, and the dog sleeps on her pillow in front of the fireplace. Maddie is seated on the sofa, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine.
Maddie looks up and smiles.
David: Hello you!
Maddie: Hello you too!
She gestures to the bottle of red.
Maddie: Pull up a glass.
David: Don’t mind if I do.
He leans over and kisses her, pours himself a glass and sits next to her on the sofa. He leans back and sighs.
David: Sure is quiet in here.
Maddie: I just got her down about a half hour ago. We had another exciting afternoon.
David: Oh yeah?
Maddie: She turned into the Exorcist baby in the supermarket. I was waiting for her head to turn around.
David: Caused a scene, huh?
Maddie: You could say that. But it was really my fault. I had her off schedule again and she was hungry. I just stopped after and got something to eat, and fed her, and she was fine.
David: Just like her father, all it takes to make her happy is a hoagie and a beer.
He notices the pacifier on the top of the chest. He reaches out and picks it up examining it curiously.
David: A pacifier? I thought you didn’t want to use them.
Maddie: I learned a lesson today. That little piece of rubber can provide some well needed sanity and security.
David: Little piece of rubber? Sounds like a lesson I learned in health class in junior high.
Maddie: Let’s not go there.
David: But there’d be a lot less pacifiers needed if THAT lesson had been learned.
Maddie: Back to the pacifier…I am not saying I am going to leave it popped into her mouth all day, but it might help in an emergency.
David: Hey, whatever gets you through the night…or the supermarket.
Maddie: Are you ready to eat?
David: Sure, something smells good. I’ll grab the grape juice.
Maddie precedes him into the kitchen. The table is set with pretty linens, dishes and flowers. Maddie removes a casserole from the oven, a salad from the refrigerator, and places a platter of crusty French bread on the table.
She sits and David looks at her with a quizzical expression.
David: Is that a casserole? I don’t think I’ve had a casserole since my Mom’s macaroni surprise.
Maddie: Not macaroni surprise. It’s a simple variation on Beef Bourguignon. I met a lady in the supermarket who gave me the recipe.
David: Beef Bourguignon – oooh la la! That’s French…bless you, lady in the supermarket.
They both help themselves and start eating.
David talks with his mouth full.
David: This is great. That lady really knows her stuff.
He raises his glass.
David: And here’s to the beautiful chef. I didn’t know you had it in you.
Maddie: A lefthanded compliment if ever I hear one.
David: I do seem to have some talents with my left hand. Wanna see?
Maddie: Maybe later, this food is too good to let get cold.
David: Who’ve thunk it? So, what time did you say the nanny parade starts tomorrow…eleven?
Maddie: Well…funny you should mention that.
David (concerned): You didn’t change your mind, did you?
Maddie: Not at all. In fact, it’s all taken care of.
David: What’s all taken care of?
Maddie: I hired a nanny this afternoon.
David: YOU hired a
nanny? This afternoon? THIS afternoon? Between the time you left the office, you had
time to shop, stop for lunch, hire a nanny,
Maddie: Well, I had lunch with the nanny.
David: I’m a little confused by this chain of events. How did the agency get in touch with you?
Maddie: She isn’t one of the agency’s contacts. In fact, I called the agency and cancelled tomorrow’s appointments.
David: Hold your horses….where did this nanny come from?
Maddie: She was in line behind me in the supermarket.
David stares at her in astonishment.
David: Madolyn Hayes…..you are Madolyn Hayes, right? The same Madolyn Hayes who has rejected at least fifty nanny candidates….candidates, I might add, who have been carefully background checked and vetted by a very reputable agency.
David drops his fork and rages on, his dinner forgotten.
David: Are you nuts? Seriously, Maddie, after all this time, this is the way you’ve chosen the person to care for our daughter? Clearly, your record with spontaneity is less than stellar. What happened, the lady in the deli didn’t want to change jobs?
Maddie: It’s not like that, David. We struck up a conversation. Ellie was totally out of hand and she helped me settle her. We went to lunch and talked for over an hour. She has led an amazing life, and has great qualifications. She has three grown children of her own.
David: So she’s old.
Maddie: I wouldn’t say old… I would say experienced. I would estimate she is in her early fifties. Her youngest child just graduated from UCLA.
David: And what would you say about her background checks, criminal record, and child abuse clearances?
