The Absquatulators

A 10 Minute Play


Emma Claire (f) ……………………… Elderly smart-ass and resident gossip. Worked as a clerk for the county government. Dancing Ho.

Allie Kay (f) ………………………… Sweet elderly lady who has terrible short-term memory. Was a college baton twirler, thinks she’s still got ‘it’. Dancing Fool.

Bonnie Catherine ‘Kate’ Buford (f)… New resident at the Precious Moments Retirement Center. Old South. Pretentious without meaning to be. Possesses the soul of a rebel. Dancing soul.

Chip and Dale (2m) ……………… Two elderly gentlemen

Lance (m) ………………………… Don Juan of PMRC

Claudell (m) ……………………… Large man. Semi-suave

Arthur (m) ………………………… Confined to wheel chair. Ex-military. Former Fred Astaire of the PMRC

Gabe (m) ………………………… Male nurse who pushes Arthur’s wheelchair


Outside the Precious Moments Retirement Center. Three Rocking chairs about a foot apart onstage as lights come up. Chair at stage right is occupied by Allie Kay, who is rocking slowly and knitting. Bonnie Kate approaches from stage left humming. Allie Kay looks up from her knitting.

Allie Kay: Oh, hello deary… You must be new here, I haven’t seen you around before. I’m Allie Kay.

Bonnie Kate: How very pleased I am to meet you Allie Kay. My name is Bonnie Catherine Buford, but you can call me Bonnie Kate. All my friends back in Charleston do. I just arrived this morning after a God-awful trip and thought it best to nap awhile. Now I’m rested and ready to meet the world!

AK: Well, that’s nice. Why don’t you have a seat Bonnie Sue, the promenade (promenade is pronounced as promenAIDE) is about to start?

BK: (Does double take eye-roll …clears throat) Ahem….The name is Bonnie KATE, dear. Now, pray tell, what is this promenade (pronounced as promeNOD) we are about to witness? (as she takes middle rocker).

AK: (Puts knitting down, picks a hand held fan from knitting bag. Fan says Eichenberry Funeral Home) Well, every Saturday evening here at the Precious Moments Retirement Center we have a dance. Oh and it is such fun! (AK performs a dance move in her rocker). So the gentlemen here parade by all the ladies and we select our dance partners for the evening.

(Emma Claire enters stage left with cane. Stops by Allie Kay and points cane at Bonnie Kate)

EC: Well who on God’s earth is sitting in my rocker?

AK: Oh now, don’t get yourself upset Emma Claire. This is Mary Kate Bueller, she’s a new resident here and we were just getting acquainted. I’m sure she won’t mind moving if you ask her?

BK: (Triple takes AK and blinks several times…clears throat) First of all, my name is Bonnie Kate BUFORD and I would like to say where on earth did you find such a practical cane? I do believe I will have to get one of those for myself, lord have mercy but my arthritis is about to do me in.

EC: Oh, this old thing? (Looks at cane then starts over to rocker by BK) I picked it up at the Wal-Marx last time we went to town. Don’t pay Allie Kay no mind, honey. She can’t remember the last time she went to pee.

AK: Hey-ay! I’m right here, Emma Claire! I may not be able to remember shit but I ain’t deaf!

(BK’s head on swivel as she looks from AK to EC as they talk around her, patting her chest and clearing her throat)

EC: Oh don’t get your matching bra and panties in such a wad, you won’t even remember this conversation ten minutes from now.

AK: Oh look, Bonnie Ruth here come Chip and Dale!

(Chip, dressed in overalls and straw hat, enters with Dale, dressed in white Irish sweater and tweed driving cap. Chip has his hands in his pockets and Dale has his arm looped through Chip’s arm)

Chip & Dale: Evening, Ladies.

Dale: And who is this fabulous creature with the gorgeous fuchsia scarf?

AK: Oh this is Miz Bonnie Ruth…but I think her scarf is more of a salmon color, you know, that kind of pink you see when the sun sets in the evening.

(BK and EC roll eyes toward each other)

EC: (Glares at AK then looks at Chip and Dale) Her name is Bonnie Kate for Chrissakes! You boys ought to know not to listen to Allie Kay, she don’t know whether to scratch her watch or wind her ass half the time.

Dale: Ooooh how you do go on Miz Emma Claire!

AK: (In a huff, fan working overtime) We wasn’t talkin’ about watches Emma Claire, we was talking about Bobbie Jo’s scarf.

BK: You wouldn’t happen to have another fan in your bag would you, Allie Kay?

AK: Why sure, honey (pats BK on arm then starts digging in her knitting bag)

C & D: Well, you ladies have a nice evening…we have to move on.

Chip: And we do hope you will save a dance for us.

EC: We would be delighted. (Chip and Dale exit stage left. EC leans over to AK) Crying shame…can’t neither one of them boys plow a delta anymore but lord how they can dance!

(AK finds fan that reads ‘Col Sanders’ and hands it to BK who immediately starts fanning)

BK: Well, this is a most interesting ritual…most interesting.

