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Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
Scenes 3 & 4
-Courtesy of Jason Snyder-


The theater has rotated once again, to another stage. Again, it's the same basic layout. Father is sitting a booth set up against the kitchen wall. Rover is on the floor in front of him. The overall decor is now very fortyish. There are fewer exposed electric wires, due to the fact that they are well hidden. We see a jack-o-lantern on the table in front of Father, so we can guess that it is Halloween.

FATHER: Well, it's another Halloween here in the fabulous Forties. Everything is better than ever now. And we've got some amazing new wonders around the house to prove it. For instance, out refrigerator hold more food than ice cubes. And thanks to our new automatic dishwasher, I don't have to dry the dishes anymore after supper. Give's Rover and I more time to enjoy out evening stroll together.

Rover barks at the mention of a possible stroll.

FATHER: (He chuckles.) Later boy. (Back to us.) Oh, and here's something else that's new. I just heard a new term today on the radio. Fellow says, we've go something now called the 'rat race.' Did you ever hear that one? It sure describes my life. I'm involved with something now called commuting. I drive into the city for work all day, and then turn right around and drive all the way back. And the highway is crowded with other rats doing the same thing!

SARAH: (Off stage, condescending.) That's what they call progress dear.

FATHER: Ha ha ha ha. I guess she's right. But we do have television. (He adds quickly and irritably,) When it works. Give's you something to do after you get home. I kind of like it, you know? A guy named John Cameron Swayze gives us all the news and then they have all this singing and dancing. A lot of fluff, but it's fun.

Right diorama opens to display grandma and grandpa near the TV. On the TV is an orchestra playing a quiet tune. Gramps has fallen asleep.

FATHER: You know, I predict that day that millions of people will learn Latin and Greek sitting in front of their TV sets.

GRANDMA: (To grandpa.) Are you awake dear?

Grandpa continues to snore which is a quick answer to Grandma's question. She quickly turns the channel to a show which she would rather be watching. A boxing match.

GRANDMA: Give him a left you big lug!

Diorama closes.

FATHER: Ah yes, a new age of electronic civilization is upon us!

Opposite diorama opens to reveal Jimmy carving a jack-o-lantern.

JIMMY: Hey dad, what do you think of my jack-o-lantern?

FATHER: (In mock fear.) Oh! Boy is that scary!

JIMMY: That's 'cause I used my beautiful sister Patty's picture for a model! Ha ha ha.

Rover barks at Jimmy's remark about Patty.

FATHER: Down Rover. Jim, Rover appreciates your joke.

SARAH: (Off stage.) Now... you're always kidding poor Patty. She's certainly prettier than either of you.

Rover and Jimmy both howl.

The right diorama opens again to reveal Patty, using an old fashioned, vibrating exercise machine. She's talking on the phone.

FATHER: You hear that? My daughter Patty is using that old exercise machine she rescued from the attic. It was all the rage in the Twenties. Grandma of course had to have one. Didn't work then, doesn't work now. (He chuckles.) Consistent at least. Makes a lot of noise and blows fuses.

PATRICIA: (Her voice is shaky, due to the vibrating exercise machine.) As I was saying Babs, I think college is really swell! You should give it a try!

BABS: (Over the phone.) Oh Patty, are you going to the Halloween party tonight?

PATRICIA: Oh yes. And I'm hoping to loose a couple more inches by then. I'm going with that dreamboat, Wilfred.

BABS: (Shocked.) Wilfred?! What a slug!

PATRICIA: He's coming as the headless horseman.

BABS: It fits.

PATRICIA: Come on Babs! That clodhopper Howard you're going with is no Crackerjack prize!

Patty's voice dies out as the diorama closes.

FATHER: Oh poor Howard. I wonder what they said about me when I was dating Sarah.

CUCKOO CLOCK: Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

Rover barks, amused at the wooden bird's great sense of timing.

FATHER: (Chuckling.) You're lucky Rover. You don't have to date. Well, we're caught up in the do it yourself craze these days. We're remodeling our basement as something called a rumpus room. And we're looking forward to a few rumpuses I'll tell you, as long as they don't get out of hand.

The left diorama opens to reveal Sarah on a ladder, applying wall paper to a wall. The wallpaper is a little crooked. I looks like something out of an I Love Lucy episode. A small food mixer is humming on a table next to her.

SARAH: John, this papering is getting out of hand. I could use a little help.

FATHER: Now Sarah, didn't I set up that clever automatic paint stirring machine for you?

SARAH: Yes John, you're a genius. Of course this will ruin my food mixer, not that you'd care.

The diorama closes. We hear the hum of the food mixer getting louder and higher pitched.

FATHER: Oh good old Sarah. Always the last laugh.

The food mixer is at it's loudest, at which point we hear paint splattering. Sarah shrieks.

FATHER: (Sounding worried.) What happened Sarah?!

SARAH: Oh you and your progress! That paint mixer of yours just sloshed paint across my rump... er- rumpus room.

FATHER: (Laughing.) How do you like that? I always say, if you're going to be married, marry a girl with a sense of humor. (More seriously.) Well, it's time to move on. Let's cheer up Sarah by singing our song. Come-on. Everybody!

FATHER AND CHORUS SING:

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

Shining at the end of every day.

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

And tomorrow is just a dream away.

Man has a dream and that's the start.

He follows his dream in mind and heart

And when it becomes a reality,

It's a dream come true for you and me.

So there's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

Shining at the end of every day.

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

Just a dream away.  