Maddie: I happen to know an excellent detective agency that can handle those things as a priority.
David looks at her dumbfounded.
David: I thought WE were going to choose the nanny. Am I going to be consulted in this at all?
Maddie: Or course you are. I told her she would have to pass the Addison inquisition. But I wanted her to know that I was serious about my offer. She’s got a lot of things to mull over herself. But she seemed very interested.
David: Why not? You offered her a job after fifteen seconds….she is probably rubbing her hands together with glee about backing the truck up to the door, and cleaning us out on the first day.
Maddie: Now you’re being ridiculous. I’m fairly certain she wasn’t hanging in line at the supermarket looking for some sucker who just happened to need a nanny. I really believe it was a fortunate accident that we met.
David: Not sure that falls into my top ten reasons for choosing the perfect nanny.
Maddie (sincerely): David. I know it sounds crazy. You know this isn’t at all like me. But I just felt some almost magical connection. It just felt right.
David: Have you been reading those Rusty O’Rourke novels? Magical….mystical – hooey!
Maddie looks at him with a half smile, her eyes twinkling.
Maddie: Haven’t you ever met somebody and known from the first moment you saw them that it was fated…that you belonged together?
A sarcastic little chuckle escapes David’s lips – she’s got him there, and they both know it.
David: You don’t play fair, Hayes.
Maddie: I just think that she is the one that we’ve been looking for. I am positive you are going to agree.
David: And she understands our schedules? She gets the live-in thing and is happy with the garage apartment? That’s a lot to verify in one hour.
Maddie: She is coming here Thursday around noon. I figured I could spend a couple of hours showing her the house and the apartment, then maybe you could come home a little early to join us.
David: Well, at least that gives me all day tomorrow to do the background checks. Did you get her information, at least?
Maddie: Yes…in fact, she offered it to me before I even asked.
David: Well, if she will be here at twelve, I’ll be here at twelve. Don’t want a complete stranger making off with my record collection while your back is turned.
Maddie: Not mentioning of course that I had six complete strangers coming to interview tomorrow.
David: Bonded strangers, there’s a difference. You get that you and Ellie are the most important things in my life, right?
Maddie: Of course I do, and I love you for that, even if you are being a little overprotective. I really believe that this is all going to work out just fine.
David: From your lips to…..
Maddie: In fact, I am so confident, I’m going to bet you that you’re going to love her.
David: So what’s the bet?
Maddie: I will bet you two foot rubs, and a full body massage that she is perfect. Counter offer?
David: I will bet you three chick flicks – and one of them can even be in a foreign language – that I will dig something up on her. Deal?
Maddie: Deal. Now finish your dinner. You know, Sunshine is the person who gave me this recipe.
David: SUNSHINE? Her name is SUNSHINE?
Close up on David’s horrified face.
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
Act 3, Scene 2
Blue Moon Detective Agency
David Addison’s office
Thursday Morning 10:30 AM
David is talking on the phone.
David: Seriously? Not one thing? You said, squeaky clean? Gotta be something wrong with somebody so squeaky clean, right?
He listens intently for a moment.
David: Yeah, I guess I’m a dyed in the wool pessimist. You know, you’d be the same if it was your kid.
He listens, then laughs.
David: Yeah, honest to God, I have a kid. I’ll send you a picture. Ok, thanks, Smitty, I owe you. I’m thinking a poker game is long overdue. I’ll give you a call. Later, man.
Scowling, he drops the phone into the cradle, not gently. There is a knock on the door.
David: Whaddya waitin’ for….come in!
Herbert Viola enters the office.
Bert: Everything ok, Mr. Addison?
David: I have not been able to find one thing wrong with this woman. And God knows I have tried. Talked to my friend Smitty at the precinct. No trouble with the law… hell, not even a parking ticket. Then I checked her credit rating and found out she probably could buy and sell me. Tell me you found something at City Hall.
Bert: She has owned a few properties in the city, all with clean records. Now she owns a couple of small apartment buildings – with no violations. She pays her taxes on time. She’s had a couple of professional licenses in the past, and it does seem she has worked with children in the past. She seems like a model citizen.
Bert: I’m confused Mr. Addison. Isn’t this just the kind of person you want to take care of your baby?
David: In theory. I guess I am just skeptical…given the way Ms. Hayes met her. We’ll see how the interview goes. As far as questions go…I’ve got some humdingers.
