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©Gotta Hurry! Gotta Hurry! Gonna Be Late!

By James Gilbreath


(Man and woman in car interacting as he is driving unsafely hurrying to get to destination. And in the end we find out theyíre only going to the mall and arrive 20 minutes before the stores open.)


Bill: driving the car. Any age.

Billís wife: passenger. Age corresponding to Billís.



Bill: ††††† (Sitting in car) Come on, Honey. We got to go or weíre going to be late. Come on, Come on, come on.

Wife: †† (Getting in car) Weíre no going to be late.

Bill: ††††† Not if you close the door so we can go.

Wife:††† (Closes door) Okay. The doorís closed. (Puts on seatbelt)

Bill:†††††† (Looking back as he backs out of driveway. Stops with a jolt. Shouts.) Okay you kids. Itís a driveway not the Grand Canyon. Just walk on across. And hurry.

Wife:††† Good grief, Bill. They were practically running to get out of your way. (Car backing up again.)

Bill:†††††† (Sarcastic) Iím sorry, Dear, but Iíve seen trees move faster than those kids. (Turns to face forward and shifts into drive.)

Wife:††† Calm down, Bill. Just put it in a bubble. (With hand gestures.) And blow it away. Weíre going to get there in plenty of time.

Bill:†††††† Thereís never plenty of time. (Stops car with a jolt.) Has that stop sign always been there?

Wife: †† Yes, Bill. You just donít usually stop at it. (Bill turns a corner and steps on gas.) Slow down. Thereís kidís playing.

Bill:†††††† Iím only going 35.

Wife:††† Youíre going 40, but the speed limit is 25 in a residential district.

Bill:†††††† This is a neighborhood. This ainít no residential district. (laughs)

Wife:††† How many years have you been waiting to say that?

Bill:†††††† Too many. (Looks at wife.) And it wasnít that funny, was it? (Looks over at her.)

Wife:††† (Jerks head forward and shouts.) Watch that dog!

Bill:†††††† (Jerks forward with arms stiff on steering wheel.) Watch it do what? Itís standing on the curb.

Wife: I thought it was going into the street. I guess it knows you.

Bill: ††††† (Turns a corner and hits the gas.) Okay. Weíre out of the neighborhood. Now we can Go.

Wife:††† The speed limitís 40.

Bill:†††††† The 5 mile over rule. I can do 45.

Wife: †† Except youíre doing 50. And besides, I donít think the police observe the 5 mile over rule.

Bill:†††††† Iíve never been stopped doing 5 miles over the speed limit and Iíve passed plenty of cops.

Wife:††† I know. Thatís why our insurance is so high, even after you went to those three comedy defensive driving courses.

Bill:†††††† You got to admit I told you some pretty funny jokes during those classes.

Wife:††† They werenít that funny for what they cost.

Bill:†††††† It just seemed like a lot because there was so many.

Wife:††† And the insurance still went up.

Bill:†††††† That wasnít because of tickets. That was just because the price of insurance went up. Imagine how high it wouldíve been.

Wife: †† Iíd rather not. Wouldnít it be easier to just drive the speed limit.

Bill: ††††† You know everything goes up. Thatís why Iím putting in so much overtime at work.

Wife:††† I sure wish you could start putting in some overtime at home.

Bill: ††††† Well, maybe if you stopped going grocery shopping at Samís we would have more money.

Wife:††† Iím saving money shopping there.

Bill:†††††† You would if you just bought groceries and not clothes and appliances.

Wife: †† I only buy things we need. The cost of groceries is just high.

Bill:†††††† I donít think other families spend over $300.00 a week on groceries.

Wife: †† Iíve told you before. I onlyÖ

Bill:†††††† (interrupts) All right the toll way. Now we can go. (Slows down and stops. Waits a beat then talks through windshield.) Just throw the money in the basket, buddy. Itís not that hard.

Wife:††† I told you. You ought to get a toll tag.

Bill:†††††† And I told you. Iím not giving out my credit card number for every thief in the world to have access to.

Wife:††† Thatís just ridiculous.

Bill:†††††† Iím not going to argueÖ(Shouts through windshield) Hey! Get back in the car. Canít you read? (points) STAY IN CAR. How do you miss a basket that size from 6 inches away?

