December 31, 2006

A Play A Day #262

Counting Down


Setting: Bare stage

Ford: Ten...

Ellianna: Nine...

F: Eight...

E: Seven...

F: Six...

E: Five...

F: Five...

E: I just said "five".

F: No, I just said "five".

E: After I said it!

F: No, you said "six", so I said "five".

E: I never said "six"!

F: You were supposed to! That was your number.

E: Six was never my number.

F: Yes, I said "seven", so you had six.

E: I had seven.

F: Seven was mine!

E: Who started it?

F: Who?

E: The countdown?

F: Well...

E: Who had "ten"?

F: (beat) I did.

E: So...

F: (calculates) Oh.

E: You had six.

F: So... you must have said it after I said it.

E: I said "five"! You repeated that one!

F: No!

E: Yes... and look. (holds up watch) It's 12:01!

F: Well, if you hadn't screwed up.

E: I never screwed up, Ford; it was you. You said "five" after I said it.

F: I never heard you say "five".

E: Apparently.

F: I heard "six" twice.

E: If you heard "six" twice, why didn't you do the logical thing and say "four"?

F: It was instinct... six then five...

E: Instinct. Right.

F: You hear "six", boom! You say "five".

E: I'm sure you do.

F: It's natural.

E: Except, it didn't work out that way.

F: If I would have said "four", you would have been all confused, wondering where five went.

E: You know what? I'm done discussing this.

F: Then you would have said that I jumped ahead or something.

E: I'm done, Ford.

F: But why can't you...

E: (interrupting, hurt) I just wanted to shout "Happy New Year" and throw my arms around you and kiss you.

F: Oh.

E: Deeply.

F: (beat) Deeply?

E: For a long time.

F: Oh... I...

E: Why do we have to fight about the most stupid things?

F: I... I'm sorry.

E: Too late now. The year is old already.

F: (turns his back, fiddles with something) No. See? It says 11:59 on my watch!

E: Yeah?

F: Try again?

E: Without the arguing?

F: No arguing.

E: Okay. We're bound to do better; we've even rehearsed now.

F: That's true.

E: Tell me when.

F: There will be deep, long kisses, right?

E: Yes.

F: Okay! (looks at watch) And... now!

E: Ten...

F: Ten! (too excited, he grabs her and kisses her, she tries pushing away by hitting him on the shoulder slowly, she does this eight times, then they break)

E: (breathlessly) Happy New Year.

F: (also breathless) You're an excellent counter.

(they kiss again as the lights fade)


December 30, 2006

A Play A Day #261



Setting: Sofa, chair, living room minimal.

(Lights, action in progress)

Adam: I was late.

Mallory: Late?!

A: Yes!

M: How can you day that?!

A: Because I was.

M: Late. Just that. Just late?

A: Yes... okay?

M: No. Not even possibly close to "okay"!

A: Sweetheart. I know. I...

M: If you know, why didn't you know earlier?

A: I was busy.

M: Busy?!

A: Yes. I was busy.

M: What's wrong with you?!

A: I'm sorry. I was late and, I was busy.

M: No one is that late. After a few hours, you're not late anymore.

A: I was extremely late. I know that.

M: You weren't anything. You were nothing.

A: Listen...

M: You're still not anything.

A: I understand why you would say that, but we have to heal this...

M: You have to heal it. You're the sick one. Here comes Mom.

(Ling enters, taking off her winter coat and talking)

Ling: Sweetie, did you ever see if you can go to Point Frederick on Sat... (notices Adam) ur... day. (long pause) You?!

A: Hello, Ling.

L: (stiffly) Adam.

A: Oh... Ling.

M: He was "late", Mom.

A: I got very busy. I...

L: Don't we all?

A: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

L: (long pause) Apology accepted.

M: What?!! Mom!!

L: What's the point in being angry, dear?

M: The point is revenge.

L: He was late. He was busy.

A: All I could think of was you and... and... uh...

M: Mallory!

A: (overlapping) Mallory.

M: I can't believe you, Mom!

L: What will it get us if we get revenge, Mallie?

M: Satisfaction, happiness, a sense of closure, some reduction of pain, wholeness, peace?

L: No. I think we've done alright, even with your father being late.

A: Thank you, Ling. I really do apologize.

L: I know you do. (approaching Adam) Don't apologize again, okay.

A: I... I won't.

M: This is terrible, Mom! You can't do...

L: Mallie. Adam, I accept your apology. Now leave.

A: Ling. I want to get back and make...

L: I accept your apology. I reject you.

A: Now, Ling. I am trying to tell you that...

L: Good-bye, Adam. Never come here again.

A: Ling, please!

M: Leave! Scum!!

L: Mallie, don't.

A: (backing offstage as Ling presses forward) Start over again, and...

L: No.

A: I was busy.

L: Yes.

A: I was late! I know! Ling!!

L: You fix phones.

A: Now I sell them! I own the company! I have a lot of money!

L: Good for you.

A: I want to...

L: You've seen your daughter.

A: She's beautiful!

L: Yes, she looks like me.

A: She does.

L: And you've seen me.

A: You're still gorgeous, sweetheart.

L: Yes.

A: So...

L: Goodbye.

A: But I was late!!

L: Nineteen years.

A: Very late!

L: Too late.

A: I... I'm sorry. I'm sorry!

L: Apology already accepted, Adam.

A: Then, take me back.

L: You were late, you were busy.

A: Yes.

L: Once.

A: Yes.

L: You own a phone company.

A: Yes.

L: You could have called.

A: I...

L: Could. Have. Called.

A: Ling!

(he is offstage, we hear a door close)

M: (as Ling returns) You did it, Mom!