Bert: You are certainly determined about this.
David: Of course, I am. This is about my baby girl…and I might remind you, Herbert, about all the phone calls and visits you made to Mickey’s daycare in the beginning.
Bert: Point taken, Mr. A.
David: And I’ve got a lot riding on this. How would you like to watch Sleepless in Seattle…in French?
Bert: A fate worse than death, sir.
David looks at his watch.
David: I’d better get a move on. Mrs. Doubtfire is supposed to be at the house at noon.
Bert: Good luck.
David: Oh Bert, before I go. I am going to need you to do a little surveillance with me starting on Monday. We’re going postal, my boy.
Bert looks depressed.
Bert: OK…what kind of a costume do I have to wear?
David: Bertie, you’re gonna love this one. It’s come as you are. Unless you really wanna dress up like a dame.
Bert: No sir.
David: I feel better about that…for Agnes’s sake at least. One thing… I need you to make sure this envelope goes out in today’s mail.
He takes a large manila envelope from his desk and hands it to Bert.
Bert: What is it?
David: Does it feel like 25K to you?
David: No, you numbskull. Where would I get that amount of money? And if I did have it, do you really believe it would trust it to the U.S. Post Office?
Bert: I guess not.
David: Just mail it. We’ll go over the details of the case tomorrow. Hey, I’ve gotta hit the road. Don’t burn the place down while I’m gone.
Bert: No sweat, Mr. Addison.
David exits through the door. Bert walks over to his desk, sits in the chair, and props his feet up. Just as he gets comfortable, we hear David’s voice, raised from out in the office.
Bert scrambles to get out of the chair and lands on the floor.
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
Act 4 Scene 1
The Hayes Addison Home
Thursday 12 Noon
Maddie flits around the living room, nervously flicking away imaginary pieces of dust.
David is sitting on the sofa, playing with Ellie, who is in her swing. He looks over at Maddie and laughs.
David: You are a little uptight, honey. Exactly who is interviewing who here?
Maddie: I want her to like us…like our place. And since I am quite sure you are about to give her a bit of a hard time, maybe I want to soften the blow.
David: We’re both looking for the right person for the job, right?
The doorbell rings.
Maddie: That’s right…and here she is.
Maddie goes for the door, and David stands and takes Ellie from the swing. It is almost as if he is setting a stage…he wants Ellie in his arms when he meets the woman.
Maddie opens the door and she and Sunshine exchange a few pleasantries. They walk into the living room, Sunshine smiling at David and Ellie.
Sunshine: There’s that pretty little girl.
Maddie: Sunshine, I’d like you to meet my……partner, David. David, this is Sunshine Peoples.
David extends his right hand, keeping Ellie securely cradled in his left arm.
David: Sunshine, nice to meet you. You may have noticed, Miss Hayes said partner…as in, not legally joined. Have you got any issues with that?
Sunshine: No, it’s a good question….a very fast question, but a good one….goes to mores and tolerance…..Mr. Addison is wasting no time.
David: You know what they say….make hay while the sun shines.
Sunshine: Very clever….I’ll have to use that one myself. First, could you call me Sunny? My parents hung that name on me….but I’ve always felt more like a Sunny.
David: Ok, Sunny.
Sunny: As far as your question….if you are happy in your living situation, who would I be to judge? You two and your darling baby look like you live in a loving household, and that would be my only concern. I love happy homes.
David (muttering): Good answer.
Maddie: Why don’t we sit down and talk? Can I get anybody something to drink?
Sunny: I’m fine.
David: Me too.
Sunny: So, Mr. Addison, I know you have lots of questions. I would assume you have done the expected background checks. Anything come up you’d like to know about?
David: No actually, there were no issues at all. Gotta say, I was surprised.
Sunny: At what?
David: I kind of thought there might be some issues with someone who would accept a job offer in the produce aisle.
Sunny: But it wasn’t really an offer, was it? Maybe it was a half-offer, but I know you need to be part of this decision making process.
David: I’m glad you understand.
Sunny: Mr. Addison, I understand that that beautiful little girl is the biggest responsibility that you’ve had in your entire life, and that there is nothing you won’t do to protect her. If you think I am going to be insulted by your questions, you’ve got another thing coming.
David: I appreciate that.
Sunny: How about if I tell you a little bit about me…things you won’t find on a resume or a credit report?
