Roberta and Albert

Albert (actually Alberto, with Italian parentage) is a social worker, mid thirties, living in Chicago. He has fallen in love with Roberta, single mother to a two-month-old baby boy. She has recently separated from her somewhat feckless husband, Stanley, who wants to be a professional musician.

Albert has plans to woo the lovely Roberta, so he can take care of her. Roberta is currently living in a third floor walk-up apartment and being supported by her parents, who don’t know what else to do.

What will happen to these people? How about writing one scene and then a synopsis of this rest of this tale.

12 responses to “Roberta and Albert


    Few things in history have done more to undermine the compassion and loving nature of Christianity than the Annual Christmas Pageant Play. You might think this statement is a vast exaggeration, especially when compared to the persecution of early Christians, the Crusades or The Spanish Inquisition. But those were blatant, open and notorious threats to the basic Christian principles of a loving one another and serving your fellow man. The Christmas Pageant is insidious in its disguise as a joyful expression of the Birth of Christ, from whom all blessings flow. When in actuality, the typical Christmas Play provides the means through which Christians are humiliated, brow-beaten and forced to participate in the total destruction of the human spirit.

    Allow me to enter into evidence the play currently under production at my church, entitled “Nothing Ever Happens In Bethlehem”. Even the skills of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Katherine Hepburn and Sir Lawrence Olivet, joined by the entire cast of Les Miserables, could not make anything worth watching out of this insipid script. As forgiving as Jesus is, I think that even He is honked-off that these playwrights ever learned to type.

    Enter to the mix our Mother/Daughter Co-Directors. At any other time of the year, they models of Christian humility and self sacrifice. But once they got their hands on “Nothing Ever Happens In Bethlehem” they both were transformed into a frustrated star of stage and screen, Lela B. DeMille and Tzar Ivan (Teresa) The Terrible.

    And too add insult to injury, our cast;

    Joseph- A young man who speaks in loud, robotic tones and whose eyes are fixed like those of a deer in headlights. He has all the emotion of a prison warden.

    Mary- Would be more at home riding to the manger with a biker gang. She delivers lines as if she is calling out plays for a football game.

    Innkeeper- Who I am told, shouts out his lines with a belligerent attitude that the Directors just love. I have yet to hear this as he has not be able to attend many, if any, rehearsals.

    The cast members, who have not been to a rehearsal, one week from opening night, are legion.

    The Angels, Shepherds and Wise-men are all played by the same 3 unfortunate volunteers, out a sense of guilt or pity. They will be lucky to emerge from this experience with any shred of dignity. They will probably have to start attending a Self Esteem Support Group after this theatrical fiasco.

    The remaining cast members are merely victims of the social, political and economic turmoil that befalls many small churches at Christmas Pageant Time.

    You might have noticed that I failed to mention anything about the leader, the Pastor. That is because she has been noticeably missing in action. I attribute this to either her cowardice for having suggested this stupid script or that she has the good sense not to connected to this travesty in any way, shape or form. She is simply in Survival Mode.

    If you are not doing anything on December 13th at 5:50 pm, please come to our Dinner Theater Production of “Nothing ever Happens In Bethlehem”, the food will be tasty…. but Stay and Watch the Play at your own RISK.

  2. I have this wild vision of you sneaking in to play the part of the baby in the manger. I’m guessing you can come up with some purple sequined swaddling clothes (aka a kaftan) and a Barca Lounger in case the manger is too small. You can rig up a halo out of a spray painted aluminum pie pan and add some lighted birthday candles all the way around for some super effects. Plan to do a few miracles while you have the chance. (I could use a new laptop!?) And do take it easy on the frankincense and myrrh. Find a designated driver to get you home. I know your ways!

    • You nailed it. When they refused to let me play Baby Jesus I went over to the Dark Side and became a Theater Critic. Sequined Swaddling Clothes, brilliant move. Me thinks our little gang of misfits here could come up with a Christmas Spectacular the likes of which has never been seen. Add a bit of Boone’s Farm Apple Wine to the Frankincense and there would be no stopping our Merry Myrrh Making !!!!!

