CAST OF CHARACTERS
PETER-24 year old business executive. He and Renee have
been married for a little
over a year.
RENEE-23 year old high school teacher.
Renee's 46 year old mother
HITCHHIKER -Hitchhiker that Peter and Renee run across on
COP-Police officer that pulls Peter and Renee over for
Present. A pleasant summer day.
Peter and Renee's car.
A car rests in the middle of the stage. Luggage and other
bags are packed behind
the seats to give the impression of a fully-loaded car
about to be taken on a
Peter and Renee are loading bags into their car. They have
loaded most of the
bags and are almost ready to take off. Peter enters from
stage right carrying
a large suitcase and will attempt to jam it into the back
of the car. Renee
is trying to move bags around in the back in order to make
room for the
(struggling to carry the bag... speaks in a strained voice)
Jesus Christ on steroids! What do you have in here, woman?
RENEE (sarcastic )
Yeah, I packed some slate to take with us to Omaha.
(normal) Come on, there's only
some clothes and shoes in there. Don't tell me the bag is
too heavy for you! What are you, a
wimp or something?
(trying to lift the bag higher off the ground... even more
N--no, I... can handle it. (finally reaches the back of the
car, lets the bag drop to the ground...
lets out a sigh of relief) You said you had shoes in here,
right? (Renee nods) As in, more than
one pair of shoes? (Renee nods again) How many pairs of
shoes do you need? We're only going
to be there for four days!
RENEE (almost condescending)
Peter, you should know by now that, as a sophisticated
woman, I need different shoes to go with
my different outfits. There is nothing worse than wearing
shoes that the rest of your outfit doesn't
(muttering under his breath)
Unless it's ending your sentence with a preposition.
(does not hear what Peter said)
What was that, Peter? I didn't quite hear you.
(lifting the bag from the ground and trying to wedge it
into the back of the car)
uh... I was just saying... (gets the bag into the back of
the car) that you surely couldn't teach your
English class wearing mismatched attire.
Quite true. I'm already subjected to an amazing amount of
ridicule in that classroom. All I need
to do is give my students more ammunition. I can only
imagine what names they already have for
(Peter and Renee walk to the front of the car)
I doubt they have any really bad names for you, Renee. From
what I've seen and heard, you're
one of the students' most favoritest English teachers.
Hey, buddy, watch your superlatives! (both laugh) Thanks
for the vote of confidence, but I'm
sure some students don't like me.
Only the dumb ones, Renee. Only the dumb ones. (pause)
Well, Mrs. Superlative, whenever you
are ready to leave, we can go.
Do you have your clothes for Friday?
Yes, I packed that suit you told me to bring.
And the shoes?
Yes, and the shoes. Can we go now?
Did you grab the gift?
(becoming a little annoyed)
Yes I did. Anything else?
Did you lock the house?
Yes, I locked the house. (sarcastically) I also made sure
that the stove was turned on and that
the water was running in the bathtub. Now, can we go?
You don't need to get snippy about it. Yes, we can go now.
(Renee and Peter sit in the car seats as if they are on the
road. Peter is driving. About an hour
has passed since they have left their house.)
How long have we been on the road?
(looking at his watch)
Uh... it looks like we've been gone for an hour and ten
So, how much longer?
How many times will you have to go to the bathroom?
Puh-leez! You are the one with the transparent bladder. If
we stop, it'll be for you, not for me.
Well, then I'd say we have another ten hours. Give or take
an hour. We are making pretty good
time right now. When do you want to stop for lunch?
Don't tell me you are hungry already! We just ate before we
left the house.
I could eat now, but I can wait, too. Just let me know when
you want to eat. (pause) So, do
you know exactly how to get to your mother's house once we
get to Omaha?
I've never been to her new house, so I'm not really sure. I
think I basically know how to get
Well, I'm sooo looking forward to visiting with your
mother. Especially after the anniversary card
she sent us.
Come on. That card was a joke.
Well, I don't think a "Get Well Soon Card" on our first
anniversary is a very funny joke. Besides I
don't think your mom has a sense of humor. If she did have
one, I think she traded it in and got a
really good deal on lessons on "how to be a bitch."