Maddie: Please do, Sunny.
Sunny: I was the happy only child of two elderly parents, who thought the sun rose and set in me….hence the “Sunshine” moniker. They had waited a long time for a child, and had almost given up hope. They supported me in everything I did and I had a very happy childhood.
Maddie: Sounds familiar.
Sunny: From the time it was established in the early 60s, I was always interested in the Peace Corps, and when I graduated from high school, it was almost a forgone conclusion that I join. My parents were very high on service and were excited that I had chosen it. I went to Ghana where I spent two years.
David: Gonna to Ghana….
Maddie: Just ignore him, you’ll get used to it.
Sunny: I was so young and inexperienced. But I learned from some good mentors, and ending up doing my first stint in child care, helping with setting up a nursery school. I loved what I was doing, and was good at it. And, it was life changing in many ways…I met my future husband there.
Maddie (smiling): A fortunate accident.
David rolls his eyes at her.
Sunny: Yes, it was. After two years, we were married, in Ghana. It was very exciting for two people, young and in love. After two more years, we returned to the US, to live in San Francisco. After a couple more years, we started having babies – girl, girl, boy…..at three year intervals. My oldest is now 30…and a newlywed who lives in San Diego. My second daughter is twenty seven and an artist who lives in Santa Barbara, and my son is my youngest. He just completed his masters at UCLA, and moved to San Francisco.
David: So that job is done, huh?
Sunny: I know it seems hard to believe, holding that tiny one in your arms, but a parent’s work is never done. I bet I am as protective about my three as you are about Ellie. Luckily, my kids are good kids, and self sufficient. But I am also thrilled that they are all less than a day’s travel away. And my son wants to get me set up on the internet, so we can communicate more frequently without the long distance charges.
Maddie: David can help you with that. He just got it installed at the office.
David nods his head as Maddie continues.
Maddie: Your life with your family sounds wonderful.
Sunny: It wasn’t all wonderful. My husband passed away quite suddenly when the children were little. My oldest was just fourteen. I dealt with a lot of the issues that single parents deal with….in a time when single parents were the exception rather than the rule.
David: My dad was a single parent for a lot of years. We didn’t make it easy for him.
Sunny: I can see some of those qualities.
She smirks a little and goes on.
Sunny: My kids and I were a strong unit. Something that made a big difference was money. My husband left us well cared for…I didn’t need to work if I didn’t want to. But I did want to…and I wanted my kids to understand responsibility and a strong work ethic. I wanted them to know me not only as a Mom but as someone with an obligation to our world.
Sunny: So we became a band of volunteers….when there was a cause, here came Sunny and her trio. We worked with lots of children’s organizations….I loved working with kids, and it allowed my children to be involved and learn giving as well. I think they are the strong and happy people they are because of it.
Maddie: It sounds like you have done a very good job with them.
Sunny: Only time will tell. About a year ago, I took a vacation from all my volunteer work. Maybe I should be embarrassed to say this, but I dedicated the last year of my life to my daughter’s wedding. I wanted her to be happy and have a lovely day…and I pulled it off.
David looks down at Ellie and smiles.
David: That’s a long time from now.
Sunny: It comes sooner than you think, Mr. Addison.
She goes on.
Sunny: So, I find myself in need of some worthwhile work. I could volunteer again….although I enjoyed it more when I was doing it with my children. So I was in the supermarket, minding Maddie’s business, when Ellie chose her moment to link us.
David: Chose her moment?
Sunny: I believe some things are meant to be, Mr. Addison. I think your daughter’s demonstration the other day was a way for Maddie and I to connect. I think the arrangement can be mutually beneficial. Maddie wants and needs to get back to work with you. And I need some one on one practice for future grandmom-dom.
David and Maddie’s eyes meet.
David: Maddie has discussed the living arrangements with you, and that works for you?
Sunny: I have an apartment that I will keep for when my kids come into town and for my time off. I think, given your work schedules, the arrangement of the little apartment over the garage works great…and also gives you two some needed privacy.
She winks at David.
Sunny: I’ve got a dependable, safe car. I expect a reasonable salary. I will occasionally want some scheduled time off to visit my kids, but generally, I can be very flexible.
Maddie: Ellie would, of course, be your main responsibility. Housework is not really part of the deal. We have someone who will be coming in a couple times a week.
