Annelle Steel Magnolias

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Oops! I see a hole.

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Truvy: I was hoping you'd catch that.

It's a little poofier than I would normally do, but I'm nervous.

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Truvy: I'm not real concerned about that. When I go to bed I wrap my entire head in toilet tissue so it usually gets a little smushed down anyway in that process.

In my class at the trade school, I was number one when it came to frosting a streaking, I did my own.

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T: Really? I wouldn't have known. And I can spot a bottle job at twenty paces. Well... your technique is good, and your form and content will improve with experience. So, you're hired.

Oh!!!

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T: And not a moment too soon! This morning we're gonna be busier than a one armed paper hanger.

Thank you, mrs. Truvy! Thank you...

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T: No time. Now. You know where the coffee stuff is. Everything else is on a tray next to the stove.

Here. Let me help you. You've got tiny hairs and fuzzies all over you.

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T: Honey, there's so much static electricity in here I pick up everything except boys and money. Be a treasure. Annelle? This is the most successful shop in town. Wanna know why?

Why?

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T: Because I have a strict philosophy that I have stuck to for fifteen years... "There is no such thing as natural beauty." That's why I have never lost a client to the Kut n Kurl or the Beauty Box. And remember! My ladies get only the best. Do not scrimp on anything.Feel free to use as much hairspray as you want. Just shove that stuff to one side, it goes right there. Manicure station here...

There's no such thing as natural beauty...

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T: Remember that, or we're all out of a job. Just look at me, Annelle. It takes some effort to look like this.

I can see that. How many ladies do we have this morning?

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T: I restrict myself to the ladies of the neighborhood on Saturday mornings. Normally, That would be just three, but today we've got Shelby Eatenton. She's not a regular. She's the daughter of a regular. I have to do something special with her hair. She's getting married this afternoon. Now. How long have you been here in town?

A few weeks...

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T: New in town! It must be exciting being in a new place. I wouldn't know. I've lived here all my life.

It's a little scary.

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T: I can imagine. Well... tell me things about yourself.

There's not much to tell. I live here. I've got a job now. That's it. Could I borrow a few of these back issues of Southern Hair?

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T: Uh... Sure. It's essential to keep abreast of the latest styles. I'm glad to see your interest. I get McCall's, Family Circle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Ladies' Home Journal, every magazine known to man. You must live close by. Within walking distance, I mean. I didn't see a car.

My car's... I don't have a car. I've been staying across the river at Robeline's Boarding House.

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T: That's quite a walk. Ruth Robeline... now there's a story. She's a twisted, troubled soul. Her life has been an experiment in terror. Husband killed in WW2. Her son was killed in Vietnam. I have to tell you, when it comes to suffering, she's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor. (GUNSHOT)

I had no idea. (GUNSHOT) Is that a gunshot?

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T: Yes, dear. I believe it is. Plug in the hotplate please.

But why is someone firing a gun in a nice neighborhood like this?

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T: Annelle, I want you to meet the former First Lady of Chinquapin, Mrs. Belcher. Clairee, this is Annelle. She's taking Judy's place.

Pleased to meet you.

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Clairee: I have the pom-poms to prove it. What is your name dear?

Oh. My married name's Dupuy.

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C: I don't think I know any Dupuys.

I just moved here. I'm originally from Zwolle.

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T: Annelle? How did you make this coffee?

Like you said. I poured the hot water through the thing.

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T: Where'd you get the water?

It was boiling on the stove.

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T: Did you notice the hotdogs in the bottom of the pot?

No.

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T: Make some more please.

I'm so sorry.

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Shelby: Hi! I'm Shelby Eatenton. Soon to be Latcherie.

Hi. I'm Annelle. I'm new.

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S: They're fighting about patio furniture. Jackson and I will never fight about silly things. Are you married, Annelle?

Oh. I hope that coffee's better.

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C: It smells right.

How pretty...

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M'Lynn: Nothing a handful of prescription drugs couldn't take care of.

I'll take this for you.

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T: Her coiffure card is right on top.

Oh. Piece of cake.

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S: Annelle? I know you're new and all, but don't let that stop you. Anytime you have anything to say, just let 'er rip.

I don't have anything to say.

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T: Well M'Lynn. It Looks like you're ready to roll. I think we can trust Annelle to roll you up, don't you? Do you think you can roll up Mrs. Eatenton, Annelle?

I don't know. Today is very special. And my work tends to be too goofy when I'm nervous. Does your dress have to go over your head?

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T: The last romantic thing my husband did for me was in 1972. He enclosed this carport so I could support him! Very nice Annelle. I think you know what you're doing.