The Carousel has moved to yet the next scene. It is Christmas now, in a modern living room. The tree is up. The house is totally decorated for the season. This time there are no dioramas. The entire family is present in the room. Father is standing in the kitchen, cooking. Sarah is sitting at the right, using a computer. Grandma and Jimmy are sitting near the TV. Jimmy wears virtual reality headgear, and makes occasional twitches as though he's manipulating something in the VR. Grandma has the headgear up above her eyes, but is not playing yet. Grandpa and Patricia are sitting over to the left, near the Christmas tree.

FATHER: Isn't it a pleasant holiday? Turkey's in the oven, it's peaceful and quiet.

JIMMY: Yes! Three hundred points, my best score yet!

SARAH: Well, it was peaceful until Santa brought that new virtual reality space pilot game.

Jimmy's headgear goes up above his eyes.

JIMMY: Your turn Grandma. Let's switch the image over to the TV, so the resident flying ace can show you how it works.

Grandma's headgear goes down, and the TV turns on. On the TV we see the interior of a space craft cockpit.

JIMMY: Now, it's a little tricky. Just use your game glove to fly behind the other guy and then blast him with your laser blaster!

GRANDMA: Laser blaster? Well, I'll give it a try.

JIMMY: Take a look around Grandma. You're in the ship.

GRANDMA: I feel like I'm really there!

JIMMY: Okay, get ready, you're about to blast off!

GRANDMA: Here goes nothing.

The screen flickers into motion as the space outside of the cockpit begins to move. We soon see enemy ships passing by.

JIMMY: Alright, here he comes! Ooh, you missed him.

As Grandma and Jimmy play Space Pilot, Sarah looks up from her computer.

SARAH: Hey everyone, I'm done programming out new voice activation system.

FATHER: Now all our household items will do anything we tell them to do.

GRANDPA: Great... tell the refrigerator to bring me a root beer.

SARAH: (Chuckling.) Well, it can't quite do that. But I'll show you something that it can do. (She declares:) Tree lights, thirty percent brighter.

The Christmas Tree lights brighten a little.

GRANDPA: Ah, that's no big deal. Anybody can do that voice activating stuff. Watch this. Rover... speak!

ROVER: Woof!

SARAH: John, the oven should respond to your voice commands now. Give it a try.

FATHER: Okay, here goes. Temperature to 375.

OVEN: (It actually talks.) Temperature increased to 375.

PATRICIA: Look at that! It even talks back.

FATHER: Like some people I know.

PATRICIA: Yeah right dad!

JIMMY: (Watching Grandma's progress on the TV.) You're going to loose him Grandma! Bank to the right!

PATRICIA: Remember dad's turkey last year?

GRANDPA: Yeah, that thing really smoked up the place when it burned, didn't it?

PATRICIA: We ended up microwaving frozen pizzas.

SARAH: Well, no need to worry about the turkey this year. Not with an oven that will do anything your father tells it to do.

JIMMY: Ooo! Good shot!

GRANDMA: Did you see that?!

JIMMY: Dad, Grandma's up to 550 points!

FATHER: Did you say 550? Man, she's getting the hang of that thing.

OVEN: (Quietly, without anyone noticing.) Temperature increased to 550.

GRANDPA: I can't believe all the new gadgets they've got now. Did you know in my day--

PATRICIA: Oh no. You're not going to tell us about the old days when you didn't even have a car phone.

GRANDPA: (He chuckles.) Hey Trisch, for a while we didn't even have a house phone. Not to mention laser discs and high def TV. Everything is automated these days, including...

From off stage we hear a toilet flushing.

GRANDPA: (Continuing.) Well, including that.

COUSIN ORVILLE: (Off stage.) No privacy at all around this place!

GRANDPA: Sorry Orville. Anyway, you guys don't realize how good you've got it nowadays.

SARAH: You know, my Grandfather told me the very same thing when I was a kid.

GRANDMA: (Still playing the VR.) Take that you nincompoop!

JIMMY: Hey check it out dad. Grandma's up to 975 points.

FATHER: Wow! 975.

OVEN: Temperature increased to 975. (Oven starts beeping and smoke erupts.) Overload-- overload...

SARAH: John, what's wrong with the oven?

FATHER: Well-- UH...

The oven door slams open and we hear the crackling of burnt turkey skin.

OVEN: Bake Mode complete. Enjoy your meal.

PATRICIA: Anyone for pizza?

SARAH: Another Christmas turkey ruined.

Grandma's game ends. Her headgear lifts back over her eyes.

GRANDMA: Man what a game! I really smoked those guys. Looks like I'm resident flying ace now.

JIMMY: Best two out of three Grandma?

GRANDMA: Later kid. Boy that was fun. What will they think up next?

PATRICIA: Who knows? We've got a whole new century waiting for us out there.

SARAH: Yeah, and maybe sometime in the new century, your father will learn how to talk to out oven.

FATHER: Well, by then maybe ovens will read out minds. But hey, as long as we're all here and happy and together for the holidays, who cares if I burned out Christmas turkey?

GRANDMA: I do! I'm starving.

A round of laughter erupts from the whole family.

JIMMY: Don't worry dad. Someday, everything is going to be so automated, you won't ever have to cook another Christmas turkey again.

FATHER AND CHORUS SING:

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

Shining at the end of every day.

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

And tomorrow is just a dream away.

SARAH:

Man has a dream and that's the start.

FATHER:

He follows his dream in mind and heart

PATRICIA:

And when it becomes a reality,

GRANDPA:

It's a dream come true for you and me.

CHORUS:

So there's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

Shining at the end of every day.

FATHER:

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow,

CHORUS:
Just a dream away.

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