What? You know I'm right. (silence as they look at each
other for a few seconds) Anyway,
once we get to Omaha and I get the lay of the land, I'm
sure we'll have no problem finding your
(still a little angry)
We'll see about that.
(trying to lighten the situation)
You doubt my navigational skills? You know they used to
call me the human compass in college.
I thought that was because your head was always spinning
from being drunk. (both smile, pause;
Renee sniffs the air) Hey, Peter, do you smell bacon?
(becomes alert, looks around, sees the flashing lights and
begins to pull over)
Where? Damn! (holds his breath) Jesus Christ with a radar
gun! Great, this is all I need!
(Peter brings the car to a stop and they wait for the
officer to join them at the window)
How fast were you going?
I don't know. I think when I started slowing down we were
doing over 80. (pause) Maybe if
you show some cleavage, he'll let us go with a warning.
Peter! I can't believe you.
What?!? I've seen it work before. Besides, it can't hurt to
try. Just do it. Hurry up. I think he's
about to get out of his car.
(Renee unbuttons a few of the buttons on her blouse)
Here he comes. Let me do all the talking.
(Peter rolls down the window and the officer slowly
approaches. The officer is looking intently
at Peter and Renee to make sure neither has a weapon of
some sort. He finally reaches the
Hello, sir. Do you know how fast you were going back there?
Not fast enough to pass through here before you started
Pretty good, sir. I don't believe I've heard that one
before. However, you were speeding. First, I
clocked you at 84, then I clocked you again at 86, and when
you passed me -- I imagine you had
seen me by then -- you were down to 78. I still have the
speeds locked on my radar gun if you'd
like to see them.
No, that is okay. I trust you.
Well, sir, I'm sure you are aware that the legal speed is
65 miles per hour. I'm going to need to
see your license. (Peter hands the cop his license, the cop
examines it) So where are you and the
young lady off to in such a hurry, Mr. Jacob's?
We are on our way to Omaha, officer ... (waits for the cop
to offer his name)
Parkerson. Officer Parkerson, but you can read that on the
bottom of this ticket. (hands Peter a
piece of paper) marked the ticket at 78 miles per hour, but
the next officer may not be as lenient
as me. I'd recommend sticking to the legal speed, Mr.
Jacob's. (hands Peter his license)
Good advice, Officer Parkerson.
Well, be careful pulling out of here. Most of the cars
along here are going at least 55 miles per
hour and it may be difficult merging back into traffic.
Thank you, Officer Parkerson. Have a nice day.
I will try. Oh, by the way, nice cleavage, ma'am. However,
I'm gay. So long.
(Officer Parkerson heads back to his car. Renee buttons her
blouse again. Peter rolls up his
window and hands the ticket to Renee.)
You said "Have a nice day"?!?
I would have never guessed that he was a Homo.
The man gives you a... (looks at the ticket) 185 dollar
ticket and you tell him to have a nice day?!?
Hell, I would have taken off my shirt if I knew he was gay!
185 dollars!! How are we going to pay that?
How much is it?
One hundred and eighty five dollars.
Jesus Christ without a savings account! Where are we going
to get that money? We spent all our
savings on this damn trip! (pause) Maybe your mom will loan
it to us. Yeah, we can probably
talk your mom into giving us the money, right? I mean, it
was her idea for us to make this damn
trip... she better give us a loan.
Well, you were the one speeding, so I think you are the one
that needs to ask her.
But you are her daughter. And like she is really going to
loan me any money. She'll probably
laugh in my face. You ask her.
You are probably right. I'll ask her, but I don't know what
she'll say. I know she has the money...
I suppose we could make up some story about how we need it
to make some repairs on the
house. Yeah, I think she'd buy that story.
When you have the story figured out let me know so that I
can back you up.
You make it sound like such a conspiracy.
(About four hours have passed. Renee is now driving. Peter
is asleep in the passenger seat)
Peter. (no response; a little louder) Peter. (again no
response; shakes Peter) Peter.
