EVERYTHING ELSE A play by Derek Strahan - SYNOPSIS
Tony Thomas, Kurt Ullman, Dave Rockford and Dennis Overton all work in the city for different companies. They all meet most evenings after work at the nearby Runaway Bar to exchange views and, often, to commiserate about problems with their respective wives. Tony works for Alumox and has developed guilt feelings about his company’s products, especially aluminium cans and the soft drinks that are sold in them. He wants to compensate by using empty cans to construct art works, starting with a model of the Taj Mahal. Carol, his wife, bans this activity. Kurt works for Idea, a self-assembly furniture company whose products he despises. He wants to build and design high-end quality furniture. Ingrid, his wife bans this activity. Dave Rockford works for APM (All Planet Media) an entertainment monolith that is suffering from the effects of the digitisation of intellectual product. He wants to sell up, and go surfing. Alice, his wife, bans this activity. Dennis, a realtor, is frustrated because Louise, his wife, is retreating from him sexually, and banning a favourite sex act. Hugh McGregor, a thrice-divorced old Scot, explains to the guys why their wives are banning what they most want from life: they are manifesting the “Everything Else Syndrome”: when a wife bans what her husband really wants and allows him everything else. Tony and Kurt agree to outwit their wives by each taking on the other one’s chosen hobby in the guise of play activities for children at arts centres that they persuade their respective firms to set up, as good company PR. Tony accidentally meets up with Louise at a Surf Shop where each has been sent by their respective partners to buy snorkelling gear. They resume an affair that they had 20 years ago, when they were both surfing hippies. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong when Dennis finds out about the affair and when Carol and Ingrid rumble their husbands’ lies and evasions. This occurs because Alumox and Idea join forces to fund the children’s art centre and everyone is invited to the opening. At a crisis meeting 90 minutes before opening, Dennis and Dave get into a fist fight. Dave, coming off worst, crashes into the Taj Mahal and destroys it. Hugh mediates, and suggests rebuilding the cans as the Loch Ness Monster. With nothing resolved all combine to prepare for the opening of the Picasso Children’s Arts & Crafts Center. Hugh hopes there’ll be a rich widow in attendance.