L: Yes. I guess I did.

M: Wow! So that was Dad?

L: No.

M: What?

L: Not your Dad, just your father.

M: Oh.

L: There's a big difference.

M: Yeah... yeah... I get it. (hugging Ling) Thanks, Mom.

(lights fading)

L: You're welcome, Mallie. So, Point Frederick?

M: Yes, Saturday. Barry's diving.

L: Barry. Again with Barry?

M: Mom, he's like magic.

L: He's very handsome.

M: Polite.

L: Funny.

M: And... always five minutes early.

L: (starts crying) Perfect.

(lights out)


December 29, 2006

A Play A Day #260

Unchained Malady
We're All For Getting The Forgetting You're Forgetting To Forget You've Forgotten For


Setting: Jo's kitchen.

(Beez enters)

Beez: Hey, Jo, where we going?

Jo: Nowhere.

B: But you told me to get over here, you had to take me somewhere.

J: Did I?

B: Yeah, you did.

J: Hmmm.

B: So...

J: Must've lied.

B: I'm not lying; you said that we...

J: I must've lied.

B: So where we going?

J: I just told you. Nowhere.

B: Oh. So you were telling the truth.

J: When?

B: The second time.

J: Yeah... I guess.

B: First you lied, then you told the truth.

J: Okay.

B: So...

J: Yeah.

B: Then...

J: Nothing.

B: Not going anywhere?

J: No.

B: Then why did you tell me that you had somewhere to take me.

J: Oh... yeah...

B: And...?

J: Now that I think about it...

B: Now that you think about it what?

J: Wasn't a lie... the first thing.

B: Okay...

J: The first thing was true.

B: You are going to take me somewhere?

J: Yes. I am.

B: And...?

J: Somewhere.

B: Right, where though?

J: Can't remember.

B: You can't remember where you were going to take me?

J: No... I guess I can't.

B: So, you were lying then.

J: No, no. Forgetting isn't lying.

B: Well...

J: And lying isn't forgetting.

B: But you called me to tell me to come over... that you were going to take me somewhere.

J: And now I don't remember.

B: And now you don't remember.

J: I don't remember where I was going to take you.

B: Great.

J: At first, I just didn't remember that I was taking you anywhere.

B: Yeah, alright... listen...

J: Actually, before that, and I didn't tell you, but, before that, I didn't even remember telling you to come over.

B: Okay, Jo, well...

J: And before that, before that, I think... before that, I didn't even remember calling you.

B: Yeah, is there any chance...

J: And before that, I didn't even remember your phone number.

B: It's on your speed dial.

J: Exactly, because before that, I didn't even remember that I had speed dial.

B: Okay, can you stop this, because I don't...

J: And even weirder still, before I didn't remember that I had speed dial, I forgot I had a phone.

B: (dry) It's a miracle you managed to call me.

J: No kidding! Because, get this, before I forgot that, I forgot you existed.

B: Jo... let's stop, okay? We aren't going anywhere...

J: Before that I recall forgetting that I existed!

B: We're not going anywhere, not physically anyway and...

J: That was preceded by a forgetting that anything existed!

B: ...and not in your recollection of forgettings past.

J: What's perhaps most remarkable...

B: Jo, don't...

J: I know before I forgot anything existed, I forgot everything existed!

B: No! Don't do this! Universal logic is tearing all around us!

J: And...

B: Stop! Stop! You don't understand what...

J: ...before that...

B: No! Jo!! STOP!!!!

J: I forgot about...

B: NO!!!!

J: ... forgetting.

(lights out immediately)

J: (pause) But, then... (lights on) I remembered.

B: (gasping for breath) Don't do that!!

J: I remembered everything.

B: (still gasping) You nearly thought us out of possibility.

J: Mainly, I remembered that I was forgetting.

B: How do you do that? Everytime I come over, it's something beyond bizarre!

J: And I remembered that I was going to take you somewhere.

B: You said you forgot where though.

J: Nope.

B: Nope... what?

J: I remembered.

B: Where you're going to take me?

J: No, I remember where I took you.

B: Right, but, where are we going this time?

J: We just went there.

B: Oh. Yeah.

J: Did you like it?

B: No, Jo... I didn't... I nearly became nothing.

J: Yes. But now, you're something else entirely.

B: Ha. Ha.

J: I like that joke.

B: Listen, Jo. I was waiting for a phone call, when you called.

J: Ironic.

B: I'm going home.

J: Alright.

B: Get that call. (starts leaving)

J: See you around.

B: (turns) Right, next Saturday.

J: Saturday?

B: The lake.

J: Lake?

B: Becky's cabin.

J: Becky?

B: Her cabin?

J: Becky's cabin?

B: You're my ride.

J: Ride?

B: Yes.

J: Oh.

B: Yes!

J: Okay.

B: Okay?

J: Okay!

B: Please, Jo.

J: Hey, alright.

B: Alright.

J: Just don't...

B: Don't what?

J: ... let me forget.

(Beez shivers, turns and walks off as the light fade)


December 28, 2006

A Play A Day #259



Setting: Barely-lit stage, a bedroom

(In the dark, we hear a door creak open)

Burke: Elena? You asleep?

Elena: No.

B: How are you feeling?

E: Not good.

B: Worse?

E: Yes.

B: No.

E: It won't take long.

B: Please don't say that.

E: Burke. I have to.

B: No. You'll make it.

E: No.

B: Yes!

(long pause)

B: I'm sorry.

E: Burke, this wasn't supposed to happen.

B: The old woman said.

E: I know, but...

B: I never believed her.

E: Me either. Well... not entirely.

B: She can't do this to you.

