Three Hundred, A Musical

Act II


Scene 2

(The BOWLING ALLEY. BILLY is slowly walking across the stage with this bowling bag. He puts it in his locker, the turns and crosses to the front counter, where MARVIN is standing, reading a magazine.)

BILLY

Well, Marv, I took your advice.

MARVIN

(Not really paying attention.)
Yeah? Thatís nice.

BILLY

Yep. Now my life is ruined.

MARVIN

(Looking up, startled.)
Huh? What are you talkiní about?

BILLY

I had a choice between bowling and the woman I love.

MARVIN

Donít tell me; lemme guess. You chose bowling.

BILLY

Thatís what you told me to do, isnít it?

MARVIN

Billy, correct me if Iím wrong. You told me you were discouraged with bowling and thinking of taking up tennis, right?

BILLY

Sort of.

MARVIN

Sort of. And I told you to stick with bowling?

BILLY

Uh-huh.

MARVIN

Good. Now think carefully. Did I say anything in there about dumping your girlfriend?

BILLY

Not in so many words. But I didnít have any choice. She told me it was either bowling or marriage.

MARVIN

Listen, kid, on a scale of one to ten, bowling is a solid nine. But love is a ten, get it? Youíll get awfully lonely on the pro tour with nobody waiting for you at home.

BILLY

I donít care. I donít need anybody, not even Marie. Iím gonna make it all by myself.
THEREíS SO MANY PEOPLE LIVING ON THIS EARTH
WHO NEVER ASK WHAT ALL OF THIS IS WORTH.
THEY DO THEIR JOBS, AND COME HOME, NEVER QUESTION WHY.
MAKE THEIR BEDS, SAY THEIR PRAYERS, WATCH THEIR LIVES GO BY.
THEY FOLLOW ORDERS, DO THEIR BEST, AND THEN THEY WATCH TV.
THAT MAY BE FINE FOR SOME OF THEM,
BUT ITíS NOT RIGHT FOR ME, ĎCAUSE . . .

IíM GONNA MAKE IT ON MY OWN.
I DONíT NEED ANYONE BUT ME.
IíVE GOT MY LIFE AHEAD OF ME,
IíM GONNA DO IT RIGHT.
SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO TIE ME DOWN
IS LOOKING FOR A FIGHT, AND

IíM GONNA MAKE MY OWN MISTAKES.
IíM NOT AFRAID TO TAKE A CHANCE.
IF I SHOULD FALL DOWN ON MY FACE,
IíLL GET BACK UP AGAIN.
THEYíLL PUT ME SIX FEET UNDERGROUND
BEFORE I PACK IT IN, AND

IíM GONNA MAKE IT ON MY OWN.
THEYíLL NEVER SAY I DIDNíT TRY.
IíLL BE THE ONE WHO CALLS THE TUNE,
OR KNOW THE REASON WHY.
AND IíM GONNA MAKE IT ON MY OWN.

(Solo dance number)

IíM GONNA MAKE IT ON MY OWN.
IíLL BE THE MAN IíM MEANT TO BE.
I HAVE TO FIND OUT WHO I AM.
I JUST CANíT BE A FAKE.
THE GIRL WHO WANTS TO CHANGE MY LIFE
IS MAKING A MISTAKE, AND

IíM GONNA MAKE IT ON MY OWN.
THEYíLL NEVER SAY I DIDNíT TRY.
IíLL BE THE ONE WHO CALLS THE TUNE
OR KNOW THE REASON WHY.
AND IíM GONNA MAKE IT
ON MY OWN!

MARVIN

Stirring sentiments, kid, but nobodyís made of stone.

BILLY

I guess Iíll find out, wonít I? The first thing Iíve got to do is win the tournament tonight.

MARVIN

Iím rooting for you. Unofficially, of course. Go finish drilling those balls and you can knock off early and get ready.

BILLY

Thanks, Marv. (HE exits, STAGE RIGHT.)

HARRY

(Entering, STAGE LEFT, with ARNIE, WALTER and FRED.)
And so the minister says, "Thatís funny, I thought it looked more like a porcupine!"
(ALL FOUR MEN double up with laughter.)

WALTER

(Pointing toward STAGE RIGHT, where the WOMEN are preparing to bowl.)
Hey, guys, there they are!

ARNIE

Itís the Bowling Biddies, in person!
(The MEN cross to join their wives.)