Thank you. Mrs. Eatenton, you have great hair. And your scalp is clean as a whistle.

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M: It's not any wonder. With all this wedding non-sense and running around.

Excuse me. Should I call the doctor or something?

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M: There. She's making some sense. This one wasn't bad at all, I think we should have a little more juice.

Can I do something? Should I...

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M: Do you realize we are being rude to poor Annette?

Elle...

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M: Annelle. She doesn't know us from Adam's house cat and we just keep taking about things foreign to her experiences. Annelle, tell us about yourself.

There's nothing to tell.

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M: Where do you live?

On the corner of Jefferson and Second.

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M: Which corner?

The one where you can't see the house for the weeds.

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M: You must live in Mrs. Robeline's house.

She's my landlady.

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M: Are you getting along with her?

What's the matter with her?

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M: Nothing...nothing. Are you happy there?

She scares me. She's always watching me. Sometimes I catch her looking through my keyhole.

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M: I had been waiting all morning for my chance. He finally put it down to go to the bathroom.

I'd like to ask a question. I'm new here and all. Is my life in danger?

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M: I know.

What if he comes over here and tries to get his gun back?

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M: Drum would never set foot in a beauty shop. This is women's territory. He probably thinks we run around naked or something.

There's somebody coming! A strange lady with a strange dog.

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C: That would be Ouiser.

That is one ugly dog. What kind of dog is that?

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Ouiser: That's precisely why I'm here. I have to cancel. I have to take my poor dog to the vet before he has a nervous breakdown. My dog I mean. The vet is perfectly healthy. You must be the new girl.

Hi.

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O: Darling... Whatever your name is... would you look out the window and check on my dog while I smack Clairee on her smart mouth? You may not believe this but these are the dearest friends I have in this town.

His color's good. His skin is real pink.

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O: Alright. As long as there's no more gunshots, I'll stay. What's your name? Did you tell me?

Annelle.

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O: Fine. Are you new in town? I know everyone. I don't recall ever seeing you before.

I just moved to town not too long ago.

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O: With your family?

No'm. I don't have any family to speak of.

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O: With your husband?

Uh.. my husband.... that's hard to say... I uh... I don't know.

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O: You don't know?

I'm not sure.

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O: Im intrigued. Are you married or not? These are not difficult questions.

Uh... we're not... he's not.... I can't talk about it.

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C&T: Of course you can.

I don't know if I'm married or not... he's gone!

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O: Honey. Men are the most horrible creatures.

Everything horrible. Bunkie... that's my husband. He left. We just moved here a month ago. He just vanished last week.

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C: No idea where he went?

Nobody knows. He took all the money, my jewelry, the car. Most of my clothes were in the trunk.

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T: There might have been foul play. Have you been to the police?

No, but they've been to me. He's in big trouble with the law. Drugs or something. He never paid the rent, so I got thrown out of our house and had to move into crazy old Miss Robeline's. The police keep questioning me, but I don't know anything. They say my marriage may not be legal...

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T: You should've said something.

I was scared to. I need this job in the worst way. I didn't know if you'd hire someone who may or may not be married to someone who might be a dangerous criminal. But, I swear to you that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.

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T: Of course it won't...

I really don't think things could get any worse.

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T: You must be made of courage.

I'm totally alone. Checks are bouncing everywhere. Everything's going wrong. I keep asking myself... why me?

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S: I know one thing I can do. Tonight, you are going to drop by my house and have some bleeding armadillo groom's cake. It's going to be a great party.

Oh, I couldn't. I still get real emotional sometimes.

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S: I can't stand the thought of someone being unhappy or alone tonight. And if you feel yourself starting to get sad, just watch my husband dance. It's very funny.

You're all so nice.

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S: We enjoy being nice to each other. There's not much else to do in this town.

But I don't have anything to wear...

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T: Now. If you're interested, my garage apartment will be available soon. My son is living there now. Give me a day to straighten it up and sweep out the bed, then come look at it. I'm sure we can work out some arrangement with the rent.

Oh.....

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C: Looks like Drum has set his trees on fire or he's just elected a new pope.

I guess it worked. All the birds are leaving.

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O: This is all she wrote. I am going to let that man have it.

Oh no! Your dog broke his chain! And he's headed toward the smoke!

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SCENE TWO

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T: It's all Annelle's idea. She has quite an eye for the unusual.

Hi there!

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S: Annelle, you did all this?