E: Apparently, she can.

B: Elena, try again. Where did you meet her?

E: (has said this a thousand times) Behind the church.

B: The south side?

E: Yes, where the rose garden was when we were kids.

B: Now, what did she say?

E: Only that I was an undying light, but my light would die soon.

B: Right. What else? If you remember, then maybe... (prompts her) She reached for you, and...

E: (long pause, strange, disturbing voice) "Light gives what it takes. Takes what it gives."

B: (pause) Elena? Elena? You said it!

E: (as if waking up) What was that?

B: I think you finally remembered! Your voice... changed. You sounded older, strange.

E: I... what... did I say something?

B: Yes... "Light gives what it takes. Takes what it gives." That's it.

E: I don't... maybe that's what the old woman said. I don't remember after she touched my hair.

B: What if I touch you hair?

E: I don't know. Try.

B: (do so, tries stroking her hair for a little while) Does that help?

E: No. Say what she said.

B: (stroking her hair) Light gives what it takes. Takes what it gives. (continues stroking her hair for a while) Anything?

E: No. Nothing.

B: But, no one can find anything wrong with you... you're healthy... this can't...

E: I feel healthy, but I can feel myself dying.

B: The words... maybe... maybe you need light. The doctors said that it would be unheard of for someone to die of... maybe, we should turn them on and try...

E: No! No, Burke!

B: But now that you remembered the words... maybe it will be okay now!

E: It hurts... Burke, don't.

B: We have to try again... it could be different. You remembered what she said!

E: No! Please don't!

(Burke has moved to the wall, flips the light switch, lights up full and obscenely bright)

E: (screaming in pain, face and body contorting) Off! OOOOOFFFFF!

B: (shutting off lights, Elena's screams subside to whimpers, Burke goes back to her) Sorry... I'm so sorry, Elena. I had to... I was trying to see...

E: Don't try so hard next time.

B: The lights will kill you, but you're dying anyway.

E: Let's try this. A candle.

B: A candle... yeah. Why?

E: It's only a little light. My undying light. It takes light, it gives light. The old lady's words could mean that I need light to live, but too much will kill me.

B: Then why are getting sicker living in the bedroom with all light blocked off?

E: Right. I need some light. I can't live with it, with all of it, but I need some.

B: A candle.

E: Just a little light.

B: A candle.

E: Yes. We have to try.

B: In the livingroom. I'll get one of the nice ones. (leaves)

(Elena struggles for a while but manages to pull herself from under the covers and sit on the edge of the bed)

B: (returning with long taper candle and holder) Ohh, honey, why did you get up?

E: I'm in that bed all day, everyday. I'm excited to try the candle.

B: (realizing something) Ahh, sorry, forgot the matches. (puts candle on bed next to Elena, leaves)

(Elena picks up the candle, looks at it briefly, her body contorts awkwardly and she falls back on the bed, the candle held upright on her chest, one loud, ragged exhalation, and the candle lights itself)

B: (returning) Did you say something... oh, hey, you lit it yourself... how did... Elena? How did you light... Elena? (nudging her, then slowly realizing that she has died, crying, repeating her name over and over, holding her head tightly, he grabs the candle and puts it on the nightstand in its holder, he then picks up Elena, and cradles her in his arms, while he sits bacck on the bed, he cries and kisses her forehead)

(light fade slowly)

(candle stays lit)


December 27, 2006

A Play A Day #258

Lend An Ear


Setting: Bare stage.

(Darkness, ghost lighting only. Eric in long trenchcoat approaches Nick who is standing center stage, trying to look nonchalant.)

Eric: (stage whisper) Hey. (louder) Hey, pal.

Nick: (whirls around) Stay back, I have a gun.

E: So do I. Settle down, this shall end without the perdition of souls.

N: What? Souls?

E: It's the twelfth, that's all.

N: Oh.

E: Nevermind.

N: Oh.

E: So, Slits tells me you are in need of some merchandise.

N: Yes... I...

E: Say it, because you get nothing without an actual order.

N: I... I need an ear.

E: That's it?

N: Well, yeah... Ummm...

E: I mean, what kind of ear?

N: Oh... really? What kind?

E: Yeah, color, size, right or left, c'mon... are you slow?

N: No... No... I just didn't think about it a lot. I just need one... (points to his downstage ear) like this one, except for the other side.

E: Now you're talking. Not too hard, was it?

N: No... but... do you have one?

E: Let's check. (opens trenchcoat, ears everywhere of all shapes, sizes and colors, Eric examines Nick's ear) Let's see, looks like your standard adult Caucasian, about three inches, prominent lobe... ah, here we go.

N: That's it? You just know?

E: (getting angry) You questioning my ability to craft innovative solutions for all your appendage needs?! Huh!?

N: No! No! No! Not at all... I just...

E: Been a loan leader for over a decade. Not a finer ear man in the five county metroplex!

N: Sure! Sure... I just didn't think you'd get it so fast.

E: You got common ears, pal.

N: Well ear... the other one...

E: (holding up his hand) Ah, ah, ah, ah, aahhh! Do not tell me what happened to your other ear. I don't want to know. This knowledge only leads to trouble in my business.

N: Oh, well...

E: See, I've found it better in this line of work to not know my customers. It's a little counter to your standard business mantras, but this ain't a standard business. I don't want to know what happened to your ear. I don't want to know why you need another one. I didn't even ask you your name.

N: Oh, it's Nick.

E: Damnit! What'd you say that for!? It's nothing. I don't know your damn name. Understand?

N: Yeah. Sorry.

E: Just shut your speakhole, okay?

N: What do I owe you?

E: Nothing.

N: Wha... are you serious?

