Freddy Dalrymple’s Big Makeover by Hal Parrott


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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author’s PRIOR consent

 

ACT ONE

      Scene 1

      The scene opens in the nicely furnished apartment of FREDDY DALRYMPLE.
      There is a sofa with end table and a comfortable armchair.  The sofa
      is positioned mid-stage, facing the audience.  The chair is stage left
      at a ninety degree angle to the sofa forming an “L” seating arrangement

      After a few seconds of lights coming up, FREDDY enters talking on his cell phone

                          FREDDY
      No, no, no!  How many ways must I explain this to you?  I would have
      believed our alumni office would be populated by persons who were not
      dunces.  Could you not find work in the Yale custodial department?
      Are you the slow-witted legacy of some industrial titan?  Please
      attempt to concentrate as I furnish you my answer once again.  Catch
      your breath and take your little pencil out.  Now write, Mr. Freddy
      Dalrymple is a senior partner, and investment and annuities counselor
      with The Senior Annuity Insurance Company.  Mr. Dalrymple has been
      recognized as an industry leader in annuity management and selection.
      His clients represent a golden-years spectrum of discerning
      individuals with large portfolios, and responsibly aggressive tax strategies.
          (Pause)
      Now, read that back.
      (Pause)
      No, not golden ears, you moron!  Had I known that buying a
      professional services ad in our alumni magazine would be such a chore,
      I would have never asked my mother for the money.  I have a meeting
      starting any moment, and I can’t waste more time with you.  Email a
      proof, if you are allowed to use a computer.
          (Disconnects the call by angrily pushing a button on his cell
      phone.)
      Doorbell rings.  FREDDY takes a deep breath and then moves quickly
      across his living room to answer the door. WILLIAM REYNOLDS enters and
      then turns to introduce the INSURANCE COMMISSIONER and his assistant,
      CRUKSHANK who enter behind him.

      WILLIAM
          (Extends an arm in a welcoming gesture to the INSURANCE
      COMMISSIONER.)
      Sir, may I introduce FREDDY DALRYMPLE of our office.
                          FREDDY
          (Reaches forward to shake the INSURANCE COMMISSIONER’S hand.)
                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
          (Ignores FREDDY’S outstretched hand.)
      So you’re Freddy Dalrymple.

                          FREDDY
          (Slowly retrieves his outstretched hand.)
      Why, yes.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      My office has learned a lot about you, Mr. Freddy Dalyrmple.

                          FREDDY
      Oh?

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Oh, yes.
      (Walks into FREDDY’S apartment with his hands behind his back.
      Turns and looks closely at FREDDY.)
      You’re quite the operator, aren’t you?

      FREDDY
      I’m sure I don’t understand.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Oh really?  You don’t understand why I’m here?  You don’t
      understand why the insurance commissioner of the state of New York is
      paying you a personal visit?

                          FREDDY
      Well, William here has told me that there is some misunderstanding
      about a few of the annuities I have sold.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      A few of the annuities?  Crukshank, give me that file.

                          CRUKSHANK
      (Rushes across the room and pulls a file folder thick with paper from
      his briefcase.  He hands the folder to the COMMISSIONER.)
      Here you are, sir.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Does this look like a few annuities, Dalrymple?  Do you think I would
      leave my office in Albany if it were just a few annuities?

                          FREDDY
      I must admit, you do seem exercised.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Oh, I’m exercised alright!  I’m so exercised I’m considering
      having you locked up.

      (Holds pages aloft for all to see)

      These sales, and resultant complaints are the very thing that give our
      industry a bad reputation.  To sell twenty year annuities to people
      in their nineties is reprehensible.  I have over a dozen complaints
      about you, Mr. Freddy Dalrymple.  And I think I know what I’m going
      to do about them.

      WILLIAM
          (Steps forward.)
      Sir, please.  Freddy here knows he behaved improperly.  But he has a
      successful, ten year career behind him.  I hope you will act
      charitably toward us.  Why, he’s been our best producer.  And you
      know how important that is to a small agency like ours.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Your small agency has probably bilked hundreds of old people over
      Freddy’s last ten years.  You’ve made many thousands from his
      efforts.  Is that what you deem a success?
      (Holds up his hand.)
      Don’t answer that.  I know you’d just lie.

