FATHER   4'?m6f If your life turned out okay, thank your father

(Scene: table and five chairs, reporters enter one or two at a 
time, chatting silently, sit)

BOSS -- (enters carrying papers and folders, stands at head of 
table) Alright, we've got a deadline staring us in the face. 
What stories do we have that will sell magazines?

KATE -- I finished the article on alcoholism, Chief.

BOSS -- Okay, lay it on me. Have they come up with a cause for 

KATE -- Well, there's a lot of contributing factors, Chief. But 
it looks like the single biggest is growing up with an absentee 

BOSS -- Absentee Dad?! What does a person's father have to do 
with alcoholism?

KATE -- I don't know, Chief. But the research shows that if a 
dad is not in the home or if he's emotionally distant, 
alcoholism rates go up dramatically. See for yourself. (hands 
paper to Boss)

BOSS -- (reads briefly) Alright, we'll run with it. (look up) 
Okay, who had the story on crime prevention?

SUZY -- That one's mine, Chief.

BOSS -- You ready to go to press?

SUZY -- Well, yes, but the timing might not be so good.

BOSS -- What do you mean?

SUZY -- Well, it turns out the the prime cause of crime is 
growing up with an absentee dad.

BOSS -- You're kidding.

SUZY -- I wish I was, Chief. (hands paper to Boss) It's the 
single biggest cause of crime. 80% of prison inmates are 

BOSS -- (reads) Wow. That would be a big story if it wasn't in 
the same issue as the piece on alcoholism.

SUZY -- I know.

BOSS -- So, who else has a story? Who did I assign the teenage 
pregnancy epidemic to? (pause) Well, come on, people! We've got 
a deadline staring us in the face!

ANNA -- (raises hand timidly) I don't know how to tell you this, 
Chief, but...

BOSS -- Don't tell me that the biggest cause of teenage 
pregnancy is absentee dads!

ANNA -- (hands paper to Boss) Maybe we could run this story in 
the next issue, Chief.

BOSS -- (reads) This is ridiculous! How can I run a magazine when 
all the hot stories have the same ending? (looks up) What about 
that article on homosexuality?

LISA -- (hands paper to Boss) More of the same, Chief.

BOSS -- (snatches paper) Now I'm getting mad! (reads) What proof 
do you have on this?

LISA -- One recovery counselor swears he's never met a 
homosexual who grew up with a warm, nurturing relationship with 
his father.

BOSS -- (looks up) Alright, that's it! The next reporter who 
mentions a father is FIRED!

JACI -- (sneaks toward exit) 

BOSS -- Where do you think you're going?!

JACI -- (freezes, not looking back) I... ah... I thought I'd... 
go look for a good story idea, Chief.

BOSS -- Wait a minute, didn't I assign you a story a couple of 
days ago?

JACI -- Gee, Chief, I... I don't rememb.... (sneaks to exit)

BOSS -- Yes, yes, I did. I assigned you the feature story on 
compulsive gambling.... Oh, no, don't tell me... FREEZE!

JACI -- (freezes, not looking back) Listen, Chief, I'm sure that 
if I do a little more research....

BOSS -- No. We're going to run the story on compulsive gambling.

JACI -- (turns) We are?

BOSS -- Yes, we are. We're going to run all these stories. 

JACI -- So, you're not going to firing me?

BOSS -- No, of course not. I want you to write the cover story. 

JACI -- What cover story?

BOSS -- We'll call it, (frames the air with his fingers) "If 
your life turned out alright, thank your dad."

JACI -- Hey, good idea, Chief. Father's Day is coming up.

BOSS -- (whisks reporters away, exiting) Well, don't just sit 
there! Get moving! We've got a deadline staring us in the face! 

(all exit chatting, nodding)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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