Wh... what? Why did you wake me?
I'm hungry. I wanted to see if you were ready to stop for
(rubbing his eyes)
Sure, whatever you want, honey.
I think there is a rest stop coming up in about 10 or 15
miles. You packed the cooler with lunch
stuff, didn't you?
Do you honestly think that I'd forget the food? Come on. I
might forget my clothes, but I would
never forget the food.
(Hitchhiker walks on stage. Slowly walks past the side of
the car as if the car is passing him. He
is very dirty -- he obviously needs a shower and some new
clothes. He walks past the car and
continues off stage)
(seeing the hitchhiker) >
Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker?
No. Have you?
Never. Maybe we should do it.
(looking at the back seat)
Have you noticed the back seat? Where would he sit?.
At the rest stop we could reorganize to make some room.
Tell you what... You reorganize and we'll see about picking
up someone later.
(pointing at the sign outside)
Look, the sign says rest area 5 miles. I'm really hungry.
You are always hungry! You remind me of Jughead!
You know, Jughead, from the Archie comics... He used to
always eat all those hamburgers and
still be hungry. You remind me of him. You eat and five
minutes later you say you're hungry
Jesus Christ with a random thought! Where the hell did you
pull that from?
First, don't end your sentences with a preposition. And to
answer your question, I used to read
bathroom. I'd sneak a few into my
room at night and read them by flashlight. Didn't you ever
read Archie comics?
Sure, I did. But I don't really remember Jughead eating
hamburgers. Besides, if I remember
correctly, Jughead was kinda geeky. Are you saying that I
remind you of a geek? (smiles)
No. Your appetite reminds my of Jughead's appetite. And
just because he never dated Betty or
Veronica doesn't mean he was geeky.
(points ahead of the car)
Oh look, it's the ramp for the rest area. It looks like
we'll have to drop this conversation and eat
lunch. And I was so hoping we could continue this...
(Renee brings the car to a stop; they both get out and
stretch as if they had been in the car for an
extended period of time. Renee goes to the back of the car
and starts moving some bags
Peter, what kind of sandwich do you want? Wait, let me
guess -- peanut butter and jelly!
You read my mind. I'm going to go to the bathroom. I'll be
back in a little bit.
(Peter walks off. Renee brings a cooler from the back of
the car and sets it on the
ground. Next, she brings out a family size jar of peanut
butter and sets it on the ground. She
sits next to the cooler and starts making sandwiches. When
she finished making three sandwiches she goes to the car
and starts rearranging the baggage in the back seat. When
Peter returns, she has almost finished moving all the bags
Whew! I feel a lot better. If you want to go to the
bathroom, I'll watch the stuff.
Okay. I didn't know how many sandwiches you'd want. I made
one for me and two for you.
I'll probably want a third, but I'll make it. Go ahead and
empty your bladder.
(Renee walks off. Peter moves to the back seat of the car
and finishes rearranging
the bags. Peter finishes eating his first sandwich. He
starts to make another sandwich. He lifts the jar of
peanut butter and stares at it for a minute. Then he makes
the sandwich. By the time
he has finished making the sandwich, Renee has returned)
So, how much longer do we have?
I'd say we have another 6 hours. Assuming we don't get
pulled over again...
Don't look at me, Speedy Gonzalez! I'm not the one with a
(Renee grabs her sandwich and starts eating; Peter starts
eating his second sandwich)
Explain to me again who is getting married.
Well, Rod and Toni are getting married on Friday. Rod's
father was my dad's wartime buddy.
Anyway, Rod and I used to play together when we were in
junior high. I haven't seen him in
about seven years. Mom got an invitation to the wedding and
thought I'd want to go.
Is your mom going to the wedding too? I don't want to sit
next to her.
I don't know if she is going. I never asked. If she does
go, I'll sit next to her.
Good. Hey, these sandwiches were really good. Do you want
No, I'm fine. But have another sandwich if you are still
I think I'll do that.
(Peter makes another sandwich. After he is finished, Renee
starts to clean up and put things
back into the car.)
