A sitting room scene. Friday afternoon. There is a new addition to the family, Rimi, the longlost grand/daughter to the rest of the family. Dad sits on the pouffe we use now as a stool, Granny is on the sofa with hands folded on knees, and Grancha fumbles falling forwards whilst wiping his glasses perched on the armchair. Outside are gale-force winds.
In hushed tones the two of them talk
Dad: Did I tell you that I got another “one of those” before she came?
Granny: What? Speak up darling.
Dad: (Pointing at his finger) I got another “one of those” from the (nods to the wall)
Granny: Another one of what? What’s wrong with the wall?
Having had enough of the loud disruptive whispering across the sitting room
Rimi: What are you talking about?
Dad: We shouldn’t hide things from her; she’s old enough now to understand what happens when adults have accidents.
Rimi: If you say so
Dad: She’s been at school in the last 30 years so she’ll know about these things, chemistry lessons and experiments isn’t that right?
Rimi: (Blankly) Yes
Dad: I got a 5 Amp shock
Rimi: That’s nothing
Dad: It is! It could kill someone!
Dad: It’s not the same as voltage, a point 5 Amp could electrocute someone half to death
Rimi: Were you knocked unconscious?
Dad: No, but I was damned hurt. Look at my finger.
All three move closer in to inspect Dad’s finger. There is a little black mark on his forefinger. It looks like a small bat bite.
Rimi: Were you wearing rubber shoes?
Dad: Yes. Luckily so
Rimi: What were you doing?
Dad: It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t anyone’s fault
Granny: It’s nobody’s fault darling
Rimi: But what were you doing?
Dad: I was trying to fix something behind the back of the piano, and my finger touched something unsafe and it gave me an electric shock that was all.
Seemingly satisfied everyone goes back to their tasks. Grancha who had been cleaning his glasses throughout has now folded them away and put them on the windowsill. He now laboriously gets up from his armchair
Grancha: Who wants fish for supper?
Granny: Ooh yes, yummy yummy
Rimi: What did you touch? What were you doing behind the piano?
Dad: It doesn’t matter
Granny: Who wants fish for supper?
Grancha: I’ll get my coat on
Granny: Hang on hang on you don’t know what people want yet!
Rimi: Yes, but if there’s something unsafe behind there then we should know –
Dad: It was all black and grotty so you should be glad I got it out
Rimi: I’m not saying I’m not glad but what was it?
Grancha: What would people like?
Dad: I’d like the usual fish supper plus the battered sausage
Granny: What would you like Rimi? Fish and chips or battered sausage or something else altogether? No pressure to eat fish and chips just because we are darling.
Rimi: No I’d love to Granny, but I’ll just have a fish I’m sort of full still
Granny: Just the fish for Rimi, Grancha!
Grancha: Right then we’ll have the usual but with one extra fish
Granny: (Reconfirming) The usual supper plus the one extra fish
Rimi: Well, what was it?
Dad: It’s unpleasant so I’d rather not say
Rimi: Oh for god’s sake what was it – is it unsavoury?
Granny: Oh! Do you want something sweet?
Grancha: I’ll go put my coat on
Granny: Do you know what everyone wants?
Rimi: I’ll go with you Grancha there’s a hurricane out there. But Dad what was behind the piano?
Dad: I nearly got killed pulling it out
Rimi: But you didn’t so what was it?
Dad: (Resignedly) A plug socket that had had it’s bits cut off.
Dad: It was being used to block up a draught
Rimi: That was a bit stupid
Dad: Why do I feel like I’m the stupid one in this situation when I was just trying to help?
Rimi: I’m not saying you’re stupid. It’s the cut off plug that’s pretty stupid.
Dad: It could have killed me
Rimi: You could have died
Granny has now leant over the table to write some last minute Christmas cards. Grancha is slowly putting on his coat. She is carefully writing out a message when she remembers something.
Granny: Has Grancha gone?
Grancha: No. I’m still here!
Granny: Do you know what I want?
Grancha: Yes. The usual.
Dad: Don’t worry everyone, we’re having the usual plus one extra fish.
Grancha: That’s right
Granny: (Speaking to Rimi) Are you having just chips?
Dad: Don’t confuse Grancha! Don’t confuse Grancha! We need one extra fish.
Grancha: Is that four fish?
Granny: What’s Rimi having?
Rimi: I’m having a fish. Just having a fish.
Grancha: So two fish suppers with two extra fish
Dad: No, the usual with one extra fish!
Granny: Ooh hang on, I’m not concentrating on the card. How many fish in the usual?
Dad: There’s three fish in the usual, so we just want one extra fish
Granny: And what’s Rimi having – chips?
All in unison: No, fish!
Long silence. Rimi goes out of the sitting room to put on her coat
Granny: Oh dear, Grancha’s nearly fallen off the card
Grancha: Now where have I left my glasses…