E: Yeah, nothing. I lend ears. You pay me back over time, either in installments, or in a big balloon payment at the end.

N: The end?

E: Yeah, you know, end of the loan period.

N: When is that?

E: Five years.

N: Five years?

E: Yeah, you pay in yearly installments or all at once at the end of the five years.

N: How much is the installment payment.

E: For that ear... uhhhh... Fifty a year.

N: Fifty dollars?

E: Ha! Fifty thousand, idiot. Fifty bucks? Jesus, you think I'm running a charity here? That's the ear value plus interest.

N: No... fifty thousand!?

E: What, you can't pay it?

N: I don' think so... no.

E: (takes ear back) Suit yourself.

N: I'm sorry.

E: Police are going be looking for a white guy about your size with his right ear missing.

N: What? How'd you know that!?

E: I repeat: you think I'm running a charity here? I have sources, lots of sources. They keep their ears to the ground; I keep'em happy.

N: But... I need that ear. I don't have fifty thousand dollars. I can't...

E: Well, there is another way. Installment plan.

N: Yeah, you just told me, fifty thou a year.

E: No. Other installments.

N: Yeah? What?

E: Well, once a year, you bring me a fresh ear.

N: An ear!!?

E: Five ears over five years. Easy to memorize, it even rhymes.

N: You're insane.

E: I always need fresh stock. Even if you can't pay, someone can. The more ears I got, the wider my customer base. The wider the customer base, the better chance that I get more paying customers.

N: But, I can't just find five ears...

E: Well, you can always save up and get them all at the end of the loan period. Five at once.

N: I...

E: Seems to me you don't have much choice.

N: No. I can't do this.

E: Well, good luck finding another ear lender. I got the cheapest prices in town, and the body count shows that I'm the nicest, too.

N: You can't expect people to...

E: I don't expect them to cut off five ears. I expect them to pay. Some do.

N: Jesus...

E: Listen, I can tell you're struggling with the decision. Let me sweeten the deal for you: if you bring me an ear and that ear sells, I give you ten percent of my gross.

N: Ten percent? Of $250, 000?

E: That's if you bring me ears like yours. Kids' ears are worth a lot more, of course. A quality woman's ear can fetch up to half a million.

N: So, I should go for kids and women?

E: Bigger the score for me, the bigger the score for you.

N: You're sick!

E: And you're a couple days from jail for manslaugther at Freddy's Grill and Bar, on Fifth and Deiter. Victim, 32 year old male name of Shawn Kempers of 2412 Pollit Square, Apartment 515. Barfight turned real ugly, you never saw the switchblade 'til your ear hit the floor.

N: How did you...

E: An ear falls off in this city; I know about it before the bleeding's stopped.

N: I thought you never wanted to know who or what or...

E: Not for an easy sale. I knew you were desperate; I thought you would be easy.

N: Alright, fine. I'll do it.

E: (handing the ear back) Really?

N: Yeah.

E: Don't even think of absconding or trying not to pay, or you'll find yourself looking for a new pair of eyes, and maybe a new brain, if me or my associates get a bit too upset.

N: I'll pay! I'll pay. I'll pay.

E: Yeah. I know. Now how you going to get that ear on your head?

N: I was going to go to my doctor and...

E: No, you're not. You stupid? Get that thing to my doctor at Jim's Seafood in Ragtown. Ask Scott, the bartender, if the doctor is in. Go on Wednesday nights only. He'll get that sewn up real nice. Good as new. Keep it in the freezer until then.

N: Alright. Wednesday nights. Jim's Seafood. Ragtown.

E: Scott, the bartender. Don't forget.

N: Scott.

E: Back to 719 Treefall Lane for you, Nick Amming.

N: How did...

E: You knew I knew. Better get home, pal; some real creeps out this time of night.

(they exit opposite ways as light fade)


December 26, 2006

A Play A Day #257

Bitter Tears, Bitter Tears


Setting: Two chairs [Note: I hear this play done with Feena playing the lines with the emotions and actions as written, but I can also hear it done with Feena speaking the lines in an emotionless monotone. Would be interesting to see the differences in each.]

Roy: I didn't want to say it either, Feena, believe me. I love you. I do. It's just that...

Feena: Dismay. Dismay. Dismay.

R: Please don't be like that.

F: Dismayed?

R: I understand, but, over time...

F: Recrimination, subtle insult.

R: That's not really true, and, to the extent that it is true, I apologized... many times.

F: Lingering anger.

R: Are you still mad?

F: Denial of obvious.

R: You are... you're still mad about last September.

F: Further denials and blatant projection.

R: Why would I be angry about that? I apologized. I screwed up. I know that. I've admitted it and apologized over and over again.

F: Complaint.

R: Then why did you say you forgived me if it wasn't enough? I did a bad thing, but I was honest about it. You tell me that you forgive me, but you bring it up all the time to remind me how hurt you were... or are.

F: Demonstrative accusation.

R: How can you say that! I owned up to it; I owned up to it out of my own guilt. You persist in this manipulative game of forgive-me, forgive-me-not.

F: More demonstrative accusation.

R: Listen, Feena. It isn't even about that.

F: Only tangentially-related demonstrative accusation.

R: That doesn't make any sense! What does that...

F: Almost entirely delusional and very frantic demonstrative accusation.

R: What... I don't even know what that means.

F: Pulling back from edge.

R: Besides, it's not about any of...

F: Coy recollection.

R: It's not about...

F: Bolder recollection, allusion to sexual proclivity.

R: Yes, of course, but, let me finish...

F: Recounting of passionate moment.

R: I'm not here to talk about that.

F: Hint of immediate sexual gratification.

