Going to the Theater

The following story is true.

Stimulated by a quick trip to New York, Chatterbox upon returning home to Washington, D.C., on Saturday afternoon wondered out loud why he and his wife never do anything culturally adventurous on their twice-a-month Saturday night dates.

“Like what?” Mrs. Chatterbox said.

“Well, we could go see that controversial feminist play, The, er, You-Know-What Monologues.”

“It isn’t a dirty word,” said Mrs. Chatterbox. “You can say it in front of the children.”


Chatterbox decided to sidestep this argument, which he’d had with Mrs. Chatterbox before.

“Do you want to see the play? It’s playing at the Studio Theater, and it got a good review in the Washington Post.”

“No, I want to see Enemy of the State.” Mrs. Chatterbox is a feminist, but she likes big, noisy, male-oriented movies, provided they aren’t too violent.


“Let me find out if they have tickets for this play. It’d be different. It’s supposed to be very funny.”

Chatterbox dialed the Studio Theater, and asked whether tickets were available. He was told he’d dialed the theater office, not the box office. Call the box-office number, the man told him. Here’s the number.

Chatterbox dialed the number.


“Hello, I was wondering if you still have tickets for [Chatterbox let his voice drop low, so his children wouldn’t hear] The Vagina Monologues.”

“The what?” said the woman who answered.

Still low: “The Vagina Monologues.”

“Yeah, right,” the woman said, and slammed down the phone.

The man at the Studio Theater office had given Chatterbox the wrong number!

Coda: We eventually got the correct phone number, purchased tickets, and found Eve Ensler’s one-woman show to be wittier and more illuminating than the House Judiciary committee’s impeachment hearings.

–Timothy Noah