      WILLIAM
      I know this looks terrible.  And I agree that Freddy here may have
      been a bit zealous.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Zealous, huh?

      WILLIAM
      I’m afraid this looks as though he was only thinking of our little
      agency.  But Freddy really had the best interests of his clients at
      heart.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      You’re not going to stick with that are you?

      WILLIAM
      Sir, Freddy’s always maintained a real respect for the people he works
      with.  Why, what kind of person would demean a client by suggesting
      they may be too old to participate in an investment opportunity?

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      I believe I’m going to pick up the phone now, and call the Attorney
      General of the State of New York.  I am excited by the prospect of
      you and Freddy here getting to know him and his co-workers.

      WILLIAM
      Please.  Isn’t there something we can do?  That Freddy can do?
      Make restitution?  Apologize?

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      (Looks back at CRUKSHANK before speaking.)
      I don’t think either of you are redeemable.  I think I would like to
      punish you.  Not rehabilitate you.

      WILLIAM
      I know we’d respond to rehabilitation.  Right, Freddy?

      FREDDY
      (Stands)
      May I just say that I never intended to hurt anyone.  That my
      intentions have always been honorable.  To suggest that I somehow
      took advantage of my clients is a real trampling of the truth.  And
      that if your office feels that I could somehow be held to account for
      being of service, then I would have no choice but to assume the role
      of yet another victim of a bureaucracy run amuck.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      You know, Freddy, I’m really going to enjoy this. I’m going to make
      something of an example of you.  You are going to do the things I
      tell you to do.  And while you’re accomplishing these tasks, I’ll
      suspend your insurance license.  And that of your agency, Mr.
      Reynolds.  Neither Freddy here, or your insurance company can write
      one piece of business until Freddy completes his penance.  And when
      he fails to follow up successfully, I will personally call the
      Attorney General.  And then you will find yourselves in a different kind of
      dilemma.  You will be prosecuted as criminals.  And this office will
      offer every assistance to the prosecution team.

      WILLIAM
      But how will we survive?  We are being deprived of our livelihood.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Yes, I know.  And you have every right to contact an attorney and
      plead your case in a court of law.  But please remember, that unless
      you accept the terms I’m giving you, you’ll be in civil and criminal
      court.

      FREDDY
      Quit sniveling, William.  You can always work for your father.  I’m
      the one who will really suffer here.  I’ll have to live off my mother.

      (Sinks heavily into his chair.)

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Now gentlemen, I believe Mr. Dalrymple here will be unable to make
      redress for his misdeeds.  But, in the unlikely event he satisfies me
      with the completion of these assignments, you can both return to your
      profession of choice.  But it will be a return carefully observed.
      Your business practices will always be an area of personal interest
      for this office.

      WILLIAM
      Commissioner, on behalf of Mr. Dalrymple and myself, let me express my
      heartfelt appreciation for your kindness.  I know we won’t let you
      down.  We’ll get this rehab program for Freddy going, and be back in
      your office with a report.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      As to that.  We’ll have none of your reports.  We’ll have Freddy
      here supervised and monitored.  I’ll receive my own reports.
      Gentlemen, this is Mr. Crukshank of my office.  He comes to us today
      with our instructions for Freddy.  He will be the person monitoring
      Freddy’s progress and adherence to the demands of this office.  He is
      instructed to notify me the moment Freddy slips, or in any manner
      fails in his assignments.

      CRUKSHANK
      (Opens the folder and begins to read.)
      Mr. Freddy Dalrymple agrees to complete the following:  He will
      attend Conmen Anonymous meetings where he will actively participate in
      each discussion.  He will attend six of these meetings and provide a
      video and written record of attendance to this office. Cell phone
      video of Mr. Dalrymple’s presence is acceptable as long as these
      video images contain time stamps.  He will make financial restitution
      to clients selected by this office as victims of Mr. Dalrymple’s
      avarice.  He will also apologize to these clients.  If these clients
      refuse to accept this apology, the terms of Mr. Dalrymple’s
      reinstatement become voided.  Mr. Dalrymple further agrees to provide
      a public service announcement recorded by this office which will warn
      residents of the state of New York to avoid insurance schemes which
      provide benefit to the insurance company and not the client.

