Bob Flicker









Interior of a Right to Life, abortion, counseling clinic. The exterior sign reads (in large letters) ABORTIONS. At the bottom of the sign (in very small letters) is the rest of the message that reads: Are The Devil’s Work—Counseling Service, Inc. A  very, pregnant, young woman enters. Seated at a desk is PAUL PIOUS, the counselor.


RED           I want an abortion!


PIOUS       You are pregnant?


RED           What do you think I got here—my dirty laundry?


PIOUS       Welcome to Abortions Are The Devil’s Work—Counseling 

                  Service, Inc.


RED           Your sign said abortions, nothing about that other stuff.


PIOUS       It was in small print at the bottom.


RED           My eyesight isn’t that good. I only have 20/20.


PIOUS       No matter. My name is Paul Pious.


RED           You got relatives in Rome?


PIOUS       Cute.


RED           Look Pope—


PIOUS       (Interrupting) That’s Pious!


RED           You’re a doctor, right?


PIOUS       Wrong.


RED           Who’s gonna do the job?


PIOUS       So, you want to commit murder!


RED           Yeah! On the one who did this to me.


PIOUS       Forget having an abortion. There is something else you should 



RED           What should I do?


PIOUS       (Sarcastic) You know, I see hundreds of lustful females like 

                   you. They all ask the  same question.


RED           What do you tell them?


PIOUS       First, I tell them that they will burn in hell!


RED           I’m sure that helps.


PIOUS       (Warming up to his job) Then, I tell them that although they     

                   have sinned  mightily—I will be their savior.


RED           Savior?


PIOUS       A figure of speech. I am here to save the fetus.


RED           I can’t have it!


PIOUS       (Angry) It! It! Is that the way you refer to that innocent, little life 

                   whose heart  beats within your womb?


RED           Look Pope—


PIOUS       (Interrupting) That’s Pious!


RED           Pope—Pious—What’s the difference?


PIOUS       (For a moment, warms to the idea) Pope Pious…hmmm.


RED           It would never work out!


PIOUS       (Still pondering  Pope Pius) You are right. I would have to 

                   become a priest first.


RED           Well, do it on your own time. I can’t have it!


PIOUS       I am pleading with you to save God’s creation.


RED           God had nothing to do with it.


PIOUS       Blasphemer! I am referring to that miracle of life within you. 

                  You act as if you were  going to give birth to an—an—animal!


RED           Well, you’re half right.


PIOUS       Are you some kind a—a weirdo? Who are you?

RED           I might as well tell you. I think the Inquirer got the story.


PIUS          Story? What story? (A beat) What is your name?


RED           Little Red Ridinghood.


PIUS          (Disbelief) No!


RED           Yes.


PIUS          The—Little Red Ridinghood?


RED           Do you think I would make up a name like that? Sally or 

                   Mildred wasn’t good enough for them!


PIOUS       If you are Little Red Ridinghood—where is your red hood and 



RED           Moths.


PIUS          Moths?


RED           Even ate the mothballs.


PIUS          Disgusting!


RED           You know what else they ate?


PIUS          Never mind! (A beat) The father! Who is the father?


RED           You’re not going to believe this.

PIOUS       You are not going to tell me it was—


RED           You got it.


PIOUS      (In shock) The—the—wolf?


RED           Blows your mind—don’t it.


PIUS          Impossible!


RED           That’s what I thought when he came on to me.


PIOUS       (Near tears) Little Red Ridinghood (A beat) how could you do 

                   this to me?


RED           What did I do to you?


PIOUS       (Reaching out) You were always pure, Little Red Ridinghood. 

                  Ever since I was a  little child—you were my first and only love!


RED           (Backing off) Watch it toots! Lay one hand on me and you’ll get 

                  a knee to the filberts!


PIUS          Please! You don’t understand. I—I just want to know what 



RED           Well, I was taking my usual route—                            

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PIUS          …from your mother’s house, through the woods, to your 

                  grandmother’s house, right?


RED           Right. I was carrying a basket with—

PIUS          …goodies your mother made to take to your sick grandmother. 



RED           Goodies? Yeah, I guess you could call that stuff goodies.


PIUS          Stuff?


RED           Moonshine. White-Lightening.


PIUS          (Disbelief—Shock) Moonshine? White-Lightening?


RED           Yeah. Mama operated the still and—


PIUS          Still?


RED           Yeah. Papa did it until the revenuers grabbed him. Then, 

                   Mama took over.


PIUS          (Growing shock) My Little Red Ridinghood—a—a bootlegger!


RED           It was a living. Anyways, I had to make my regular deliveries to



PIUS          (Nearly overcome) Your mother made moonshine and you 

                   made the deliveries?


RED           Look! I’m an only child. Who else could do it?


PIUS          I’m almost afraid to ask the next question.Who—who did you 

                  deliver to?

RED           Grandma


PIUS          I was afraid of that.


RED           Grandma handled distribution on her side of the woods.


PIUS          (Trance-like shock) On her side. Who did the distribution on 

                   your side?