Guilty. Truvy just turned over the decorating responsibility to me. I like themes. And I despise the commercialization of Christmas, always have. So I went to the fire sale at the Baptist Book Store in Shreveport last month. They had mismatched manger scenes at incredibly low prices. I cleaned them out of Baby Jesuses, which Truvy's husband helped me modify into ornaments. Very simple. Tiny white lights, Baby Jesuses, and spoolies.

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T: Annelle?

Perfect

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T: Annelle?

The chair. Uh, excuse me Shelby. Uh if you don't have any special plans for the clothes.... Could I have them? Riverview Baptist has a clothes closet for the poor. We're real low on women's dresses.

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T: it breaks my heart that she won't come to the Methodist church with me. I think Riverview Baptist is a little too..."praise the Lord" for my taste.

Some of them do get a little carried away. But there's nothing wrong with that.

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T: We're just glad to see that Annelle is settling down and finding her way. She's had a few rough months, haven't you, honey?

Oh. After they threw Bunkie Dupuy behind bars and I was rid of him, I went wild. I was drinking, running around, smoking...

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T: Jezebel!

But Truvy helped me see the error of my ways. I've realized I have something to offer. I joined a church last month. Truvy's helped me see I have talents. I've done guest lectures on beauty at the Trade School...

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T: Our little Annelle has become one of the hottest tickets in town.

Truvy. Stop. I am enjoying the city more. And I am so excited about the Christmas festival today. I've wanted to come here all my life. And now I live here!

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T: Tell her who you have a date with.

Truvy, will you hush?

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T: Tell her, missy. Shelby is pretty much totally responsible for the whole thing!

Sammy DeSoto.

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S: How am I responsible?

He was bartending at your wedding last spring. That's when I met him. He makes a mean cherry Coke,

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C: Yes, that would be nice. I'm sorry I'm late. I overslept. We didn't get back into town until one o'clock. It was a dazzling victory over Dry Prong.

I heard you on the radio last night. You were wonderful.

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C: My hair looks younger. My face looks just as old.

There's so much going on! The state championship last night, the Christmas festival today, the Messiah sing-along tomorrow...

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S: I like it.

Miss Ouiser. I think you need a healthy dose of Christmas spirit.

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O: I have so much Christmas spirit I could scream.

Merry Christmas!

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O: They are bordered in holly. You made them didn't you?

With my own two hands.

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S: Well, Annelle? What do you want me to do with these old clothes? I need to get them out the backseat.

Just bring 'em in.

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C: Please. I haven't even washed the dishes from Thanksgiving.

What did you get your mama?

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M: Diabetics have healthy babies all the time.

It will all be fine.

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O: What is that girl up to?

Shelby's donating some clothes to the poor.

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T: Just dump 'em on the couch.

Miss M'Lynn, you sure you don't mind me taking them? If your patients need them...

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ACT 2 SCENE 1

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T: Whew! My artistic nature is so relieved.

It's very becoming. I guess with that baby, you don't have time to spend hours fussing with your hair. You need something you can just run your fingers through and go.

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T: He could always turn a phrase.

Amen.

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T: Amen. Annelle, I'm out of uh...

Is it still next to...?

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T: No. It's over the...

OK

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O: Somebody's got to take them. I hate 'em. I try not to eat healthy food if I can help it. The sooner this body wears out the better off I'll be. I have trouble getting enough grease into my diet..

Then why do you grow them?

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O: And. While I have everyone's attention. This morning I went to my mailbox and found that someone... has put me on the mailing list for the Riverview Baptist Church. Lucky me. I am now receiving chain letters for Christ.

They aren't chain letters. They're part of my prayer group's "Reach out and Touch" project. We were each supposed to write somebody in the community that we thought might be in spiritual trouble and invite them to worship. I guess you made everybody's list.

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C: That's nice. Are you taking a trip?

Yes, I am.

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C: Aren't you gonna tell us where you're going?

No.

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O: Please, Annelle, I don't know how I'll get through the week without this information.

You'll just make fun.

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C: I don't believe I've ever heard of Camp Crossroads...

It's in the middle of Arkansas. It's a Christian camp. There's just cabins, a chapel, a dining hall in the middle of the mountains with a lake. I will spend a week in Bible study, prayer, and meditation. You're in the middle of nature, surrounded by the beauty of the Lord.

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C: Is your boyfriend going with you?

No. He said he'd rather eat dirt.

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O: I'm going to check on my granddaughter and make sure she's still going to the Episcopal church. This born again process seems awfully tedious.

I have to say this, Miss Ouiser. And I don't mean to hurt you. But... I worry about your faith sometimes.

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T: Ouiser, have you no shame?

Oh, that's alright, Truvy, I love Miss Ouiser. I pray for her everyday... sometimes twice.

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