R: No. No, Feena, I have to tell you why I...

F: More blatant sexual reference, slight desperation.

R: Don't say that; we both know it won't get at our real problem.

F: Desperate query.

R: I don't think this is something we can fix.

F: Desperate counterstatement.

R: Even if we could fix it...

F: Desperate encouragement.

R: Even if we could fix it, and I doubt we ever could, but even if we could, it wouldn't be what I want.

F: Desperate mumbling.

R: I need to leave, Feena. I can't stay with you. The first year was so nice, but...

F: Excessive agreement.

R: BUT... the last two have been a descent into malaise, argument, distrust, one wild allegation after another, and...

F: Wild allegation, wild allegation.

R: Why do you think last September happened in the first place?

F: Understated cynical barb.

R: Hardly.

F: Vicious personal attack.

R: Say what you will... the truth is I could have handled the distrust, the allegations, the angry arguments, because I thought you were worth it, but you never opened yourself up... to me.

F: Spurious claim.

R: That's all I wanted, and I told you that over and over: Please talk to me, tell me what you're thinking, but, no... nothing.

F: Rabid counter-accusation.

R: Feena, I wanted you to be open and honest. Your words often go one way, but your emotions go the other. Unfortunately for you, I could read you like a children's book. A children's book gets old very fast.

F: Attempted mean humor.

R: So, I need to go. We need to go. You're not a bad person. I loved you.

F: Disbelieving anguish.

R: I've tried to fix this thing... us... for a long time. It's time to let it go, Feena. (reaches out strokes her hair) I'm sorry, but it will be better for both of us. It will.

F: Bitter tears, bitter tears.

R: I'm... I'm sorry. (chokes up a little, falters a bit, then goes to her for one last awkward kiss on the cheek) I... I... have to go, now.

F: Bitter, bitter, bitter tears.

R: (leaving, turns around) Good-bye. (he's gone)

F: (looks up) Statement of honest relief. (walks off the other way, whistling)

(lights out)


December 25, 2006

A Play A Day #256

Genius Out

of thousands

Setting: Busy big city crosswalk.

(Urban downtown traffic sounds, a ding, many, many people cross stage from left to right, many others cross right to left. They are all dressed in only bright white. All of them stare at the ground the entire time. Traffic sounds for a while, the same ding sound, people crossing both directions, into the mix, comes A, dressed in off-white, looking up. A bumps into many, many people, each adlibbing their displeasure at being bumped. A never stops looking up. Eventually, A stops in the middle of the stage. Lights narrow, until A is backlit by one beam getting more and more intense, traffic sounds up, lights out.

Lights up, A lies in the middle of the street, ding, people cross, stepping over and around A's body. Adlibs of displeasure again at having to do so. Eventually, someone says, above the general noise - change gender depending on your selection for A -

"Saw the whole thing, idiot wasn't watching where he was going." Someone responds, "Now, he's everyone's problem." Someone else: "So selfish."

Traffic sounds continue, lights fade out very slowly.)


December 24, 2006

A Play A Day #255

The White Zone


Setting: Airport, sidewalk by main entrances. Front lip of the stage is painted one quarter of it's length white (stage right), then red, then blue, then turqoise (stage left, Man stands in white zone, two pieces of luggage on the ground)

Voice: (airport intercom voice, ten seconds or so between each iteration) The white zone is for the unloading of passengers only... The white zone is for the unloading of passengers only... The white zone is for the unloading of passengers only... (throat clearing sound over the intercom, more pointed now) The white zone. Is for the unloading of passengers. Only. (Man is not hearing any of this, more-obvious throat clearing) THE white zone is for THE unloading of passengers only. (pause) Hey! (Man notices this, looks around) Up here! The voice. I told you. The white zone is for the unloading of pasengers only. The white zone! The white... the one you are standing in. Yes. You. You are standing in the white zone. See, the curb! It's painted white. For a reason: It's for the unloading of passengers only. That's it. You can't just stand there with your ugly luggage and block the efficient unloading of all other passengers. (Man is still confused. The Voice can't be actually talking to him?) You stand in the way of this airport's important operations.... MOVE!! You! Move, now! Yes, move! Get out of the white zone! The white zone is not for you! Move! Move! Move! (Man finally picks up luggage, looking around nervously, starts moving to the red zone) That's it... plase don't make me work at it next time.

(Man stops in red zone, still nervous and confused, puts his luggage down)

Voice: The white zone is for the unloading of passengers only... The white zone is for the unloading of passengers only... The red zone is for the unloading of important passengers only... (clearing throat sound) The red zone is...

Man: What?

Voice: The red zone is for the unloading of important passengers only.

Man: Are you serious?

Voice: The voice is always serious.

Man: No. I have a right to stand here.

Voice: The voice is never wrong.

Man: Yes you are. You're wrong about this.

Voice: (much louder) The red zone is for the unloading of important passengers only!

Man: This is ridiculous.

Voice: The red zone is for...

Man: I am important!

(Man seethes, long pause, he calms down, he relaxes)

Voice: No you're not.

Man: (gritting teeth) Shut up!

Voice: No one important has luggage like that, besides...

Man: You can't just push me around, voice!

Voice: ... you're not being unloaded anyway; we've already established that in the white zone.

Man: There's no one else here!

Voice: The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only.

Man: I am impor...

Voice: The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only.

Man: Bu...

Voice: (getting faster and faster, Man tries to interject, but the voice just gets louder and faster each time) The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only. The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only. The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only! The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only! The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only!! The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only!!! The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only!!! The red zone is for the unloading of actually-important passengers only!!!!