RED           Little Black Sambo.


PIUS          Is he still around? I—I thought he lived in the jungle.


RED           It isn’t exactly sunshine and roses in the woods, you know. It’s 

                  a jungle out there.


PIUS          What about your…eh…sweet, old grandmother?      


RED           Grandma was getting to be a problem.


PIUS          A problem?


RED           Yeah. Grandma became a lush.


PIUS          Your sweet, little grandmother a…a…drunk?


RED           She  wasn’t so sweet after a couple of pints of cornlikker.   

PIUS          Are you trying to tell me that in the story, when you bring a 

                   basket of…eh…goodies to your sick grandmother she was—



RED           Drunk as a skunk.


PIUS          I can’t believe this is happening to me!


RED           Now you know how I felt when I missed my—


PIUS          (Shouting) Never mind! When—when you knocked on the door 

                   of her cottage…who said come in?    


RED           At that point in time I thought it was Grandma.

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PIUS          But it wasn’t Grandma…was it?


RED           No. It was—


PIUS          …the big bad wolf!


RED           As it turned out, he wasn’t so bad.


PIUS          The story! Stick to the story!


RED           O.K.! It was the wolf!


PIUS          He was in Grandma’s bed, disguised in her nightgown and 

                   nightcap. Right?


RED           You sure know the story.


PIOUS       The expurgated version, it seems.

RED           Yeah. It was sure cleaned up by the time it got to you.


PIOUS       There are things I must know.


RED           Yeah?


PIOUS       When you said, “Grandma, what big eyes you have!” weren’t 

                   you suspicious?


RED           It wasn’t the big eyes that made me suspicious.


PIOUS       No?


RED           No. Cornlikker has that effect on Grandma. It was something  

                  else that made  me  suspicious.


PIOUS       What?  


RED           Well, here I am leaning over someone I thought was Grandma 



PIOUS       Yes? Yes?


RED           Those big eyes were staring straightdown my open blouse. 

                   Grandma would never have done that.


PIOUS       I should hope not. What about that part when you said, “What 

                   a big nose you have!”


RED           I was really referring to its color.


PIOUS       Its color?


RED           Grandma’s got a schnoz that looks like a small salami, only 



PIOUS       I am almost afraid to ask the next question.


RED           You’re going to ask me about the part where I said, 

                  “Grandma…what sharp teeth you  have!”  Right?


PIOUS       Yes.  Surely you were suspicious then?


RED           By then, I had it figured out.


PIOUS       That’s when the wolf jumped out of bed and tried to eat you?


RED           There was some foreplay first.


PIOUS       Foreplay?  Oh, my God! What about your poor grandmother?


RED           She was in the closet.


PIOUS       I know that! Weren’t you concerned about her cowering, 

                  alone, in the closet?


RED           First of all, she wasn’t alone. Second of all, what she was 

                   doing was not cowering.


PIOUS       I know I am going to hate myself for asking. Was there 

                  someone in the closet with Grandma?


RED           They both were.

PIOUS       Both?


RED           The two woodcutters.


PIOUS       The two woodcutters who were supposed to rescue you and 

                   your grandmother from the wolf?


RED           Is that the way it was in your version?


PIOUS       Yes. I assume that isn’t the way it was.


RED           Right. Grandma was making them very happy.


PIOUS       Happy?


RED           Yeah. Imagine if you had been in the woods for a whole 

                   month, just chopping trees.


PIOUS       I’m not up to it.


RED           Well, they sure were. Grandma sold them two quarts of 

                  moonshine and made a little  extra on the side.


PIOUS       But—who rescued you?


RED           Even a wolf gets tired.


PIOUS       That’s when it happened?


RED           Yeah. When he found out I was pregnant, he offered to do the 

                   right thing.


PIOUS       You mean…the wolf offered to marry you?


RED           Yeah. But I turned him down.


PIOUS       Because he was a wolf?


RED           No. Because of religious differences.


PIOUS       Religious differences?


RED           Yeah. I discovered he was Jewish.


PIOUS       The wolf was—Jewish?


RED           It might have worked if he wasn’t so religious.


PIOUS       So religious?


RED           Yeah. He didn’t want me to make deliveries on Saturdays. 

                   Saturdays are my best days.


PIOUS       Little Red Ridinghood! The one female I was able to believe in! 

                  You let me down.


RED           Don’t lay it on me Pious.


PIOUS       (Knee jerk response) That’s pope! (Stops to figure that one 



RED           This wasn’t exactly Immaculate Conception you know.


PIOUS       (Thinking) It isn’t too late to save your reputation! The world 

                  will never know!

RED           What?


PIOUS       (Pondering) Yes! Yes! There is a way!


RED           What way?


PIOUS       The abortion way!


RED           But… you have convinced me to keep it!


PIOUS       (Wild-Eyed) You can’t have it!


RED           It’s too late! All the abortion clinics have been bombed!


PIOUS       There is one left! You will get your abortion today and I will 

                   bomb it tomorrow!




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 © robert 2014