ARLENE

Uh-oh, here comes trouble, ladies.

FRED

Oh, boy, can we watch? Maybe pick up some pointers.

MARCIA

Maybe youíll pick up some bruises!

SUSIE

(To HARRY.)
Did you ever have a bowling ball shoved up your . . .

HARRY

Now, dear, thatís no way to talk to your loving husband. Weíre just here to cheer you on to bigger and better averages.

ARNIE

Break a hundred, thatís the battle cry!

JUDY

(Turing HER back on them.)
Itís a free country, right, girls?

MARCIA

So they tell me. Some people are freer than others. I usually have to stay home when he bowls. Whatíd you do with little Freddie? Dump him at the pinpall parlor?

FRED

No. I dumped him at your motherís.

SUSIE

(To HARRY.)
Is that what you did with Jennifer?

HARRY

No, sheís with my mother.

ARLENE

(To ARNIE.)
Whereís the dog?

ARNIE

Out in the truck.

JUDY

You guys really stink.

WALTER

Aw, baby, don't be like that. Weíre really glad you have your own team, arenít we, guys? We just wanted to see how youíre doing.

FRED

And we love the name: The Bowling Bimbos!

MARCIA

Widows. And thatís what weíre all gonna be for real if you guys donít leave us alone!

HARRY

Okay, okay. Now, you sure you donít want some pointers? Like, thereís the pins, see, and you try to knock them down with the ball.
(HE easily picks up one of their balls.)
Hereís the ball. Jeez, how much does this weigh, anyhow? You better get a heavier ball. This is liable to bounce off the pins instead of knocking 'em down!

SUSIE

(Grabbing the ball away from him, and almost dropping it because itís so heavy.)
Listen, Mr. Smarty Pants, at least weíre improving. Isnít that what itís all about? Youíve carried the same average for the last five years!

ARNIE

Sheís right, you know.

HARRY

At least mine hasnít gone down, like some people I know.
(Looking pointedly at WALTER.)

WALTER

Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?

ARLENE

(Finishes tying her shoes and stands up.)
Okay, girls, enough of this foolishness. Weíre here to bowl.

JUDY

Thatís right. Just ignore these ignoramuses.

SUSIE

(As the MEN snicker and make derisive comments.)
No, wait a minute. We are improving. And theyíre not! Iíll bet if we used handicaps we could probably beat Ďem!
(There is a moment of stunned silence. The WOMEN look at each other. The MEN look at each other. Suddenly they all start talking at once.)

MARCIA

Quiet, everybody! Shut up!
(SHE turns to the other WOMEN.)
Well, what do you think?

ARLENE

Letís talk it over.
(The WOMEN huddle and whisper among themselves.)

FRED

(As the MEN withdraw in a group to STAGE LEFT.)
Uh, guys, I donít like the looks of this.

ARNIE

Me, neither. It looks like a no-win situation.

WALTER

So we donít do it, thatís all.

HARRY

What are you guys worried about? Weíre men! We been bowling about a hundred years between us. Thereís no way they could win.

FRED

Uh, Harry, thatís what you said about Charlieís Bar. Those guys all had averages under one-thirty. We gave up so many pins we couldnít catch up. Then that one skinny dude had the best night of his life, bowled way over his head . . .

HARRY

Those were still guys. Weíre talking about our wives, remember?

FRED

Yeah, I remember. Have you stopped to think about what might happen if we should lose?
(The MEN look at each other for a moment, then simultaneously shake their heads and make negative gestures, apparently in agreement that they will refuse to go along with their wives.)

ARLENE

(As the WOMEN break their huddle and cross to the MEN.)
Okay, boys, hereís the deal. We bowl you three games, with ninety percent handicaps. Two points for each game, one point for totals.

ARNIE

Nothing doing. We wonít lower ourselves. Anyway, you canít possible win, right, boys?

JUDY

So what do you have to worry about? Besides, we havenít discussed the stakes.

WALTER

The stakes?

SUSIE

Yeah, you know, the reward for the winners.

HARRY

Okay, what do we get when we win? And weíre not going to bet against our own money, either!

(The WOMEN cross to their husbands and whisper in their ears. After a moment the men grow animated, and finally turn to the audience with smiles on their faces.)