Sunny: Oh, I’d want responsibility for Ellie’s nursery and her laundry as well.
David: Got a thing for dirty diapers?
Sunny: Nope, I’ve just got my standards.
David (muttering): Another one of THEM.
Maddie: I think we can agree with that.
David: Have you got any more recipes like that beef dish Maddie made the other night?
Sunny: One or two.
We can almost see David’s stomach reasoning with his head.
David: Maybe you can throw in an occasional dinner as part of the deal?
Sunny smiles a Mona Lisa smile.
Sunny: We’ll see.
Maddie: Have you got any more questions, David?
David blusters a bit.
David: Yes, I do. I would like to know your opinions on peas.
Maddie: Peas? Sunny: Peas?
David: Yes, peas. Or maybe tomatoes or lima beans. What if Ellie hates them? She’s definitely going to hate some foods. Are you going to try and force her to eat things she doesn’t like?
Maddie tries hard not to laugh, as Sunny answers.
Sunny: I encouraged my children to try everything. But they were allowed to have dislikes…as long as the dislikes didn’t change at every meal. And Mr. Addison, I would never force anybody to eat peas…hate the things.
David: Me too….squishy little balls!
Maddie: Anything else?
David: Our daughter’s name is Ellie. What will you tell her to do when kids call her Smelly Ellie?
Sunny: I think I would have to tell her that she is loved and that people who call names usually do it out of jealousy. But I bet you, she is gonna be one tough little cookie who will have her own funny little response long before it would be an issue.
David looks down at the baby and smiles.
David: That’s my girl…
There is a bit of an awkward silence.
Sunny: Can I ask a favor? I would love to take Ellie for a little stroll into the backyard…take a look around. Maybe that would give you a chance to…discuss anything you need to discuss.
Maddie: That is a great idea.
Sunny walks over to David, and puts her hands out for the baby. Ellie grins, and a little noise escapes her.
David: Was that a laugh? Isn’t she too little to laugh?
Sunny: Maybe a giggle…small steps, Mr. Addison.
Sunny walks away with the baby, talking to her softly. Maddie rises and walks towards the patio doors, watching. David walks up and stands behind her, his arms encircling her waist. She turns her head, and looks at him.
David: So what?
Maddie: So what do you think?
David: I think you’d better get the popcorn with extra butter if I’m gonna sit through three chick flicks.
Maddie: David…really? Are you sure?
David: Not completely, but she seems like a nice lady. You like her and Ellie seems to like her. I think it’s worth a shot.
Maddie: You love it that you didn’t intimidate her, don’t you?
David: You think so, huh? Maybe I am making a mistake stacking the deck here.
Maddie: A strong man knows how to let his woman be strong in her own right.
David: Look at that… my women……you, Sunny and Ellie. It’s almost a harem.
Maddie: You’ve got it, Sheik. How about we go and show Sunny the garage apartment?
David: You’ve got it. Hey listen, maybe I should practice my French …so I can enjoy your part of the bet.
Maddie: Give it a shot.
David: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Maddie: Avec plaisir
They walk hand in hand into the yard.
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
Act 4 Scene 2
West Hollywood Post Office 9 AM
David and Bert walk up the front steps of the post office. They enter a spacious room that most will recall from “Yours Very Deadly” (gotta recycle those sets). Most of the walls are lined with rows of post office boxes.
They scour the walls and find box 3537, halfway up the wall, across from a large pillar.
David: Ah good, this one comes with a back rest. Lucky for you Bertie, that it’s not one of those top ones you’d have to jump up for.
Bert peers through the little window in the box.
Bert: It looks like our envelope is in there. So now what do we do, just wait?
David: You new at this stakeout thing? Boy, I remember me and Maddie spending a couple of years waiting here one day. You may as well pull up some floor.
He slides down the column onto the marble. Bert sits beside him on the floor.
Bert: So what’s your guess on this guy? What kind of person are we looking for?
David: You’re asking the wrong partner, Bert. Analyzing and speculating is the lady’s cup of tea. Me – I just watch and listen.
Bert: But you have to know what Ms. Hayes thinks about it.
David: Miss Hayes is filled with contradictions on this one. The ransom note mentioned the internet…so she assumes that it is someone who is cutting edge, or at least interested in technology.
Bert: Probably a valid point. Most people have only heard of the internet, but wouldn’t have the means to use it.
