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Adam vs Eve

A Play In One Act Before The Advent Of Divorce Court

by Don Millard

Image result for images of adam and eve

Note: I wrote this little play in my dorm room one evening in my first few weeks as a Freshman at Keene State College, in Keene, New Hampshire. It was published a year later in our literary magazine THE AURORA, the semester before I left Keene State to go vagabonding around Europe with a friend. It was a thrill to see it in print!

Day: The curtain rises on Adam and Eve, a well-known couple. They are standing in their front yard, not far from the entrance of their humble home, which sits on a hill, to the east of Eden. The first man on Earth seems to be troubled by something.

EVE. What’s the matter?

ADAM. Do you think I named them well?

EVE. Named what well, Adam?

ADAM. The animals.

EVE. Not that again.

ADAM. Yes, Eve, that again. I only have one more to go.

EVE. Which one is that?

ADAM. I can’t tell you until I name it.

EVE. Can’t we talk about the weather or something?

ADAM. No, Eve, we cannot. You know what I always say: Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

EVE. (not paying attention) I’m hungry.

ADAM. Not that again.

EVE. That’s right, I’m hungry. You know what I always say: Woman cannot live on bread alone.

ADAM. (to himself) Are you curious again, too?

EVE. (curious) What did you say, Adam?

ADAM. I didn’t say anything, Eve… Forget it.

EVE. No! Tell me every word you said, Adam. And don’t lie to me!

ADAM. Really, I didn’t say anything, Eve… Can’t we talk about the weather or something?

EVE. Tell me exactly what you said, Adam. The truth this time!

ADAM. All right, Eve. I’ll tell you…

EVE. I’m waiting.

ADAM. I just said, are you sure? That’s all. I was referring to your incredible appetite. It was just a rib.

EVE. Is that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but?

ADAM. Yes, so help me, God.

EVE. That’s better… You better not be pulling my leg.

ADAM. (looking at EVE’S legs) Pulling your… I don’t…

EVE. Oh, it’s just an expression. I made it up. Now, you didn’t lie to me, right?

ADAM. No, Goddamnit!

A flash of thunder and lightning lights the stage.

EVE. Adam, how many times have I told you not to use that kind of language–especially with the kids around?

ADAM. I’m sorry, Eve. It won’t happen again.

EVE. It better not, Adam, dear–or you know what I’ll do.

ADAM. I know, I know–I’ll have to cook my own meals.

EVE. Haven’t you left something out?

ADAM. What? Oh, THAT… You wouldn’t do a thing like that, would you?

EVE. (frigidly) You know the answer.

ADAM. Okay, okay. I promise not to ever swear again–especially with the kids around… By the way, where are Cain and Abel?

EVE. They’re out playing. I told them to be back by dinner. By the way, I’m hungry.

ADAM. You’re always hungry.

EVE. Well?

ADAM. Okay, okay. I’ll get us something to eat if you stop nagging me.

EVE. Remember what I said, Adam.

ADAM. (leaving for the hunt) Yeah, I’ll remember… (mumbling) Don’t eat any more apples while I’m gone… God, that damn Woman is impossible!

Exit Adam. Thunder is heard again.

EVE. (yelling to the East) Caine! Abel! Time to wash up for dinner!

CAINE & ABEL. (offstage) C’mon, Ma! Can’t we stay out a little longer?

EVE. (louder) No! Come here this instant, you two!

CAINE. (still offstage) But, Ma! We heard Daddy swearing! Dinner can’t be ready yet.

EVE. You heard your Mother. C’mon, you two! Caine, I need to talk to you later about your behavior–it’s really getting out of hand.

Scene II

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, ADAM is hunting.

ADAM. (mimicking EVE) How many times have I told you… to stop this, to stop that. Eve the nag, always the moralist. Look who’s talking! She’s no goodie-two-shoes herself! God, why did you have to make her?

Suddenly there is a deep voice from above. HE is a monotone.

GOD. Why Adam, my son, you seemed quite happy with Eve before. Yes, I remember it well… Didn’t you thank me over and over for creating her many a night?

ADAM. (ashamed) Yes, Lord, I did.

GOD. Then you should be thankful, Adam. My son, this world I created cannot always be a bowl of cherries. You must take the bad with the good. Believe me, Adam, things could be a lot worse–I’m in a position to know.

ADAM. Yes, I know, Lord. You’re right.

GOD. I’m always right. Try to remember that.

ADAM. If Eve upsets me, I’ll recall your wisdom… But couldn’t you do something about her nagging?

GOD. It’s all or nothing.

ADAM. Very well, Lord. I’ll be patient with her.

GOD. That’s a good boy.

ADAM. I really have to get back to my hunting…

GOD. Very well, Adam. Happy hunting.

(ADAM starts to leave for the hunt.)

GOD. Adam?

ADAM. Yes?

GOD. I almost forgot: try not to swear any more.

ADAM. As you wish, Lord.

Scene III

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, CAINE & ABEL are napping. EVE is pacing back and forth in their front yard.

EVE. (mimicking ADAM) Do you think I named them well? Ugh! That Goddamn Adam is always complaining about something!

Thunder is heard.

EVE. No, it better not rain tonight. I’ve had quite enough already, thank you.

It begins to rain.

