Narrator: Jim and Carol, an average American couple residing in a suburb near you, have proudly bred two children, a son who is 17 and an 11 year-old daughter and have been happily married for 20 years. Sure they’ve had their fair share of marital difficulties, which they’ve managed to work out vicariously through Dr. Phil’s audio books-on-tape, a steady stream of healthy dialogue, and an occasional whiskey binge. If anything, their marital commitment to one another has strengthened through these trials.
But when you peel back the fake stucco veneer and artificial façade, you will begin to see that their marriage is not the perfect marriage their family and friends have romanticized. Like Superman’s Kryptonite, their life time commitment is vulnerable to a single, yet disastrous factor beyond their control, should it rear its unfathomable head. And that is just what it did on what seemed like a ordinary day Six Feet Under (Broadway):
Jim: (dressed in gray flannel suit and wielding a leather brief case, enters through the front door) Honey, I’m home!
Carol: (sitting at kitchen table, with small stack of papers sitting in front of her) Honey, we need to talk.
Jim: (enters kitchen and sits across from wife at table) About what?
Carol: It’s about our marriage, Jim.
Jim: Our marriage?
Carol: I don’t know how to put this delicately, but it’s over. We need to dissolve it immediately.
Jim: Dissolve? What the hell do you mean by dissolve?
Carol: Dammit, Jim. That’s just modern lawyer jargon for divorce. Nobody get’s divorced anymore; their marriage, like a sanitary napkin in a toilet boil, simply dissolves.
Jim: Is sanitary napkin women’s jargon for tampon?
Carol: For God’s sake, Jim. This is no time for your potty humor. This is serious. Our marriage is over and we have the kids to think about.
Jim: But why? Why the haste? Are you still upset about my affair with my secretary?
Carol: Don’t flatter yourself. I was over that a long time ago.
Jim: Are you still upset that I gave you an STD last year from that prostitute, who by the way swore she was clean?
Carol: No, it’s not that either. I’ve gotten used to the occasional discomfort and burning pain while I pee.
Jim: Carol, sweetie. You’re not still jealous about last week’s swinger party are you? Like I told you before, I paid just as much attention to you as all the other guests there.
Carol: I know, and I told you I’m sorry I got jealous, but that’s not it either.
Jim: Then what the hell is it?
Carol: It’s our neighbors, Jim.
Jim: Our neighbors? Let me guess, the ex-Marine next door who vowed to kill the both of us if he couldn’t have you?
Carol: No, not Kevin. He only says those things when he forgets to take his medicine. Besides, I find it kind of flattering.
Jim: Is it the Evangelical couple down the street who said we’re going to hell, because we don’t go to church and voted democratic in the last election?
Carol: I only wish it were that simple.
Jim: So it’s not the sociopath next door, and it’s not the religious zealots down the street. Hmmmm…then it has to be the convicted sex offender on the corner who has the giant, court-ordered neon sign in his yard that flashes “High Risk to Re-Offend” 24 hours a day.
Carol: Don’t be ridiculous, Jim. Mr. Thornberry is completely harmless and poses no threat to our marriage. Not to mention, he’s our son’s Eagle Scout Master.
Jim (right) and Mr. Thornberry (left) admire Mr. Thornberry's new court-ordered sign
Jim: Then who could it be?
Carol: It’s the guys who live across the street from Mr. Thornberry.
Jim: You mean the two brothers who helped us move in, snow blow our front walk every time it snows, and let us borrow their car for six months, no questions asked, after you totaled our SUV?
Carol: Yes, Jim. But they’re not brothers.
Jim: Good God no, you don’t mean…
Carol: Yes, Jim. They are gay.
Jim: For Christ’s sake, they seem so normal. But this alone isn’t reason enough to end our marriage, honey. We can sell the house and move away. Problem solved, right?
Carol: I’m afraid it’s bigger than that, Jim.
Jim: How could it be bigger?
Carol: They’re legally married.
Jim: For the love of Christ, why is God punishing us? Why is He hell-bent on destroying the very institution he helped create?
Carol: I don’t know Jim; the good Lord does work in mysterious ways.
Jim: Okay, we clearly have no other choice. Where do I sign?
Carol: (pushes the dissolution papers across table) Sign the bottom line. Hurry, before it’s too late… (loud sound of thunderbolt reverberates, blackout)
(This sketch was originally performed as part of Six Feet Under (Broadway’s) “Short Attention Span Theatre” (SAST). Six Feet Under (Broadway) maintains the original copyright. Any reproductions of any part of this comedy sketch must receive expressed permission from the author. For permission and/or to purchase performance rights (at a nominal fee of course) to this sketch, please contact T.M. Lindsey at email@example.com)