David: But the note was filled with simple spelling and grammar mistakes – not that those things bug me – but they do drive her crazy.
Bert: I get that.
David: Me…I think we’re looking for a real dope. First, he thought Devon would send 25K through the mail. And then he just comes in and rents a post office box…too dumb to know we could trace his name.
Bert: And thanks to Charlie, my inside man, we know his name is Harvey Porter.
David: Someday, you’re gonna have to tell me how you have an “inside man” on every job we do.
Bert puffs up his chest.
Bert: I cultivate relationships. I’ve put together a kind of network of people who can help me in my profession pursuits. I…
David: Ok, Bert, forget it. I really don’t want to know.
They sit in silence for a moment.
Bert: I sure hope that Harvey Porter comes soon.
Syncopated Clock starts to play as we flash past a montage of images. The dials of the clock on the wall whirl…David paces…Bert brings in two cups of coffee…David rolls a set of dice on the floor…Bert chats with a postal worker…
Both are sprawled out on the floor, exhausted and bored. David looks at his watch.
David: It’s almost three o’clock. I bet this numbskull forgot that it is Monday.
Two geeky preteens enter the doors almost unnoticed. They are small in stature and probably have been chased around the schoolyard a time or two. The smaller of the two wears huge black rimmed glasses.
They walk across the lobby towards David and Bert.
Bert: Well, I guess junior high has dismissed for the day.
The boys come closer, and head right for the post office boxes.
David nudges Bert.
Bert: Hey Mr. Addison, they’re…
The shorter boy gropes in his pants pocket and comes up with a key. He inserts it into the lock on box 3735, opens the door and pulls out the envelope. He shows it to the other boy. They laugh and pat each other on the back.
David and Bert have slowly risen from the floor, and approach the two.
David: Good afternoon, gentlemen. What’s in the envelope?
The boys look at each other in a panic.
Boy with Glasses: Cheese it, it’s the cops.
Bert: We’re not the cops, we’re…
David: Shut up, Bert. Now which one is you is Porter?
The taller boy indicates the other.
Boy: I’m Jon Beasley.
Porter: Thanks a bunch, dork.
David: Well, both of you need to come with us. We have a few questions that need to be answered.
The boys wildly look around for an escape.
From this point on, we repeat almost verbatim, the post office chase scene from “Yours Very Deadly” including the music.
Cue: Please Mr. Postman
The boys exchange a look and together slam into a postal worker walking by with the big pile of mail. She knocks into David and Bert, sending them to the floor as mail and packages go flying.
The boys take off, with David and Bert in hot pursuit. They run through the lobby and into the mail sorting area in the back.
The kids run into the room and barricade themselves behind a big truck of packages. They start to toss the packages at David and Bert. A misfired package hits a postal worker pushing a cart. She shrieks and lets go of the cart which hits Bert. He flops back into the cart. David looks at him and starts to chase the boys, pushing the cart. Bert pops his head out the front, like the hood ornament on a car.
David: Somehow, this isn’t as picturesque as the last time.
He dumps the cart and Bert goes flying onto the postal scale.
A postal worker is reading a tabloid and barely looks up as he comments.
Postal Worker: I’d take this one to the dead letter office if I were you.
David and Bert chase the boys, trapping them in a corner. They each grab one and stuff them into mailbags, so only their heads are showing.
David: Not sure these two meet the minimum mailing standard size. Whattya think, Bert?
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
Act 4 Scene 3
West Hollywood Post Office
One hour later
The two boys sit on chairs, nervously exchanging glances, while Bert and his post office friend watch over them.
David enters the office. The boys sit up.
Porter: Mister, are we going to jail?
Beasley: Or to reform school?
David: That ‘s up to your parents. They should be here shortly. You guys thought you were pretty smart, huh?
Porter: It seemed like an easy way to get some money.
David: A lesson for both of you. Things are rarely as easy as they seem… and that goes double for getting money. You’re both twelve years old. You could have ruined your whole lives being so stupid.
They hang their heads.
David: Fun is fun, but what you little dudes tried to do was criminal.
There is a knock at the door. Bert opens the door to admit Devon McClare.
Devon: I came down to see my blackmailers.
Porter: Devon McClare….for real. Wow!
Beasley: You are the most famous person I ever met.
