See Dick and Jane Grow Up
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Youngest Daughter is learning to read, and has been practicing on the old standard, Dick and Jane, the same stories that taught me to read. I had lost track of the brother and sister literary team after first grade, so I decided to look them up.
I found them living together in a nice house in Dayton, Ohio. I rang the doorbell, and an all-grown-up Jane opened the door.
"Look, Dick, look. We have a guest. Who has come to visit us?" she called.
Dick came to the door. "Look, Jane. It is Erik. Erik is our guest."
"Please, come in. Come in to the house," said Jane.
We sat down in the living room, and I caught up with the elementary duo. Here's a transcript of that interview.
Question: The last time I saw you, I was six. Now my own six-year-old is learning to read with your books. How old are you?
Jane: I am 50. Dick is 52. We are in our fifties.
Q: So what have you two been up to these days?
D: Jane works. I work. Jane and I work.
J: Dick works in law. Dick is a lawyer.
Q: Really? What kind of law?
D: Tort law. I sue big companies. I sue big companies for people who get hurt.
Q: Interesting. Did you ever get married, Dick?
D: Yes, oh yes. I was married twice. I had two wives.
J: Dick does not have wives. Dick is divorced. Dick is bitter. See, Erik? See Dick be bitter?
D: I love my work. I love to sue big companies.
J: Dick loves to sue. Dick loves to drink. Dick has a hole in his soul. Dick fills the hole with money and alcohol.
D: Jane is a spinster! Jane cannot keep a man! Jane drives men away.
J: Oh, oh. Dick has made me sad. Dick is a sh—!
Q: Maybe I came at a bad time. We can do this later if you'd rather.
D: No, Erik, no. Don't go. Don't go, Erik.
J: Yes, Erik, please stay. Please stay and talk to me.
Q: All right. So, Jane, have you've ever been married?
J: No, I am not a wife. I work. I work a lot.
Q: What do you do?
J: I make rooms look pretty. I paint and decorate. See my pretty living room? I made this room pretty.
Q: It's very nice. Do you specialize in any particular style?
J: Yes, I'm partial to contemporary post-modern designs that embrace bright, vivid colors reminiscent of northern Mediterranean influences.
J: I mean, I like bright colors. See, Erik? See the bright colors?
Q: And what has your little sister Sally been up to? Does she live here with you, too?
D: No, Sally does not live here with us. Sally is gone.
Q: You mean she died?
D: Ha, ha, funny Erik. Erik is funny. Sally is not dead. Sally is alive.
J: Sally lives in the city. Sally works in the city. Sally lives and works in the city. She is estranged.
D: Yes, Sally is dead to me and Jane.
Q: Dead to—? Why, what happened?
D: Sally is in marketing. Sally markets cigarettes to children. Sally is bad.
Q: That's too bad. I always figured she would be a veterinarian with as much as she loved Spot. Hey, whatever happened to Spot? I'm guessing he's gone.
J: No, Erik, no. Spot is not gone.
D: Yes, Spot is still with us.
Q: It's been over 50 years. Surely he's not still alive.
D: Silly Erik. Spot is not alive. Spot is dead.
J: We had Spot stuffed. Spot is our end table. Look, Erik? Do you see our Spot table?
Q: That's, uhh. . . very lifelike.
J: Yes, it is good.
D: Yes, Spot is still here. Spot has not gone. I can talk to Spot. Spot hears me. . . (Begins to cry.) Run, Spot, run. Run to me, Spot. Come here, boy.
J: Oh, oh. Dick is sad. Dick needs his meds.
D: No, Jane, no. I do not want my meds! I want a martini. Where is my martini, Jane?
Q: Well, I'd better go. Thanks for your time. It was nice talking to you.
J: No, Erik, no. Do not go. Look at me. Am I pretty? Don't you like me?
Q: Er, sorry, I have a deadline. And a wife.
J: Oh no, Dick. You made him go. You drove him away because you did not take your meds.
D: No, Jane. You made him go. You are too needy. Jane's neediness made Erik go.
J: You are a creep.
D: You are a b---(tape ends).