The Altercation

Published by in Offbeat
21st Sep 2016

DAD: Come on, Honey! You’ve always been attracted to my confidence.

MOM:  You poked fun at my Dad in his face, Sweetheart. That’s not confidence.

DAD: That’s pride, Baby! That’s what makes me the confident man you’ve always been attracted to.

MOM: That’s extreme pride and it is never a good thing. It’s not a good thing among Eskimos, among Africans- it’s not a good thing anywhere!

DAD: And being an alcoholic is not a good thing among Eskimos, either. And among Africans.

MOM: But that is my father. I sympathize with him. He just got divorced.

DAD: And if you keep yelling at me like this, you might end up just like him.

MOM:  Do you feel happy after saying that, Sweetheart?

DAD: Yes, Honey.

MOM: That’s because your thoughts and your feelings are the same. They are empty!

(DAD shakes his head and leaves.)

MOM: That’s right. Just leave when your empty brain has nothing left to say. (leaves)

(CHRIS and CINDY enter.)

CINDY: I’m sick and tired of going home, hearing yells, eavesdropping, waiting by the door till the yells stop.

CHRIS: That’s exactly what David Hume was talking about in the essay OF GREATNESS OF MIND. Our definition of what is good is guided by our innate sympathy, which Mom feels for Grandpa.

CINDY: It’s funny because you’re talking about sympathy but you’re just like Dad, you’re not capable of feeling it. (leaves)

CHRIS: (shakes his head and brings out a book to read.)

(DAD and MOM enter. Chris ignores them and just goes on reading.)

DAD: All I wanted was for him to stop drinking and be a man enough to accept his fate. Besides, you know how much I hate the smell of alcohol in my house.

MOM: This is my house, too, Sweetheart. Did your empty brain forget that you were married with me for 25 years already and (points to Chris) we have a son (points to the wall) and a daughter.

DAD: Exactly, Honey. This is our house. We should both agree who to let in this house and who to refuse. We should refuse any drunk person. Any! That old man needs some discipline.

MOM: For Christ’s sake, he is my father!

DAD: I feel bad for him, Honey. He is (points to Chris) my son’s Grandpa (points to the wall) and my daughter’s Grandpa.

MOM: So, you should accept him no matter what.

DAD: Not when he is reeking of alcohol.

MOM: And you are reeking of machismo!

(DAD and MOM are lost of words. They decided to sit with Chris in the middle, who is still nonchalantly reading.)

CHRIS: I don’t know what to say. Hume does mention about sympathy as our basis for our perception of good actions. However, he does not directly mention about alcoholism and machismo.

(DAD and MOM were not listening. They both stared at the ceiling.)

CHRIS: Is dinner ready yet? I’m starving.

(MOM leaves. DAD follows right away. In the background, they still continue altercating. Chris shakes his head while hearing his parents yelling at the kitchen.)

MOM: I can cook better than you do!

DAD: Our children love my food! We both know that!

MOM: Shut up already, will you?!

DAD: The only person who loves you cooking is your drunk father!

(Chris lip syncs the following dialogues.)

MOM: I will call my lawyer and file a divorce, Sweetheart!

DAD: Tell him to call my lawyer, Honey. My lawyer can expedite our divorce case.