David: Do you two have anything to say to Ms McClare?
Porter gets a little tearful.
Porter: We’re really sorry. We love your books. And we try to write stuff like them all the time. But it’s never as good as yours.
Beasley: We were really stupid. We were looking for an adventure, like Rusty O’Rourke.
Devon: I appreciate that you are fans. But Rusty never does anything unlawful. She uses her powers for good instead of evil…and you should too.
Porter: We don’t really have any powers.
Devon: But you do. You have the power to make a better world by making yourselves better people. We’re going to give you both another chance to do that.
Beasley: We’re not going to be punished?
Devon: I have a feeling your parents will come up with something. But I’m not going to press any charges.
The boys look relieved.
Devon: A couple of things. Those pages you sent me…
Porter: We won’t ever write again, we promise.
Devon: You should write, I think you have some ability. But don’t ever try to steal another’s work. You are unique individuals, and even if your topic is similar, every writer should use his or her own gifts.
Beasley: That makes sense.
Devon: You need to study a little harder to improve your spelling and grammar. And you also need to learn that foul language and actions are not necessary to make people read your work. There are thousands of words in the English language – choose the good ones.
David: That alone should have let us know we were dealing with prepubescent boys.
Bert: And hey, I’d stick with that internet thing. In ten years, I think kids like you are going to be running the world.
They look at each other, impressed. Porter has an idea.
Porter: Ms. McClare I hope you don’t get mad, but can I ask you a favor? Can I have your autograph?
Bert shakes his head.
Devon: I will do you one better. If we all agree to forget all about this incident and tell no one, I will send you both autographed copies of my books.
Devon: And one more thing. The first movie comes out in six months. I will check up on you, and if you are doing well in school and keeping out of trouble, I will invite you and your parents to the premiere as my guests.
The boys can’t contain their glee, jumping up and down and punching each other.
David walks Devon to the door.
David: You’re being pretty easy on them.
Devon: They’re kids…sometimes their ideas are just too big for their minds to handle. Without kids, I’d be sitting in Trenton, New Jersey, scribbling in a spiral notebook. Anyway, I’m sure that their parents are going to give them plenty to remember. I talked to them before I came in here.
Devon: Thank you and Ms. Hayes for taking care of this so professionally and quickly. I’ll be happy to write your check.
David: In that case, we’ll be happy to send you a bill.
Devon: Make it a big one.
David: Count on it. It’s been a pleasure, Ms. McClare.
He extends his hand, which she shakes.
Devon: Thanks again.
As she turns to leave, David has a thought.
David: Ms. McClare?
She turns to look at him.
David (grinning): Write on!
She laughs and exits through the door, only to be replaced by two sets of obviously annoyed parents.
David addresses the boys.
David: Gentlemen, I believe you know these people.
The boys look up wide eyed, as we…
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
The Hayes Addison Master bedroom
Almost Two Weeks later
David is lounging on the bed, holding on to the remote and flipping channels.
David: Damned cable TV. Big deal, fifty channels and not a thing is on except wrestling…and MASH reruns on every other channel.
Maddie enters the room.
Maddie: In bed already?
David: Hoping I’ll get lucky.
Maddie: Hope springs eternal.
She changes into her nightgown as they talk.
David: So…all the Is dotted and the Ts crossed?
David: Is everything ready for tomorrow? Don’t pretend you weren’t over there plotting with Sunny.
Maddie: Plotting – no. Planning – yes. I just wanted to make sure she is comfortable over there, and that she’s got the schedule for the morning.
David: The one that is printed on seventy five pieces of paper all over the house?
Maddie: Don’t make fun of me tonight. This isn’t easy.
David: Maddie, if you’ve changed your mind…..
Maddie: No, why do you keep thinking I’ll change my mind? I’m ready to come back, but it is going to be hard leaving the baby tomorrow.
David: I know...
He pats the other side of the bed.
Maddie goes to the bed and curls up by his side. He puts his arm around her.
Maddie: I hope I’m doing the right thing. Ever since I decided to go back to work, most of Ellie’s fussiness has gone away. Sunny says she thinks she can sense that I am more at peace.
David: You should feel good about that…and you feel good about Sunny being with her all day.
David: And I feel good about you being with me all day. It’s a win win.
Maddie: Great great. I’m sure it’s going to be fine. I just may need a couple days.
David: Whatever you need, you’ve got.