Wife:††† Calm down, Bill. Youíre going to have a heart attack.

Bill:†††††† How do I always get in the wrong line? Even at the bank I alwaysÖFinally! He found his quarter. (Pulls up and throws money out the window, then shouts.) See? Thatís how you do it.

Wife:††† Well donít hit him.

Bill:†††††† (Hits his steering wheel) I canít believe this. First he canít find his quarter and now he canít find his gas pedal. (Shouts) Itís the one on the right. (Looks in lane to his left.) Come on people. Letís go. Everybodyís going so slow.

Wife:††† Calm down, Bill. The speed limit is 60.

Bill:†††††† But weíre only doingÖ(Looks at speedometer.) 63. (Beat) But we should be doing 65. You know, theÖ

Wife and Bill in unison: Ö5 mile over rule.

Bill:†††††† (Looks around) Why is it, suddenly, everybody knows the 5 mile over rule? Usually on this highway Iím going 70 and everybodyís running me over.

Wife:††† Slow down, Bill. Youíre too close to that car.

Bill:†††††† (Nods to his left.) This guys trying to get in front of me.

Wife:††† Heís got his blinker on. He just needs over.

Bill:†††††† Not in front of me, heís not.

Wife:††† You werenít in this big of a hurry taking me to the hospital the night Jimmy was born.

Bill:†††††† (Pause) Well, ah. There wasnít near as much traffic that night.

Wife:††† (Looks around) Thereís not that much traffic.

Bill:†††††† (Looks at her) Always the voice of reason, arenít you?

Wife:††† Thatís right. Just put it in a bubble. (Gestures) And blow it away.

Bill:†††††† (Under his breath) Iíd like to put you in a bubble and blow you away.

Wife: †† What did you say?

Bill:†††††† I said itís like a foot in the double and show to the day.

Wife:††† What does that mean?

Bill:†††††† Itís just a poem Iím working on. You know how Iím influenced by Bob Dylan.

Wife:††† What are you talking about? Youíve never written a poem in your life, and you canít stand Bob Dylan.

Bill:††††† See what driving slow does to me? Iím delirious. Anyway I heard he was a Christian. (Becoming occupied with car to his left.)

Wife:††† Who?

Bill:†††††† (Jerking his head from in front to the left.) Bob Dylan.

Wife: †† (Shakes her head as she looks out her window.) Iíll sure be glad when you can quit working those long hours. You came in so late last night †† I havenít even had a chance to ask you, ďHow was your day yesterday?Ē (Bill still occupied with traffic.) Bill?

Bill:†††††† Huh?

Wife:††† I asked how your day was yesterday.

Bill:†††††† AhÖI guess any day you can walk away from is a good day.

Wife:††† (Beat) Thatís rather profound.

Bill:†††††† What?

Wife:††† Are you listening to me?

Bill:†††††† Not now. This guyís messing with me. He moves up just enough like heís

††††††††††† going to let me over. Then he slows down to keep me pinned in.

Wife:††† (Exasperation on face.) Do you think these people are even thinking about you?

Bill:†††††† (Makes a move and switches into left lane like he just scored in a game.) All right. Finally. Now we can go.

Wife:††† This is our exit.

Bill:†††††† (Slows down and changes back into right lane.) I knew that. (Exits, then stops with a jolt and hits steering wheel.) I canít believe that †††††† light turned †††††† red just as I got to it. I think itís a conspiracy against me.

Wife:††† Thatís right, Bill. People havenít got anything better to do than try to make your life miserable. They even set the lights so they turn red †† when they see you coming.

Bill: ††††† (Turns to wife.) You say that like you donít really believe it. (Car behind him honks.)

Wife:††† The lightís green. You can go. (He gives her a look then goes.) How does it feel to have someone honk at you?

Bill:†††††† People honk at me all the time. (Turns a corner.) Here we are. And with time to spare.

Wife: (Looks at her watch.) Plenty of time. The mall doesnít open for †† twenty more minutes.

Bill:†††††† There are 3 other malls in this town. You think any of them are open yet?

Wife: (Sarcastically) They will be by the time we get to them. And if theyíre not we can always come back here. This one will surely be open by then.

Bill:†††††† As long as weíre moving, I donít care. I just canít stand to be sitting still.



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