Do you want any help?
No. But you can drive when we start back on the road.
(Renee finishes putting away the cooler and the jar of
Here's the story I have for my mom.
(Pushes his ears forward with his hands.)
I'm all ears.
I'll tell her that we are painting the baby room and that
we need about $250 to buy paint and
Didn't we already paint that room?
Yes, but the point is that my mom doesn't know that. She
wants a grandchild so bad she'd
probably go through the labor herself. I think she'll pitch
in the money if we tell her we're using it
for the baby's room.
You are so callous, Renee... I like that. I think that
story will work. Unless your mom is still
upset that I'll be the father of the child.
I think you are just paranoid. My mom might not totally
like you, but she respects my choices.
Yeah, well I think she said it best at our wedding, "Peter,
I don't think you are good enough to be
in the same room as my daughter. (fake enthusiasm) Welcome
to the family." I don't think I'm
being paranoid. Your mom just doesn't like me.
(Renee goes to the passenger side of the car and sits in
the seat. Peter sits on the driver's side,
finishing his sandwich.)
(Peter starts the car and they leave the rest area)
So, be on the lookout for a hitchhiker.
You are kidding right?
No. You said if we made some room in the back seat, we
could pick up a hitchhiker.
Oh, sure. So we can be killed! I didn't think you were
Peter, I seriously doubt anyone is going to try and kill us.
(Same hitchhiker we saw before enters the stage and walks
by the car as before)
(points out the window)
Look. There's one. Let's stop.
No! Look at him. He's all dirty. I'm sure he'd kill us and
take all our stuff. I'm not stopping to
pick up a bum.
But you said we could. I can't believe you'd lie to me.
Come on, Renee, I didn't lie to you. I'm just looking out
for our best interests.
You call it what you want to. I call it lying.
Dammit! Okay, we can get a hitchhiker. But I pick who we
Great. Keep your eyes open.
Well, we aren't picking up anyone who looks like that one.
He was too dirty.
(A hitchhiker enters the stage. He is clean, but wears
Look. What about that one?
Him? His hair is too long.
What?!? You think someone is going to kill us because he
has long hair?
You agreed to let me pick, didn't you?
Yes. Are you going to let us pick anyone up?
If I see the right guy...
(Bikini-clad woman enters the stage. Follows the same
ritual as the hitchhiker -- walking by the
Or chickie... (smiles)
Don't even think about it mister!
Oh, come on! I say we pick her up.
Pick her up and say goodbye to me.
Who are you again?
(punching Peter in the arm)
I was your wife.
Well, don't say that I never offered to pick up a
She doesn't count.
(Another hitchhiker enters. This time the hitchhiker has
Look, this one has short hair. What do you think?
Look at the clothes. Do you want those clothes sitting in
our back seat? I don't.
Maybe we should just give up on this hitchhiker thing. I
still don't think it is a good idea.
No, we'll keep looking. We need to live a little.
Yeah, but I'd like to live a little LONGER.
You're so paranoid. You watch too much TV.
(Hitchhiker enters yet again. This time clean, with short
hair, and dressed in a business suit.)
I think we've found one. What problem do you have that one?
He's too clean cut. Definitely a serial killer.
A serial killer. Do you want to add your name to his list
You're impossible! Forget the whole thing.
If you say so.
Hey, do you hear that?
It's like a thump-thump. I've heard it for awhile now.
Yeah, now I hear it.
What is it?
It sounds like we have a flat! I really don't want to
change a flat tire!
(Peter slows the car down and pulls over. He gets out of
the car and looks at the back tire)
Yep, we definitely have a flat tire. First a speeding
ticket, now a flat tire. What's next?
Well, put the spare tire on, Sparky.
I was just about to dig the spare out. And don't call me
Whatever you say, Shakey.
(Peter sighs. He drags the spare tire from the back of the
car and starts to work on replacing the
flat tire. The well-dressed hitchhiker starts to approach)
Don't look now, but that hitchhiker is walking toward us.
Don't say anything. Maybe he'll walk right past us.