EC: You ain’t seen nothing yet, Bonnie Kate…here comes Lance. As smooth an operator as you’ve ever met. I may have to dill his pickle tonight…if you know what I mean? (nudges BK with her elbow)

BK: (with look of utter shock) I assure I have no idea what you mean and furthermore …

Lance: Evening, ladies. And who is this lovely newcomer with the beautiful salmon scarf?

AK: Salmon. Yessir, Salmon. I told you it was salmon Emma Claire.

EC: We’re talking dancin’ here, Allie Kay! Ain’t nobody here gives a shit about a pink scarf!…Begging your pardon Bonnie Kate.

AK: Well, of all the gall…

Lance: Oh, now don’t get you tail feathers ruffled Miz Allie Kay, I’m sure Miz Emma Claire is only joshing. Besides, I wouldn’t want my favorite Baton Twirler to get all upset before the big dance.

AK: (Looks bashfully from behind the fan) Well, I may not be able to do a finger twirl anymore but I can finish with a flourish…

Lance: Awwww, Miss Allie Kay, you can twirl my baton anytime…

EC: Oh gag me with a spoon! You two need a cold shower.

Lance: Well, I’ll be runnin’ along ladies, hope to see you at the dance tonight! (Exits stage left)

AK & BK: Bye, bye!

EC: Keep it in your pants, Lance!

AK: Well, of all the nerve!

EC: Put a sock in it, Allie Kay. It was pretty obvious what you wanted, a little twirl in the hay?

BK: Now, who is this gentleman coming toward us?

EC: Why that ain’t no gentleman, Bonnie Kate. That’s Claudell…he’s just an old horn dog that ain’t never been stump broke. They say he’s part ______ (injun, cajun, a-rab, whatever fits character)

Claudell: Evening Ladies!

EC & AK: Evening, Claudell.

Claudell: And who might this lovely person be, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure?

EC: Well, of course you haven’t met her, you nitwit, she just arrived today. This lady is Miz Bonnie Kate Buford and don’t say nothing about her pink scarf.

Claudell: Charmed, Miz Bonnie. And I might add you are looking especially lovely tonight Miz Emma Claire. My how beautiful your eyes are this evening…I do so hope that you will save a dance for me tonight. You are just grace personified on the dance floor.

EC: (Noticeable change in her demeanor) Why, Claudell! I would be ever so delighted to trip the light fantastic with you. I do believe I will wear my tap shoes this evening.

Claudell: Well then, I will see you later Miz Emma. Ladies (Doffs hat and exits stage left)

EC & BK: Bye, bye.

AK: Tap shoes, Emma Claire? I’ll swan…

EC: That’s right…I’m gonna be tappin’ what your twirlin’. My, my, but do you have another fan, Allie Kay?

(AK digs in bag and comes up with another fan it reads ‘Five and Dime Drama Collective)

BK: Oh my! Here comes one in a wheel chair. Don’t tell me he’s going to the dance?

EC: Oh, Bonnie, honey. That’s Arthur. Stage four cancer. Don’t know if he’s gonna be with us much longer but I will tell you…the man had the moves in his day. The way he could move a woman around the dance floor bordered on the divine. When he put his hand on my hip I felt like the skinny sixteen year-old I was a long time ago and not the double-wide I am today. He was the man, honey.

Arthur: Evening ladies.

EC and AK: Evening Arthur. Evening Gabe.

Gabe: Evening ladies.

Arthur: And who is this lovely creature?

EC: Arthur, let me introduce you to Miz Bonnie Kate Buford a new resident to our little disintegratin’ community.

Arthur: Will you be attending our little soiree this evening, Miz Bonnie?

BK: I’m looking forward to it Mr. Arthur, I do so love to dance. It’s just that I haven’t danced since my late husband passed and I’m afraid I might have grown another left foot.

Arthur: Well then, you must allow me to have the first dance. The only time I’m not in this blasted wheelchair is when Gabe here’s not looking. Maybe the two of us can shake the cobwebs off together.

(While discussion is going on, lights start to dim and AK drops her fan and her head tilts to chest)

BK: Nothing I would like better, Arthur.

Arthur: Why, I do believe Miss Allie Kay has fallen asleep…

EC: You must be joking, Allie Kay never sleeps during the day? (EC rises from her rocking chair and walks over and picks up AK hand) Allie Kay honey, you OK? Allie Kay!

BK: Oh, my…has she passed?

EC: Yes and she never said bye, bye.

(Lights continue to dim as Arthur starts singing, ‘Bye, bye Miss American Pie…’, AK and BK join in on ‘Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry…’, rest of ensemble comes on stage and joins in, ‘Those good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye… Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die….this’ll be the day that I die.’)

Entire ensemble: Bye, bye!

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About the Author

Charles Templeton is the author of the best-selling, surreal historical novel, Boot: A Sorta Novel of Vietnam. When he is not singing at the Metropolitan Opera, you can find him in Eureka Springs, where he is currently an editor/publisher at eMerge, an online literary magazine. Charles wakes up daily and is thankful for the opportunity to offer creative literature to a diverse audience from emerging and established authors. He knows that whatever vicissitudes life throws at him, it will always be better than shovelin’ shit in the South China Sea.