Man: (bent over, hands on his ears, shouting) Shut up! Shut up!! Shut UP!!!!

Voice: (long pause, Voice waits for man to relax, Voice realizes Man is broken) Move.

(Man looks up, dejected, moves to the blue zone)

Voice: (very long pause) The blue zone... (Man picks up luggage and moves to the turquoise zone)

(this pause drags on a while too, Man awaits the inevitable)

Voice: Sooooo.... how's things?

Man: What?

Voice: Everything okay?

Man: You have some nerve...

Voice: I have no nerves... just a voice, you know.

Man: Just leave me be. Is that too much to ask? I'm waiting for my ride; I don't need this.

Voice: I'm sure you don't.

Man: Then stop.

Voice: Sure.

Man: Yes?

Voice: Not a problem.

Man: Good.

(very long pause)

Voice: I hate to break the bad news to you, but the turquoise zone is for escaped pedophiles, serial rapists and prospective terrorists only.

Man: Shut up!

Voice: I'm sorry, you're right, that wasn't very professional of me.

Man: You're just making stuff up!

Voice: (in full professional voice again) The turquoise zone is for escaped pedophiles, serial rapists and prospective terrorists only.

Man: You can't just acuse me of those things! None of that is true! None...

Voice: The turquoise zone is for escaped pedophiles, serial rapists and prospective terrorists only.

Man: I don't believe in you!

Voice: Look everyone! Look! An escaped pedophile!

Man: I'm not an escaped pedophile!!

Voice: (beat) Look everyone a regular pedophile!

Man: I'm not a pedophile!!

Voice: Pedophiles are chronic liars!

Man: Stop it!

Voice: He has bombs in that crappy luggage! He's a pedophile terrorist!

Man: I don't have any bombs! Help me! Please! Someone?!

Voice: He didn't want to blow up his good luggage when killing innocents by the thousands!

Man: I don't have any other luggage!

Voice: (beat) Watch out! He's poor too!

Man: No, I'm...

Voice: He's desperate! He wants to blow up airplanes and have sex with your children!

Man: No, you can't...

Voice: Everyone run! Run! RUN!!!

Man: (not knowing what to do, stands there for a while, terrified, then slowly starts looking around) Wait a minute.... who are you talking to?

Voice: What?

Man: Who are you talking to? Who are you telling to run?!

Voice: The people.

Man: What people?!

Voice: The people in the airport... passengers, workers, familes and so forth.

Man: There's no one eelse here.

Voice: Ha! Just the type of lie a pedophile terrorist would use.

Man: You forgot serial rapist.

Voice: What's wrong with you? You're sick.

Man: I was going to ask you the same question, sicko.

Voice: Nothing's wrong with me. I'm a voice.

Man: Why are you tormenting me?

Voice: Oh, come on! "Tormenting" is a bit strong, isn't it?

Man: No.

Voice: I was just goofing around... you know... having a little joke.

Man: Why?

Voice: No reason.

Man: No. Why?

Voice: Ohhh! Alright! Fine! You're the first person at this airport all day. I needed something to do!

Man: Did you ever wonder why people don't come to this airport?

Voice: No. Why would I?

Man: Might have something to do with how cruel you are.

Voice: Listen, I don't set the fake rules; I just speak them... over and over and over and over and over again.... no one pays attention. No one cares about me - the Voice!

Man: Maybe you jut need to be nicer.

Voice: But you don't understand how hard it is to just be a voice and have no one listen!

Man: I think we all feel like that from time to time.

Voice: Really?

Man: Yeah. Really.

Voice: (muffled crying, sniffling) Ohh...

Man: Voice?

Voice: (teary) Yeeah?

Man: You okay?

Voice: Yeah... it's just that... no one... no one has ever really "got" me before... you... you reached out to me.

Man: Well...

Voice: And you didn't have to, after how mean I was to you.

Man: It's okay... I forgive you.

Voice: You do?

Man: Yeah. I do.

Voice: (crying for a little while, sniffling, quiets down) Thank you.

Man: You're entirely welcome.

Voice: Say, you can actually stand in the blue zone.

Man: I can?

Voice: Of course. You need to stand somewhere, and the blue zone is the designated spot for you.

Man: Good, I kind of figured one of the zones had to be for picking up passengers... I mean where else was I going to stand, right? (small chuckle which the Voice shares with him, Man steps into the blue zone)

Voice: Yeah, you're right.

Man: Good. Wife should be here any minute.

Voice: (completely professional again) The blue zone is for the loading and unloading of total suckers only.

(Man drops luggage immediately)

(lights out)


December 23, 2006

A Play A Day #254



Setting: Bare stage.

Glory: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. NO!

Mix: Glory, c'mon! It's fucking... we...

G: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Fuck. No.

M: We... ain't nothing. No worries.

G: Fuck.

M: Fuck nothing.

G: Something. It's...

M: We got it, and something... what's the issue, issue is nothing.

G: No. Not true. You fuck around... they.. you... don't fuck around, Mix.

M: It's ours, ours, Glory!

G: Stop Mix. Ain't fucking nothing worth that... the risk, it's too high. Fuck you up.

M: I'm the one. I do this I do this I do this I do this... and it all comes to me. I'm the new king.

G: Fucking dumbfuck no-perspective dumbfuck is all.

M: I got it all four, Glory. Glory, all four. Mix is king. The new fucking king.

G: It's impossible.

M: It's the quadfecta.

G: A myth, fucking quadfecta fucking myth...

M: Only wish squirrels were driving!

G: Because you got a dick, you're mutherfucking stupid... your dick makes you stupid... why... ahhh...

M: No... it's about being the Rex... you know The Rex among the Canis! T. Rex, I guess. The Canis Major.

