Hattie's Hard Hats by Daniel Broderick | Script Revolution

Hattie's Hard Hats

Etiquette and manners guru Hattie uncharacteristically loses her cool and is ordered to teach proper behavior to five sexist, uncouth construction workers as part of the settlement of their street harassment lawsuit.

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102pp

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ACT I: The mayor deserved to be doused, but no one expected it to come from prim and proper Hattie. At least she knows she messed up. The five troglodyte hard hats, on the other hand, haven't a clue that their constant street harassment of female passers-by was not harmless fun. What's a judge to do? Kill two birds with one sentence: As a condition of your probation, you are to meet on a regular basis with these five men and in a month, we'll see how you've done.

ACT II: To avoid becoming further tabloid fodder, Hattie moves in with the judge's clerk and her teenage daughter, who could use some manners lessons as well. On a walk through town with the clerk, Hattie shows she knows her Emily Post, or Miss Manners, or whatever. But will her audience? Not likely. You can lead a louse to water, but you can't make him think. The first session, an utter failure. Never stare at a woman's chest ("Never?"); "what's worse Hattie, belching or farting?"; No calling an adult woman a girl ("They probably like it."); RSVP to written invitations ("My wife does all that."), and on and on.

Kayla, the teenager, is far more receptive to suggestions about grocery store and coffee shop manners. Dating etiquette? Not so much at first.

Round two: an asses test. A few multiple choice questions that include the correct answer and our cavemen are getting better. But they are still works in progress. "Manners speak for themselves, and never with foul language." "Everybody swears Hattie, even my mother."

How about we try some eating etiquette? Elbows off the table are the least of our problems. "I don't gotta know where the knife and fork go." "What's wrong with double dipping?" "You like the taste of other people's saliva, Gerry?" "Gimme that." This better click soon, because the judge wants a sit down dinner for everyone to assess progress.

ACT III: Progress. Hattie tries some humor which seems to work, especially with Jeff, the hunk, according to Kayla. Except teachers can't date students. It's a rule.

But as Jeff escorts Hattie down the sidewalk (him on the street side, of course), they are spotted by the women harassees, who want them all to be fired, even though it was not in the settlement. Let the sabotage begin. Trying to convince Hattie not to let them off the hook, doesn't work. So how about getting Hattie fired from her manners academy? And, even better, planting a seed in one of the men's minds that Hattie wants them all fired. That does it for the five and especially for Jeff.

And Kayla's date is off, all because of Hattie's advice, according to Kayla. All Hattie's efforts down the tube. She gives up. There has to be more to life than teaching manners and now even that is gone.

ACT IV: Oh, no you don't, says Kayla's mom. I'll fix it with these men, you fix it with my daughter. Mom not only gets the men to see the light, but conveys Jeff"s message to Hattie to meet that evening. And Kayla, back in Hattie's corner: "He's the hunky guy, right? He's asking you out" But teachers can't date students. No problem, you lost your job as a teacher and he quit as your student.

So the date is on. Romantic, star lit, sealed with not one kiss, but two.

But what about the rest of the guys? Jeff and Hattie concoct a solution that not only brings them back to the fold, but finishes their instruction with some speed manners.

(Drum roll here) Now the dinner. Well, it turns out every clod does indeed have a silver lining. They are so impressive that one of the harassees comes over to their side (the others, not so much). The settlement is approved. As for Hattie? Her entire conviction is expunged.

ACT V: Well, it turns out there is more to Hattie's life. But it can still involve teaching manners, only now to the homeless moving into new housing built by Jeff and his buddies. And for Hattie, even her new engagement ring doesn't get in the way of helping out.

Submitted: November 21, 2020
Last Updated: August 29, 2021

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The Writer: Daniel Broderick

California native. Born in Los Angeles after my parents moved there from Chicago, where my father wrote for television after WWII and college. Have lived in San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Palo Alto, Florence (Italy), Washington, D.C., New Haven (Connecticut), West Los Angeles, Germany, and Sacramento. Currently live in Pasadena, California. Stanford undergrad. Played basketball until hurt my sophomore year, Yale Law School. Non-lawyer jobs include assembling board games, gas station attendant, assembling yachts, picking up trash at the beach, washing dorm windows, maintenance at a golf course, painting the take off boards for the long jump and triple jump (jock job, where I was... Go to bio

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