EVE. Great! Now my hair will be ruined! I’m sick of it! God, why did you have to make Adam?

There is a deep voice from above. HE is a monotone.

GOD. Why, Eve, my daughter, weren’t you singing my praises for creating Adam only a few nights ago?

EVE. (ashamed) Yes, Lord, I was.

GOD. Then you have nothing to complain about. Eve, in this world I created things cannot always be peachy. You must take the bad with the good. Trust me, my daughter, things could be a lot worse.

EVE. Yes, I guess you’re right.

GOD. I’m always right–I’m God. Try not to forget that.

EVE. I won’t forget it, Lord. If Adam makes me mad by doing something stupid–like thinking he’s superior–or not providing or not–

GOD. Eve…

EVE. I’m sorry. I’ll think of your wise words if something happens… But, Lord, couldn’t you at least improve his hunting ability?

GOD. It’s all or nothing.

EVE. All right, Lord. I’ll keep that in mind. I might still change it, though–that’s my prerogative.

GOD. Eve, do not complain about the rain. Trust me, I’ve seen worse.

EVE. Yes, Lord… I think I hear Abel crying…

GOD. It’s Caine… Oh, I almost forgot, one more thing, Eve…

EVE. What is it?

GOD. Try not to nag Adam too much.

EVE. But–

GOD. (fatherly) Eve…

EVE. All right, Lord.

(EVE goes inside the house to stop CAINE from crying. As she is doing this, ADAM arrives dejectedly.)

EVE. Never mind, Caine–it was just a nightmare–you didn’t kill your brother… Wait, I think your father is here with dinner. Out of bed, you two!

(The two boys start to get up as EVE goes to the entrance.)

EVE. (seeing ADAM’S unburdened shoulders) What the hell do you call this?

Thunder is heard and lightning illuminates the stage

EVE. Well, what do you have to say for yourself, Adam–whatever your last name is? I’m waiting!

(CAINE & ABEL come running into the room.)

ABEL. Ma, Caine took my super rock!

CAINE. Did not!

ABEL. Did too!

CAINE. Did not!

EVE. Everyone shut-up, Goddamnit!

More thunder and lightning strike very close to the house.

EVE. Now, I’ve had enough aggravation for one day! I don’t care who took what–I’m hungry!

CAINE & ABEL. So are we!

EVE. Quiet! I’ll have your Father find you another super rock tomorrow… That is, if he’s up to it.

CAINE & ABEL. What’s for dinner? We’re starving!

EVE. A bowl of nothing.

CAINE & ABEL. We’ve never had before.

ADAM. Cool it, everyone! I’m the head of this household. We’ll have to have leftovers.

EVE & CAINE & ABEL: UGH!

(CAINE & ABEL run into their room)

ADAM. (complaining) Oh, Eve, why did you have to eat that apple? Things were so much better before Original Sin.

EVE. (nagging) I don’t want to talk about it, Adam. Why don’t you go out and get your family something to eat like a real Man?

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. A very distinctive knock.

EVE. Now who in the Hell could that be?

ADAM. It can’t be the neighbors.

EVE. Well, just don’t stand there, Adam–answer the door.

(ADAM goes to the door and opens it. On the ground before him is a rather large red package with a note attached to it.)

EVE. Well, what is it?

ADAM. A bo of some kind.

EVE. Let’s see it!

(ADAM brings the package into the room and onto the table.)

ADAM. There’s a card with it.

EVE. Forget the card. Open the box!

ADAM. Very well, Eve, you do it. You’re the one who usually opens up a can of worms around here, anyway…

(EVE opens the package zealously and throws the card on the floor.)

EVE. It’s food! Meat!

(CAINE & ABEL, who’ve been listening, now run out to see what’s happening.)

ADAM. Are you pulling my leg, Eve?

EVE. What?

ADAM. It’s just an expression. You made it up, remember? My God, it is meat! It’s a miracle!

Scene IV

EVE has cooked the meat and the table is set for everyone except ADAM. The unhappy hunter picks up the card from the floor and reads it.

ADAM. It’s from God, Eve!

EVE. (with food in her mouth) Who?

ADAM. I said it was from God, our Lord–our Creator–our Father–our Hunter.

EVE. Oh, that’s nice… Caine, how many times do I have to tell you to eat with your hands?

ADAM. Eve, don’t you want to know what God wrote?

EVE. Sure, go ahead.

ADAM. (clearing his throat) Dear Adam & Eve & Family: I just thought I’d send you a gift for your troubles. I told both of you (ADAM & EVE look at each other) that things could always be worse. You see, I wasn’t pulling your leg. I hope you can read my handwriting–I fear others in the future may have trouble–but I think it’ perfect. I also hope my note didn’t get too dirty when Eve threw it on the floor. Please enjoy your meal… Now I don’t want to end on a sour note, but since I am a rather conservative God, don’t expect handouts all the time. Lastly, judging from the results of my advice to you two, Ten Commandments won’t go over well, either. Eve, let your husband have a bite to eat–almost no one is perfect.

Yours Truly,

GOD

P.S. You named them well, Adam–for a human.

(EVE invites ADAM to sit down and eat.)

EVE. Oh, wasn’t that nice of him.

The first family enjoys a sumptuous repast as the sun goes down and the curtain falls.

FINIS

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