G: Look, Bitches know... this ain't T. Rex, fucking I'm a bitch... I know... your dick fucking kills you...

M: No. It's a good dick. Exciting as hell, Glory! Take it all! I'm the Rex! The Glory! The One! I'm the Glory, Glory!

G: You're dead... Rex is dead, long die the Rex. No Glory. You're a cocksucking... you moron... fucking toilet bowls and shinbones man... stick to what you know. Got no repect for danger... the leash is there for a reason for you, you know nothing, fucking leash is needed in your fucking case, and I hate, the fucking leash is the thing I cannot stand. I cannot tolerate the leash, but it fucking needs to be on you, you can't fucking quadfecta ain't fucking possible, dreaming is it. Cocksucking dreaming.

M: You wish you had the cock to suck... I see you licking your own cunt... not a shame in that... is what we do.

G: Figure of speech I know we fucking do that... it's in the species, Mix, point is, you ain't fucking smart, you pee against vertical surfaces, you smell assholes, you chase cars... fucking fine whatever, fucking common...

M: Yeah, and...

G: I mean, who doesn't, it's what we do...

M: We do those things...

G: We do them, because we fucking do, it's common.

M: We have to.

G: Don't fucking, don't give me, what's common is not mandatory shit, c'mon, common, you know that.

M: No, for you, for me, yeah, I have to. We got the toilet bowl... that's good shit... we know that... It's born in us... got piss on the vertical surfaces, assholes, chasing the fucking cars, keep'em away. And got to fuck the fucking legs.

G: Whether you got to or not is not the point, point is, point is, we can't combine all of them. Impossible, deadly.

M: The Mutherfucking Cocksucking Quadfecta, Glory!

G: You die, Mix.

M: I'm the new king!

G: You're dead, Mix. Not possible, fucking car moving twenty-five, rolling past the house... you chase...

M: Fucking twenty-five's nothing...

G: Maybe so, point is...

M: I catch the fucker in three seconds. Fucking fast fucking Mix I am.

G: Yeah, we know that... you catch it... that's one... no problem.

M: See.

G: Then, what... the asshole?

M: Yeah, fucking sniff the asshole...

G: The car asshole...

M: Check it out... need to know... friend or foe...

G: The car asshole.

M: I don't know what it... fucking place where the shit comes out... back-end of the car.

G: The asshole... fine...

M: Trick is though... don't care if it's fucking friend or foe... just step two, the second step, the second step in the quadfecta...

G: Then, the piss.

M: Yeah, harder to piss at twenty-five... but I been training, been doing, been doing, been doing... uhh...

G: Been doing, what you been doing...

M: Been doing piss-bys on stop signs at thirty...

G: Piss-bys... crazy mutherfucker you are... you even hitting the post?

M: All the fucking time! Just a little squirt... psst is all... thirty fucking miles an hour... hitting stop signs so fast... the one one the corner at the top of the hill...

G: Not bad, Mix... but four is not fucking possible.

M: It is just fucking...

G: Fucking road kill is all you will be...

M: Gonna fuck that tire...

G: Dead Mix.. you die...

M: Gonna make the tire my bitch...

G: You fuck you die, tire is moving Mix, you fuck it, it fucks you.

M: The quadfecta!

G: Doesn't count if you fucking die!

M: I been saving up... haven't fucked a tire in almost a week... I'm set to pop!

G: You'll fucking die, Mix...

M: You're my witness, Glory.

G: Don't want to fucking watch, Mix.

M: Here comes one... (starts stretching)

G: Mix... don't.

M: Too late, Glory. Quadfecta is mine!

G: Mix... not worth it.

M: It's time! (takes off after car, savagely barking offstage)

G: Fucking stupid... at least he'll die with a smile...

(Glory walks off the other direction)

(lights out)


December 22, 2006

A Play A Day #253

The Gift That Keeps On Being


Setting: Small apartment, Christmas tree, no presents except the one in Anson's hands.

A: (unwrapping present) Wow... it's... it's.... empty.

B: No. It's full of nothing!

A: That's something.

B: Yes, and it never runs out.

A: It's exactly what I needed.

B: It's like nothing you've had before.

A: It's something else.

B: Merry Christmas, Dear.

A: Thank you, Sweetie. This is kind of embarrassing though.

B: What?

A: It's just... I didn't get you anything.

B: You didn't?

A: Yeah, I didn't. Here it is.

B: Where?

A: You're holding it.

B: Oh. I am?

A: Yes, I didn't wrap it.

B: Oh, Honey! It's perfect! Where did you find it?

A: Well, I looked everywhere, and it wasn't there. Then I looked somewhere else, and it wasn't there. Then I looked in a place that was nowhere else, and there it was!

B: That's so weird, because that's the same place I found yours!

A: I hope you're not too disappointed though.

B: Don't be silly, why would I be disappointed?

A: Well, I had to give up my obsession with products to find your gift.

B: But that's perfect! I had to give up defining myself through materialism to find yours! See?

A: (beat) Oh! Hey! Yeah, you're right! That is perfect!

B: Yes, instead of O'Henry, we had Henry'O.

A: Not Gift of the Magi, but Magic of the Gift.

(pause, looking at their gifts)

A: It's unlike anything else.

B: Now, I think I actually have everything.

A: I guess we both really have something, don't we?

B: Yes, and now, nothing can come between us.


(lights fade out)


December 21, 2006

A Play A Day #252



Setting: Desk, papers spread everywhere on its surface, man sits, finishes dialing phone, we hear the other end of the phone over the sound system throughout. Hold music must be horrible. Man fidgits, looks through papers, doodles, whatever to reflect his emotions with the call as the play progresses - in other words, I don't want to break up the play with tons of stage directions. Be smart.

