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Antics in Amboy Part 1 (pgs 1-4)
(Lights up on ARCHIE, ALICE, LUCY, and BETHIE. They are sitting in a circle, center stage. The stage is empty except for a window behind them.)
I, Archie Porter, the president of this new club, call this first meeting to order. I thin-
Hey! Who says you get to be president? It was my idea to have a club in this old garage attic.
I’m the oldest so I say so.
You’re not the oldest. Alice is. By five minutes. So she should be the president. Shouldn’t you Alice!?
I don’t really think that-
Well, since Alice is officially the oldest, she can be vice president.
Hold on! What does that make me?
You can be the secretary. That means that you keep everything tidy when we aren't here.
What can I be?
Bethie, you can be the assistant to the secretary. So you help her keep it clean. It’s a big job.
I can do it. I’m old enough to handle a big job ‘cause I’m five and a half.
Alright, now that we’ve got all that settled.
I, Archie Porter, the president of our club, call this first meeting to order. I hereby think we should spy on someone. Does anyone have any nominations?
What’s a noo-men-a-shin? Huh?
Nomination. Archie means, can you think of anyone to spy on.
Well, if that’s what he means, why doesn’t he just say so?
I think we should spy on Meg.
You don’t spy on your own sister silly, even if she is a “big teenager” now.
We could spy on Mrs. Bad.
Mom said to call her by her real name.
Fine. What about Mrs. Good?
We already know her, Archie. We see her everyday and she seems to know our every move. What fun would there be to spy on a crabby, old lady?
I don’t know about a crabby old lady, but-
Come on Alice, you have to admit that she is crabby and she certainly is old. Besides, I think there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Either way, she’s coming out of her house right now.
(CHILDREN crowd to the window. The others accidentally block BETHIE from the window. BETHIE keeps jumping up and down, trying to see.)
What is she doing? I can’t see.
I wonder where she’s going. (pause) I bet she’s a Russian spy and she’s going to go meet a Russian general.
Maybe. She might just be going to get groceries.
Archie, Alice, Lucy, Elizabeth, time to get ready for school. Hurry, you don’t want to be late on the first day.
(CHILDREN step away from window.)
Mom’s calling. We’d better go. We can come here again tomorrow before school and spy on Mrs. Good.
Hold on. First we have to take a vote.
Who hereby votes to spy on Mrs. Good?
(ALICE, LUCY, and BETHIE raise their hands.)
One, two, three. Great. Now we can go.
(CHILDREN exit stage right and lights fade.)
So we started our first club, with Archie as President, myself as Vice President, Lucy as Secretary, and Bethie as her assistant. Since our family wasn’t exactly the Rockefellers, our parents always encouraged us to find games and activities that didn’t cost anything. So, after cleaning out the dusty upper floor to the garage, we got ourselves a clubhouse. Our big sister, Meg, said she was too old for the club now that she was a teenager. (pause) If we had known the shenanigans and trouble we would come up with, would we have decided against the club? (pause) Probably not. As Porter children, mischief always seemed to be our middle name. (pause) But in our little town of Amboy with only a few hundred people, most everyone knew who we were so we weren’t likely to get away with much, especially with our neighbor Mrs. Good across the street. She seemed to actually enjoy tormenting us by informing Mom of anything “wrong” that we children had been doing. In fact, she bugged us so much that we started calling her Mrs. Bad behind her back.