Play #64: Ida Winesap

The play is set in an ornate ballroom somewhere in Europe, sometime in the late nineteenth century.  The vast mirrored room is swarming with glittering men and floral women.  An orchestra is playing madly.  Two young men—Lionel Watchmore and Colonel William Fitzpowder—are standing together, watching a particularly comely young woman being whirled through the room by a dashing but nameless Prussian army officer.

Watchmore:  Who is she?

Fitzpowder:  I don’t know.  She is ravishing.  A branch of wisteria!  A puff of talcum powder!

Watchmore:  A ripe fig.  A pine cone!  A pinprick!

[The Prussian officer waltzes the young woman past the two admiring men.  They call out to her in anguish as she floats by]

Watchmore and Fitzpowder in unison:  Speak to us, Pretty Matchbox!!

[The couple pause, stop dancing, and walk over to Watchmore and Fitzpowder]

Nameless Prussian Officer:  Did you hail us, sparkling but probably callow gentlemen?

Watchmore:  Assuredly we did, young ramrod!  We wish to relieve you, temporarily, of the Living Corsage you have been so determinedly steering round the floor.

Nameless Prussian Officer:  I take it you are referring to Miss Winesap here? Miss Ida Winesap?

Fitzpowder:  Evidently so.

Nameless Prussian Officer:  Well, you glossy swells, I hate to be the bearer of disappointing tidings, but you see Miss Winesap here, is not real.

Watchmore (astounded): Not real??

Nameless Prusssian Officer:  That’s right.  I built her myself!  [he turns to Miss Winesap]  Say good evening, Pretty Pelt!   [he pulls the pretty figure forward and, by placing his hand at the back of her neck,  causes her to nod her head stiffly]

Watchmore and Fitzpowder (even more astounded): Extraordinary!

Nameless Prussian Officer (coolly):  Oh not so very.  Not when you know how.

Fitzpowder (admiringly):  You must know a lot about girls?

Nameless Prussian Officer (modestly):  Just how to build them.

Watchmore (shyly):  Where can we get one?

Nameless Prussian Officer (heartily): Nothing could be easier!  I not only make them, I sell them!  I am a wealthy landowner, you see, and my wealthy landholdings are greatly given over to apple orchards.  Consequently I manufacture apple products—apple juice, cider, applesauce, that sort of thing.

Fitzpowder (intrigued):  But the beautiful Miss Winesap?

Nameless Prussian Officer (cooly):  She is also an apple.

Fitzpowder and Watchmore (astounded):  An apple?

Nameless Prussian Officer: Well, an apple doll.  She’s an apple doll.

Watchmore (impressed):  She’s an awfully big one!

Nameless Prussian Office (offhandedly): Well, the winters are long.

Fitzpowder (eager):  How can we buy one?  I mean her.  I mean one.

Nameless Prussian Officer:  Meet me in the foyer later.
[turns gallantly to the so cunningly fabricated Miss  Winesap]  Bid the two gentlemen good night, dear sack of gold dust! 

[he reaches behind her head and causes it to nod again on its bright milky shoulders.  He then adopts a flute-y falsetto voice and, speaking as Miss Winesap, addresses the two eager purchasers]:  I bid you goodnight, needful gallants!

Watchmore and Fitzpowder in unison (turning to Miss Winesap):  Goodnight, fair parcel!