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Cover of Hilda's Yard by Norm Foster

Read an excerpt from Hilda's Yard

By Date: March 20, 2019 Tags: Excerpts

Imagine yourself sitting in your backyard, enjoying the breeze on your face, and anticipating cracking open a cold one. It's quiet. The kids—the thirtysomething kids—have finally moved out and you're free to enjoy your new alone time with your spouse. But this sense of calm is fleeting because suddenly your kids have literally fallen over the fence into the yard and they need help. 

This is just the beginning of Norm Foster's hilarious Hilda's Yard, which features the family Fluck in the 1950s. There's Sam, the father, and Hilda, the mother, and their adult children Gary and Janey. Gary is on the run from an angry bookie and Janey has suddenly left her husband so they came straight back to their parents. In this excerpt, Sam finds out that the kids are back home but he's not too pleased since he just bought a new television set and found out he might be losing his job! And that's the start of his day.



Hilda: We don't know that you are going to be out of work yet. We don't know that. And even if you are, you wanted a television set and you're going to have it because you deserve it.

Sam: Hilly, be realistic.

Hilda: No. For once let's not be realistic. Let's be unrealistic this one time, Sam. All our lives we've erred on the side of caution. Well, not today. Today we err on the side of frivolity and stupidity. And let the chips fall where they may.

Sam: Are you sure?

Hilda: I'm positive.

Sam: Really?

Hilda: Don't ask me again, Sam. I'm not that positive.

Sam: I love you, Hilly. 

Hilda: Of course you do. How could you not?

Sam: Boy, this day began with such promise, didn't it, Hilly? This morning we were so excited. So happy. And now? I don't think it could get any worse.

Janey enters from the house. Sam doesn't see her.

Hilda: Well, give it a minute.

Janey: Hi, Daddy.

Sam: Janey? What are you doing here?

Hilda: Janey left Duncan and has moved back home.

Sam: What?!

Hilda: I'm afraid so.

Sam: You left Duncan? Why?

Janey: Oh, God, will this cross-examination ever end?! Arghhhh!!

Janey exits to the house.

Sam: Why did she leave Duncan?

Hilda: A number of reasons. None of which stand up under cross-examination.

Sam: So, she’s living at home again?

Hilda: For the time being anyway.

Sam: And we’re supposed to start supporting her again. At thirty years old?

Hilda: Well, Sam, we don’t know anything for sure yet. It could be a very temporary arrangement. You know how Janey changes her mind so quickly.

Sam: Well, I hope it’s temporary. I hope it’s very temporary.

Gary enters from the house carrying a beer and a sandwich.

Hilda: It’ll be fine, dear.

Sam: I suppose it could be worse. I mean she doesn’t eat as much as Gary does.

Gary: Hi, Dad.

Sam: Gary? What are you doing here?

(to Hilda) What’s he doing here?

Hilda: Gary lost his job and is on the run from a bookie. He’s lying low here.

(to Gary) Is that what they call it, dear? Lying low?

Gary: That’s it.

Sam notices the sandwich in Gary’s hand.

Sam: Is that a sandwich?

Gary: Yeah.

Sam: You’re eating a sandwich?

Gary: Yeah.

Sam: And is that a Black Label? You’re drinking my ten-cents-a-bottle Black Label beer and eating a five-cent sandwich? Who said you could drink my Black Label beer?

Gary: I’ll pay you for it.

Sam: How, Gary? How will you pay me for it? I just heard a rumour that you’re out of work. If that’s true, how will you pay me for my Black Label beer? Tell me, because I’m very curious!

Hilda: Sam, calm down. Gary, take your father inside and get him a beer and explain everything to him. I’ve got to get this laundry in and I haven’t even started supper yet.

Gary and Sam move towards the house.

Gary: That’s a nice console television set you got.

Sam: You keep your hands off that television set. And no more sandwiches!!


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