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Exercise # 197 - Saying No & Not Saying No (Pt. 2)

Exercise # 197 - Saying No & Not Saying No (Pt. 2)

This is Part II of a dialogue/ character exercise (if you haven't done Part I, not to worry.) Imagine a very pushy mother who is telephoning other parents with children at her child's school to get them to help with a special project that she alone has decided is of utmost importance. Some are better at saying no than others. In today's exercise, write the dialogue for the telephone conversation between Pushy Mother and a parent who not only refuses to help out, but by sheer force of will and charisma manages to talk the pushy mother into doing something no one else could possibly convince her to do.

Hmm... This one is going to be tricky...

1,2,3, GO!!
Pushy Mother is still Lucy Carver, just like the last exercise.
The new, steelier parent in this exercise is Charlotte Dover.

CD: [answering the phone] Hello?

LC: Charlotte! Sweetie! It's Lucy Carver. How are you?

CD: I'm doing well, thanks. How are you? How's Rob?

LC: Oh, he's fine. Busy as always what with the private practice and all... How is your husband?

CD: Mike is doing well. He has to go out of town next month for a client, but it shouldn't be too bad.

LC: Listen, I've got something that I want to run by you. The kids' teacher - Mr. Leonard - and I were talking at the grocery store a little while ago, and he mentioned that they were putting together a little soiree before the Homecoming game but were having a difficult time getting parent volunteers for food prep, chaperoning, and so on. I offered to spearhead the search for those most suited for the job. Of course, I immediately thought of you and called you the first moment I could. So what do you think? It's going to be Friday, October 18th, probably around 5pm.

CD: I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make that. I have work until 6, and usually on Fridays it goes a little later than that.

LC: Well, what about Mike?

CD: I have no idea what his schedule is like next month. I can't even guarantee that he'll be in town.

LC: Neither of you could plan it into your schedules? It's over a month away.

CD: Not really. The fall is a very busy time for my company, and Mike's schedule is set months in advance. As far as catering goes, I can check with my company to see if we have any good local, cheap caterers if you'd like.

LC: Unfortunately, there isn't much of a budget.

CD: You'd be surprised at some of the discounts I can get.

LC: Even then, we'd have to pay some of it out of our own pockets. Perhaps I should have said that the budget is nonexistent.

CD: I'm sure you'd be able to scrounge up a small amount from somewhere. Plus, we want the best for our kids, don't we? Let me look around and get some rates, and I'll get back with you, ok?

LC: I - I don't see how it would hurt to look around, but I'm telling you that we don't have very much to pay.

CD: Oh, we'll be fine. I'll call you back later this week, ok?

LC: That'll be fine. Talk to you later.

CD: Bye!

------ END ------

Meh... I sat at my computer for nearly 15 minutes trying to think of something, anything, that Lucy wouldn't have done... I feel like my choice was ok, but given some more time I'm sure I  could have come up with something a bit better.

How about you? Did you come up with anything? Post in the comments section!



Kevin said…
Riffing off of your work!



"Dover here."

"Charlotte, it's Lucy Carver. How are you?"

"Lucy! What a surprise to hear from you. I never thought you'd call. What's the occasion?"

"Well, sorry to bother you at work, honey, but I wanted to ask you for help. We're putting together a little party for the kids before the homecoming game next month. Not much, just to honor the coach and the players. We'll need some food and music, and I'm working to rustle up some volunteers to help out. I know your son plans to be there, and after the kerfuffle earlier this year I just KNEW you'd want to pitch in. But no need to talk about that. What can I put you down for?"



"Lucy, I can't believe you'd be that cruel. Or stupid? Which is it?"

"Sorry, what?"

"Lucy, do you have no idea what you're asking?"

"I don't--"

"It was two months ago that my son got pulled over after the first game. Your daughter was in the car, Lucy. They'd both been drinking, yes, but he's the one who lost his license, lost his scholarships, and got tossed off the team. And you have the nerve to ask me to help with your party?"

"Well, I wasn't going to say anything. But considering where that alcohol came from, I certainly thought that you might--"

"Wait. Lucy, where precisely do you think those kids got the alcohol?"

"Charlotte, I'm sure I don't know, but I--"

"No. You think my son stole it from us and then got your daughter drunk, don't you?"

"Well, no I... Yes. Yes, Charlotte, that's exactly what I think. Frankly, after that demonstration of bad parenting from you and Mike I thought it's exactly why you'd want to help."

"Lucy, your daughter lied to you. They got that alcohol from the coach."

"They... they what?"

"My son told us, and made us swear not to talk to anyone about it, but you deserve to know. Coach Pearson bought them that vodka. The longer I keep my silence the angrier I get. Lucy, my stupid damn son could have died that night. You daughter could have died. And now you want to honor the man who would have killed them."

"Oh my God, Charlotte, I don't even know what to say."

"Lucy, you know what? This is our chance. Are you okay with what he did? What he's probably doing for those other teenagers, just to buy their affection and loyalty?"

"Well, no! I'm going to get off this phone and have such a talk with..."

"No, Lucy. No. We need to confront him, but we need to do it right. The blame needs to fall on the right person. Are you with me on this? For the two of us? For this town, for the team, for our kids?"

"I am!"

"Then here's what we'll do. We'll throw this little party of yours, but we'll make it an intervention. At the party we'll tell the coach we know what he's been doing, we'll confront him, and there before the eyes of God and every one one of those poor kids he's going to have to admit the truth and apologize. And that'll stop it, Lucy, that'll stop it."

"But Charlotte, I'm not sure that--"

"No, no, Lucy. It's okay. You're going to be magnificent at this. Go ahead and get your volunteers, throw the party, and and we'll solve this once and for all. The kids might be a little embarrassed, but it's in everyone's best interest. Oh, hon, other line. I have to go. I'll see you then."

"But Charlotte..."


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