      FREDDY
      (Leaps to his feet.)
      This is outrageous.  This is America.  Even in New York.  You can’t
      possibly expect me to allow this violation of my personal life.  And
      to act the shill for this office.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
          (Steps closer to Freddy and points his finger in Freddy’s chest.)
      I expect nothing from you, Freddy.  I expect to have you up on
      charges.  I expect the Attorney General will convene a grand jury for
      you and your friend here.  I expect both of you will go to prison.

      WILLIAM
      (Grabs FREDDY by the arm.)
      For god’s sake, Freddy.  Sit down and shut up.
      (Turns to the commissioner.)
      He doesn’t mean it.  He’ll do it.  He’ll be glad to do it.

      (FREDDY is pulled back into the chair by WILLIAM where he reluctantly
      sits)

      CRUKSHANK
      And finally, Mr. Dalrymple will appear in the office of the Insurance
      Commissioner and provide a written and verbal statement requesting
      reinstatement of his insurance license.  It is understood by all
      parties that although Mr. Dalrymple may complete all of the above
      requirements successfully, he may be denied reinstatement if the
      office of the commissioner believes satisfactory rehabilitation has
      not occurred.  In this event, the agreement for reinstatement will be
      voided, and the matter of Mr. Dalrymple and the Senior Annuity
      Insurance Company will be forwarded to the Attorney General of this
      state.

      FREDDY
      This is outrageous.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      I know.  Goodbye, gentlemen.  Mr. Crukshank will be in touch.

      CRUKSHANK
      See you soon, Dalrymple.

      (INSURANCE COMMISSIONER and CRUKSHANK begin to exit with CRUKSHANK
      holding the door for the COMMISSIONER.  They are stopped by an outburst from FREDDY.)

      FREDDY
          (Standing)
      We’ll see about this.  My family keeps the law firm of Rodney, McFitz
      on retainer.  We’ll see if this high handed, dictatorial treatment
      can still exist in this country.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      Okay, Dalrymple. Might as well get the legal machinery moving.  I
      didn’t think you’d be able to satisfy us. I’ll be seeing you.
      (Turns away but is halted by WILLIAM.)

      WILLIAM
      (Steps toward the COMMISSIONER and CRUKSHANK.)
      Gentlemen, please.  You have been very kind in making this offer.
      Freddy is too temperamental. We will not let him waste this
      opportunity through his petulance. I know we can help him make the
      very best kind of effort here.
      (Assumes a semblance of a military position of attention.)
      The Senior Annuity Insurance Company will stay right with him to help
      him on his path to forgiveness.

      INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
      I don’t think you can turn this bloated, blowhard into anyone
      remotely practicing penitent behavior.  This will most likely be the
      end of the Senior Annuity Insurance Company.

      (Exits stage right by opening the door and moving quickly through.  He
      is followed by CRUKSHANK who stops briefly to glare at WILLIAM and
      then exits, slamming the door.)

      WILLIAM
      Well, Freddy, that went terribly.
      (Walks cross the living room and collapses into on the sofa.)
      This may signal the end of years of work.  You may have
      single-handedly destroyed the venerable, twelve year old Senior
      Annuity Insurance Company.

      FREDDY
      Oh really?  I brought this on, did I?  Where was all of your concern
      and contrition when I was bringing in over a million dollars a year in
      business?  You didn’t seem so contrite then.  And since when is it
      against the law to sell an annuity?  Even to old people?
      (Begins pacing, then stops and stands pensively.)
      I smell a rat.
                      Lights go down ending scene.
      Scene 2

      Lights come up on INSURANCE COMMISSIONER and CRUKSHANK.  Only they
      are visible on stage.  It is not clear where they are physically
      located.  It could be just outside FREDDY’S door.

                          INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
          (Points his finger in CRUKSHANK’S chest.)
      If that loud-mouth crook, Freddy Dalrymple, gives you any trouble.
      And I mean any trouble at all, you are to terminate your efforts.
      Allow him no slack.  And pull the plug the moment he refuses to do
      something.  There’s too much at stake here to allow him to
      successfully complete his rehabilitation.

      CRUKSHANK
      Okay, I think the first thing we’ll do is get him to a Conmen
      Anonymous session.  He’s such a pompous ass, they’ll really hate
      him.  He shouldn’t last long.

                      Lights go down, ending scene

[End of Extract]


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