Hey! Do you guys need any help?
No, I think we have it under control. Thanks, though. See
you later. Hope you find a ride.
(The hitchhiker pulls out his knife.)
That's nice. It almost makes me regret doing this... (hits
Peter over the head with the handle of
his knife; Peter falls to the ground) but I'll still do it.
(Renee sees Peter fall. She starts screaming. She starts
running. The hitchhiker chases her.
They run around the car a few times.)
Stop running, you bitch! I don't want to hurt you. I just
want your money.
(Renee stops; she is on the opposite side of the car where
Peter is; the Hitchhiker slowly
(pulls money from her pockets)
Here, this is all we have. Just leave us alone.
(Renee throws the money on the ground. The hitchhiker bends
over to gather the money. Renee
kicks him in the head)
Take that you bastard!
(Hitchhiker appears to be knocked out. Renee runs over to
Peter. She looks at his head which is
stained with blood. She then goes to the back of the car
and opens the trunk, looking for the first
Damn, I know it's here. Where did the first aid kit go?
(Renee finds the kit. Takes it over to Peter. Her back is
turned to where the hitchhiker is. As
she is attending Peter, the hitchhiker stands and makes his
way around the car. At the last
minute, Renee hears the hitchhiker. She stands and runs.)
Come and get me, you sick bastard!
(The hitchhiker looks at Peter and then chases Renee. They
run around the car like before.
Renee stops on the side of the car opposite to where Peter
(huffing and puffing)
I can't take this anymore. I can't run anymore. Do what you
want to me.
(The hitchhiker stops and faces Renee. His back it to the
car. Peter starts to move a little)
(a little hesitant, remembering what happened last time he
I just want your money. I'm not going to hurt you.
(Peter starts to crawl to the back of the car)
(sees that Peter is crawling to the back of the car)
What do you want the money for?
I need to buy some more juice, and I don't have any money.
(Peter grabs something from the back of the car. He stands
and sneaks behind the hitchhiker.
Renee sees him, but does nothing. Peter raises the object
over his head. The action pauses as a
spotlight illuminates the object -- a family-sized jar of
Jif peanut butter. Peter smashes the jar
over the hitchhiker's head, knocking him out.)
(rushing to Peter)
Are you alright?
Yes, I'm fine. I think my head's stopped bleeding. What are
we going to do with him? (kicks the
Just leave him. Finish with the tire and we can just get
back on the road. I doubt he'll wake up
before we leave.
I don't think we are ever going to make it to Omaha.
What kind of attitude is that? We'll get there and it'll be
I don't know what I'm more scared of -- staying with your
mother for four days or staying out
here with Billy Bob. (points to the hitchhiker)
Stop talking and fix the tire.
(Peter starts to work on the tire. Renee drags the
hitchhiker's body off the stage. She returns a
few seconds later.)
Okay, she's already to go.
I'll drive. It looks like we are going to have to clean you
up real well when we get to mom's.
(Both climb into the car. Renee in the driver's seat and
Peter in the passenger's seat. About two
Are we almost there yet?
The last sign said Omaha is about 135 miles away. I'd say
we have two and half hours until we
Wake me up when we get there.
(About two and a half hours pass)
Is this her house?
This is where the directions say to go. Remember, we are
painting the baby's room and it's going
to cost around $250.
I hear you. Are you sure you want to lie to your mom? I
mean we've already had so much go
wrong on this trip, I'd hate to get thrown out on the
street if she finds out we lied to her.
I hate it when you are right. But you are probably right.
We'll try the truth first.
(Renee stops the car. Both Peter and Renee get out of the
car. Mona walks on stage. She is a
small, frail woman. She has trouble walking and it looks as
if it takes all her energy just to take
Renee, is that you? Are you alright? How's my daughter?
What's wrong with Peter? Did you
have to show him who the boss was?
I'm fine, mother. We kinda had a little roadside accident
on the way here.
I'd say so! Well, let's take Peter inside and get that gash
So how was the trip?
RENEE and PETER
By the way, could we borrow some money...
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