FRED

Okay, letís say weíre interested, eh, boys? Just for the sake of argument, what happens -- chuckle, chuckle -- if you win?

MARCIA

You buy us new bowling balls and bags and shoes and joined the doubles league with us.

ARNIE

Thatís ridiculous.

YOU CANíT BE SERIOUS.
YOUíLL NEVER WIN

WALTER

YOUíLL BE FURIOUS.
WEíLL DO YOU IN.

HARRY

WEíRE BIGGER AND WEíRE STRONGER.
WEíVE BEEN BOWLING ALL OUR LIVES.

FRED

WEíLL NEVER TAKE A CHANCE ON
GETTING BEATEN BY OUR WIVES!

ARLENE

THATíS VERY CURIOUS,
AND VERY SAD.

JUDY

YOUíRE SO IMPERIOUS.
YOU MAKE US SO MAD!

SUSIE

YOU THINK THAT YOUíRE UNBEATABLE,
AND YOU MAY WELL BE RIGHT.

MARCIA

BUT YOUíRE GONNA HAVE TO PROVE IT,
OR DONíT COME HOME TONIGHT!

MEN

WEíRE HAPPILY MARRIED
AS FAR AS WE KNOW.
AFTER WEíRE BURRIED,
THEYíLL GET ALL OUR DOUGH

ARNIE

OUR LIFE WAS ONE LONG HONEYMOON,
OH, WHAT THE HECK WENT WRONG?

MEN

WE WERE HAPPILY MARRIED,
ĎTIL THIS THING CAME ALONG!

WOMEN

HAPPILY MARRIED?
OH, DONíT MAKE US CHOKE.
WEíLL GET ALL YOUR MONEY?
NOW, THATíS A GOOD JOKE!

ARLENE

WEíVE COOKED AND CLEANED AND SLEPT WITH YOU,
PUT UP WITH EVERY MOOD.

WOMEN

IF YOU THINK ITíS FOR THE MONEY,
THEN YOUíVE FINALLY COME UNGLUED!

(Dance number.)

ALL

HAPPILY MARRIED!
OR SO IT SEEMED.
THIS SITUATION
IS NOT WHAT WE DREAMED.

WOMEN

WE ARE BOWLING WIDOWS,
WEíRE GONNA HAVE OUR DAY!

MEN

THANK YOU FOR THE OFFER,
BUT WE DONíT WANTA PLAY!

WOMEN

YOUíD BETTER RECONSIDER,
OR WEíRE GONNA MAKE YOU PAY . . .

WALTER

(Pause.) When do you wanta do this?

ALL

HAPPILY MARRIED
ANYWAY!

JUDY

Whatís wrong with right now?

HARRY

Uh, we havenít got our balls and shoes, for one thing.

SUSIE

Címon, theyíre right over there in the lockers where you always keep Ďem. Quit stalling!

HARRY

Oh, yeah, right.
(The MEN reluctantly shuffle over to their lockers and get out their bags.)

ARLENE

(To the WOMEN, who are gathered STAGE LEFT.)
Okay, girls, this is it. Itís now or never.

MARCIA

Now weíll see if those secret bowling lessons weíve been taking are gonna pay off!

JUDY

Donít worry. Theyíll be so surprised, they wonít know what hit Ďem.

SUSIE

Well, weíd better not lose. I havenít done that since before we were married!

ARLENE

Donít worry, weíre gonna slaughter Ďem!
(The WOMEN clasp hands in an all-for-one salute and cheer loudly.)

FRED

This makes me very nervous.

ARNIE

Yeah, look at Ďem. Theyíre really fired up!

HARRY

Guys, guys, whatís wrong with you? Youíre scared of a bunch of broads?

WALTER

Yeah, címon, we can get fired up, too! Weíre gonna kick some butt and collect our reward, right?
(The MEN slap hands, grab their bags, and cross to where the WOMEN are waiting. The alley fills with CHORUS MEMBERS. The LIGHTS begin to strobe, while a frantic instrumental medly of tunes from the show is accompanied by shouts, cheers and the sounds of balls rolling down the alleys and knocking over pins. The MEN and WOMEN dash around frantically in exaggerated motions. The whole thing rises to a crescendo, with a final, prolonged shout from ALL. The cast freezes at the end of the shout.)

BLACKOUT

END OF ACT II, SCENE 2

GO TO ACT II, SCENE 3