“Leave It Out”

April 30, 2011: Lew played the lead role in writer Tony Lindsay’s play “Leave It Out,” a finalist in the Text to Stage ten-minute play competition sponsored by Winston-Salem Writers.

“Leave It Out” depicts a high-strung Yankee salesman trying to buy a pack of Tums from a slow-motion country storekeeper in the deep south.

Director: Steve Mitchell.
Characters:
Clyde Pollard, storekeeper at Clyde’s Food and Stuff: Lew Garnett
Yankee Salesman: Lee Swart
Lucy Pollard, Clyde’s wife: Susannah Cecil

Emcee and Critique Moderator: Nathan Ross Freeman (award-winning screenwriter and film maker, awarded 2007 B.E.S.T. Outstanding Faculty at Univ. of NC).

Typical line: (Clyde) “I knowed you’s in uh hurry.” [sits down; makes no move to get the Tums] “Lots of folk in uh hurry these days. It’s a shame, ain’t it?”

As the Yankee fumes about making sales calls in an “inbred hell-hole” while answering to an impatient, demanding boss, Clyde drawls on and on about his daddy’s sense of humor and his pharmacist uncle Ott’s opinion about unnecessary tension causing “acid gestation.”

Finally getting around to the sale, Clyde is so slow making change that, stuffing Tums into his mouth, the Yankee abandons his money and storms out onto the porch, where he suffers a heart attack and collapses into a chair.

Unaware the man is dead, Clyde saunters out to stand beside him, praising him for “taking it easy,” expounding on folk medicine and telling about Lucy’s deceased father: “Buried him between the crick an’ the river. Spring flood washed him two mile downstream. Scared hell out of an old fisherman.”

Clyde steps inside to have Lucy bring the man some lemonade.

Lucy, flirtatiously referring to herself as “Kinda shy and quiet, like a Cadillac on idle,” animatedly chats with the corpse until touching him.

“Why, you’re cold as a frog and white as new panties! Clyde, come quick!”

Tony Lindsay has authored more than 60 short stories, and in his soft-tenored, back-country drawl, renders one each month at Winston-Salem Writers’ “Open Mic.”

For more information about programs and opportunites through Winston-Salem Writers, click here or under LINKS.

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