He kisses her on the top of the head.
Maddie perks up her ears.
Maddie: Do you hear that?
Small cooing sounds come from the baby monitor.
David: She’s OK.
Maddie: She is. She’s talking to herself.
She looks at David for a minute.
Maddie: David, get under the covers. I’ll be right back.
She exits. David scrambles to get under the covers.
David (singsonging): I’m gonna get a surpri-i-i-se.
He burrows under the covers as Maddie returns to the room with Ellie, wide awake and happy.
David addresses the camera
David: Not the surprise I expected.
Maddie gets under the covers and places the baby between them.
David: I thought you had a rule that Ellie sleeps in her own bed.
Maddie: Tonight is an exception….ok with you?
David: You’re the boss.
He looks down at his wiggling daughter and strokes her head.
David: Hey, sweet baby blue eyes, you ---
He stops and looks at Maddie.
David: Where did her eyes go?
David: Her blue eyes…they’re gone.
Maddie: Yep…they’re green. Just like yours.
David: What happened?
Maddie: Most babies’ eyes change a few months after they’re born. I noticed the other day, but I wanted you to be surprised.
David: Like that song….don’t it make your blue eyes green? Your green jeans blue?
Maddie: Something like that.
David: Well, Miss Ellie, I’ve gotta say they look good on you.
Maddie: I agree. My two green eyed charmers.
She picks up the baby and snuggles close to David.
Maddie: The two of you – you own my heart.
David: It’s my most prized possession.
They kiss sweetly over the baby, who kicks up a little fuss.
David: See, that’s laughing….She’s definitely laughing.
Maddie: Yes, David.
The happy little family snuggles back into the pillows, and we
Mama, how do I begin
To explain this situation we're in?
Angels heard the beautiful words that you prayed
And showed me the way to you
And they knew you were in love
So they sent me down from heaven above
Angels cried and kissed me goodbye, I was long gone
This is my song to you
Oh, my song could never be
As sweet as the song you sing to me
Oh, my love could never be
As deep as the love you give to me
When your fingers touch my skin
And you kiss my lips and tickle my chin
I breathe you in, oh Mama, I'm where I belong
This is my song to you
Oh, my song could never be
As sweet as the song you sing to me
Oh, my love could never be
As deep as the love you give to me
Oh, one day I will be grown
And I know, I'll have a child on my own
Remember me this way, 'cause some day
I'll be long gone, singing my song to you
Oh, my song could never be
As sweet as the song you sing to me
Oh, my love could never be
As deep as the love you give to me
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
My Girl by the Temptations
Splish Splash by Bobby Darin
Lydia the Tattoed Lady by Groucho Marx
Dream a Little Dream of Me by Ella Fitzgerald
We’re in the Money by Ginger Rodgers
Exactly Like You by Carmen McRae
Syncopated Clock (instrumental)
Please Mr. Postman by the Marvelettes
Sara’s Song by Sissel
~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~ ~ | ~
This one’s for you, Maddie Hayes. Yes, I know you are “only” a television character, but to me, you epitomized the woman of the 80s – smart, funny, sexy, driven. You didn’t always make it easy for people to love you…including our David, but your heart of gold was always there, beating inside for those that took the time to look for it. Your complexities and your faults made you human, your beauty and your strength made you ethereal. One of the best things about Virtual Moonlighting for me, is that it gives us a chance to explore the Maddie who is happy and in love, and truly is living her life as a mother, a lover, and a friend. Don’t worry Ms. Hayes…the best is yet to come.
To the glorious Cybill Shepherd, who breathed life into Maddie and amazes me still with her talent and her beauty.
And to all of the Moonlighting cast and crew…..you own MY heart!
To Moms, everywhere, and to those who care for children. Yours is a special role in the world, with a paycheck of love. You are appreciated!
To our lovely readers, and our ML gals….you brighten my days and warm my nights. Glad we are swinging on the moon together.
To Lizzie, Jen and Connie…I have not been the best teammate this month. Thank you so much for your patience and your support. I couldn’t find people I love more to share this passion with.
Lizzie…you’ve got the knack of popping up right when I need the most encouragement (or push!)…guess that’s what being a friend is all about, huh? Thank you.
And if you’re all still reading, please make a special wish for me next Wednesday. Would love to know you’re in my pocket that day! Bless you!