  3. Ann, does anyone else from the aforementioned church hang out on this website? If so, God help Peanut.

    Peanut, sorry to pinch your pose for the Avatar. Stuart came to the airport to welcome me home from Africa so we ended up with the pic.

    Might have a go at Roberta and Albert, they sound fascinating.

    Marry Christmas to all.

  4. As if your lives aren’t complicated enough already? MERRY Christmas

  5. Maybe Roberta and Albert will show up at the play for their first date. Peanut can offer them some couples therapy while she passes the wine!

  6. The Last Moments of Flight
    Roberta and Alberto Fly Home for the Holidays

    A Parody

    He closed his complimentary copy of the Sky Mall catalog and tucked it neatly in the pouch ahead of him.

    “What would you do if you knew we weren’t going to make it?”

    “Shush dear, don’t say things like that. Someone might hear you.”

    “No, I mean if we were never to arrive. What would you do now?”

    She wrapped the earbud cord around her iPod and placed it in her purse.

    “You mean terrorism? Mechanical failure?”

    “No, neither of those.”

    “Pilot error then?”

    “No, just that we don’t make it. The probability is small, but there’s always a chance that some travelers will never arrive at their destination. What if today, today, we are those travelers, and we just don’t make it?”

    “Why would you think it was today, and why this flight?”

    He leaned back hoping to get slightly more comfortable, and took a deep breath.

    “A couple of nights ago I had a dream. I dreamt that something would happen on this trip, and that we would never arrive at our destination. You might remember that I got up to use the bathroom just thirty minutes ago. As I was waiting, a man in the seat next to the bulkhead noticed my expression and asked if something was wrong. I don’t know why exactly, but I shared my dream with him. He shook his head as I spoke and confided that he had the very same dream.”

    “He had the same dream as you? The exact same dream, and, this flight?”


    He smiled and placed his hand over hers on the armrest.

    “I’m hardly afraid,” he said in a reassuring voice. “It seems very natural somehow. I can’t explain it really. It’s like we’re not supposed to be where we’re going, but we’re also not supposed to be where we came from either.”

    She turned away and looked out the window.

    “I know too,” she whispered. “Before we left, I talked to the woman who delivers our mail. I just wanted her to hold it for a few days. I explained we would be on a trip and that we didn’t want it to pile up. She smiled and told me there would be no mail. She didn’t say she would hold it, just that there would be no mail. I think I understand now what she was trying to tell me. There won’t be any more mail. Will there?”


    They sat in silence for a moment as the jet plane slipped through the air, whispering thousands of feet above some nameless point that was to be neither departure or destination.

    “I suppose it was to be expected,” he eventually said. “I mean, it’s not as though we really contributed in any way. I work all the time, and you have the children.“

    At thirty-thousand feet, the captain dimmed the cabin lights.

    She reached up to turn off the spot light over their seats.

    “It would be a shame to waste energy this way.”

    And they kissed, as the world below them passed away.

  7. Alberto and Roberta

    Adriana scraps the remaining lasagna off their dinner plates. Glancing over her shoulder, her heart drops a beat. Her twin, Alberto is mooning over a picture on his cell phone.

    “Look, Adriana, this is Roberta and her new baby. Her husband abandoned her after dropping her at the hospital to have a C-section. Aren’t they beautiful?”

    Oh, Alberto, no, no, no, no, not again! Another one of his broken winged hummingbirds. This time when the judge finds out, Alberto will lose his job. There will be no more chances, not anymore. Drying off her hands, Adriana sits down at the table.
    Taking Alberto’s hands in hers, she sees his eyes are glazed over and he is a million light years away.

    Adriana slams her hand down hard on the table. “Alberto listen to me. This girl is a flake. She’ll dump the baby with you and be off with the band. Remember what the judge said last time? So what are you going to do? You lose your job, I’m not supporting you any longer.”

  8. Adriana is laying down the law! I don’t blame her if she’s the one cooking the lasagna and doing the dishes. Alberto has already had a session with a judge, so I think she’s in the right here. Good one!

  9. Thanks Ann. I laugh when I read my own writing. I’m always lecturing. I really need a vacation!

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