Shirley Shelby’s Schnauzer

by Jerry Davis and Mary Lou Moran

CHARACTERS:
SERGEANT THURSDAY: A veteran police officer
SHIRLEY SHELBY: The victim, a housewife and dog lover

TIME: The Present

SCENE: The front door of the Shelby home

THURSDAY: (to audience) This is the city—a whole bunch of people who usually behave badly, but not in a criminal manner. Today, one crossed the line into crime. They called me. My name’s Thursday. Sergeant Thursday. I'm a cop. Captain Sunday came into my office on Tuesday and said, “Thursday, we got a call on Monday from a Shirley Shelby to report the suspicion of a robbery on Saturday.” I went directly to the complainant’s home. A woman answered the door.

(Shirley Shelby enters)

THURSDAY: Good afternoon, Ma’am, I’m Sergeant Thursday.

SHIRLEY: You certainly don’t seem to be a sergeant. Are you really a Sergeant?

THURSDAY: I’ll show my shield.

SHIRLEY: Sure seems to be satisfactory.

THURSDAY: What’s your name?

SHIRLEY: I’m Shirley Shelby, that’s me.

THURSDAY: And do you live here at this location?

SHIRLEY: Assuredly so. I settled at sixty-six Circus Circle some seventeen years ago.

THURSDAY: Yes, Ma’am, I see. And what seems to be the problem after seventeen years at sixty-six Circus Circle on such a sunny day?

SHIRLEY: Someone swiped my Schnauzer.

THURSDAY: Someone swiped your Schnauzer?

SHIRLEY: Surely. Someone swiped my Schnauzer.

THURSDAY: When did you see your Schnauzer had been swiped?

SHIRLEY: I saw my Schnauzer Saturday.

THURSDAY: You haven’t seen your Schnauzer since Saturday?

SHIRLEY: Since six Saturday.

THURSDAY: Uh-huh. What’s your Schnauzer’s name?

SHIRLEY: Sir Sagramore Snappy Schnauzer.

THURSDAY: I see.

SHIRLEY: That’s his pedigree name. That’s not what we call him.

THURSDAY: What do you call him?

SHIRLEY: Saggy.

THURSDAY: Saggy?

SHIRLEY: Saggy.

THURSDAY: Is he?

SHIRLEY: Is he what?

THURSDAY: Saggy.

SHIRLEY: Somewhat.

THURSDAY: Does he like the name Saggy?

SHIRLEY: Surely.

THURSDAY: So, do you have any sense about who might have swiped Saggy?

SHIRLEY: I have suspicions.

THURSDAY: I see.

SHIRLEY: There’s this saleswoman who used to come by and visit him when she lived down the block. She petted him a lot.

THURSDAY: And what’s this saleswoman’s name?

SHIRLEY: Charlene Shipley.

THURSDAY: And does Charlene Shipley still live here on Circus Circle?

SHIRLEY: No, she slipped away six months ago.

THURSDAY: Uh-huh. And do you know where she lives now?

SHIRLEY: I think she lives over on Chartreuse Street. Seventeen, I think it is.

THURSDAY: Charlene Shipley from Seventeen Chartreuse Street.

SHIRLEY: Certainly.

THURSDAY: Has she been circling this circle suspiciously?

SHIRLEY: I’m not certain. I think I saw her automobile in the neighborhood.

THURSDAY: I see. What kind of car does she drive?

SHIRLEY: A silver Chevy sedan.

THURSDAY: Are you sure Charlene Shipley from seventeen Chartreuse Street has a silver Chevy sedan to drive around Circus Circle?

SHIRLEY: Certainly.

THURSDAY: What makes you think Charlene Shipley swipes Schnauzers?

SHIRLEY: She already has two dogs, I don’t know where she got them.

THURSDAY: Are both her dogs Schnauzers?

SHIRLEY: No, she has one Shih Tzu and one Shar Pei.

THURSDAY: So you think she wants to add a Schnauzer to her Shih Tzu and Shar Pei?

SHIRLEY: Sure. She’s sneaky.

THURSDAY: So, did you actually see Charlene Shipley with her Shih Tzu and Shar Pei from seventeen Chartreuse Street circling sixty-six Circus Circle in her silver Chevy sedan?

SHIRLEY: I thought so. There might have been a Shetland Sheepdog, too.

THURSDAY: Just the facts, Ma’am. Where do you think Charlene Shipley took Saggy Schnauzer in her silver Chevy sedan?

SHIRLEY: I think she goes to a summer spa in Silver City in her silver Chevy sedan.

THURSDAY: So, you think Charlene Shipley took Saggy Schnauzer with her Shih Tzu and Shar Pei and maybe a Shetland Sheepdog from seventeen Chartreuse Street to a summer spa in Silver City in her silver Chevy sedan?

SHIRLEY: Surely. And you know what?

THURSDAY: What’s that?

SHIRLEY: If Charlene Shipley took Saggy Schnauzer with her Shih Tzu and Shar Pei and maybe a Shetland Sheepdog from seventeen Chartreuse Street to a summer spa in Silver City in her silver Chevy sedan. . .

THURSDAY: Yes?

SHIRLEY: I’ll slap her silly!

NOTE: This short play for Readers’ Theater originally appeared in Skits and Plays for Clubs and Organizations, Collection #1, published by UpStageLeft Press.

PERFORMANCE: We ask you to buy a copy of the book in lieu of performance royalties. The book is available from Amazon, B&N, Books-A Million, and any bookstore. Please play fair with the authors. Thanks.

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Jerry Davis

Board President for the Assoc. of Senior Arts Programs, which encourages seniors attendance at and participation in the arts, and Co-Director of Carousel Theater, which performs Readers’ Theater. He's served on the boards of several community theater groups and has directed and acted in many shows. He was a founder and Charter President of the Arkansas Community Theater Assoc. and the only Arkansan to receive the Spotlight Award for service to community theater from the American Assoc. of Community Theater. He is a past President of the Village Writers’ Club where he's directed several plays.

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