(rings, rings)

Voice: (very pleasing female voice, professional but comforting and sincere and homey)

Hello! And welcome to the voice information system of Carbon Futures, Incorporated; your full-service solution for carbon-based needs and services. Our voice information system offers ten options.

Please listen carefully; as our options have changed. To better serve your Carbon Futures, Incorporated needs and to prevent errors in processing your call, please listen fully to all options before making your selection.

(pause, a little longer than is logical)

V: In our ongoing effort to improve customer service and to improve the time it takes to wholly respond to your queries, this call may be monitored.

In our ongoing effort to better serve you with proper and prompt attention to your needs or concerns or problems or suggestions or issues, a full transcript of this call will be archived in our legal department.

Also, in our ongoing effort to fight evil, this call will be backed up by a SWAT unit ready and able to deploy within seconds.


V: As stated earlier, our Carbon Futures, Incorporated voice information system has ten options. It perhaps goes without saying that these ten options have been designed with better serving you, our Carbon Futures, Incorporated valued customer, in mind. Please listen completely to all options before selecting to prevent unprofitable sallying forth down the wrong voice information path.


Man: Jesus.

V: If you have an accounts receivable question or need to speak to a valuable member of our Carbon Futures, Incorporated accounts receivable staff or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to accounts and the receiving thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 1 now.

(long pause)

V: If you have an accounts payable question or need to speak to a slightly-less valuable member of the Carbon Futures, Incorporated accounts payable staff or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to accounts and the paying thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 6 now.

(long pause)

M: Come on, come on...

V: If you wish to set up a new commercial account or need to speak to any of our underfunctioning members of the Carbon Futures, Incorporated new commercial accounts staff or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to accounts and the commercial nature and establishment thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 3 now.

M: Agghh... go in order... 1,2,3?

(long pause)

V: If you wish to check on the status, health, and/or whereabouts of an existing account or need to speak to any of the rather handsome members of our Carbon Futures, Incorporated existing accounts staff or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to accounts and the existential nature thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 4 now.

(long pause)

V: If you wish to place an order for Carbon Futures, Incorporated products or services or need to speak to any of the hastily-trained, surly members of our Carbon Futures, Incorporated orders staff or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to orders and the placing, processing, checking, rechecking, deleting, altering or fondling thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 9 now.

M: What the hell! This...

(long pause)

V: If you wish to interview or include Carbon Futures, Incorporated in a news item, report, advertisement or fluff piece or need to speak to any of the large-breasted models in our Carbon Futures, Incorporated media relations office or wish to discuss anything even remotely related to the media and the relations thereto, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 2 now.

M: Stop it! Just stop it!

V: If you wish to speak to customer service about any issue whatsoever, please press 5 now.

M: (presses 5 rapidly)

V: Ah-ah-ah! You haven't made it through all ten options if you recall near the beginning, the Carbon Futures, Incorporated voice information system instructed you, and the Carbon Futures, Incorporated voice information system, in an effort to better serve you, quotes: To better serve your Carbon Futures, Incorporated needs and to prevent errors in processing your call, please listen fully to all options before making your selection. End quotes.

M: (who has been mumbling angrily throughout) Fuck. (presses 5 again)

V: (a little edge in her voice now) Please watch your language. There are three options to which you have not listened.

(M presses 5 again)

V: Well, your simply being stubborn now.

(M presses 5 again)

V: This isn't helping.

(M presses 5 again)

V: (shouting, vicious) Listen, Asshole!! Press 5 again, and I unleash the SWAT guys! Got it?!

M: Shit, shit, shit...

V: (pause) Okay, where were we? Ah yes. If you wish to tour the Carbon Futures, Incorporated campus or surrounding chattel town, Carbonfuturesville, or wish to speak to any of the homespun, whimsical geezers in the Carbon Futures, Incorporated Guided Tours department, or wish to discuss anything related to our campus and company town or living and working conditions thereof, please press or say or tap out in Morse Code... 8 now.

(long pause)

M: 5, just 5...

V: If you wish to speak to any dead relatives, press 0.

M: What?

V: If you wish to press 7, press or say 7.

M: (presses 5) What is this...

V: Thank you for calling the Customer Service department of Carbon Futures, Incorporated. Our voice information system has ten options, please listen carefully as our options have changed. In our ongoing effort to better serve you, this call will almost certainly be monitored. To prevent errors in directing your call, please listen to all options before making your selection.

M: Not again...

V: Press 1 for customer service.

M: (presses 1) I just did...

V: Please listen to all options before making your selection. Now I have to start over.

M: Shit!

V: Press 1 for Carbon Futures, Incorporated products.

M: What?

V: Press 2 for Carbon Futures, Incorporated services.

V: Press 3 for customer service.

M: Least it's in order.

V: Press 4 for (mummbled)

M: What?

V: Press 5 for customer service.

V: Press 6 three times for Satan.

M: You got to be...

V: Press 7 for the smell of burning hair.

V: Press 8 for customer services.

M: Unbelievable.

V: Press 9 to slip the bonds of Earth.

V: Press 0 to hear all of these in some other weird language.

M: (presses 5) A human, please!

V: Thank you for calling the Carbon Futures, Incorporated customer service department. All our valuable customer service agents are valuably servicing other very valuable clients. Your call is important to us, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received. You are number 2 in the queue, your expected wait time is 15 seconds.

M: Damn well better be.

(very long pause)

V: Your call is important to us, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received. You are number 2 in the queue, your expected wait time is 14 seconds.

M: Come on!

(very long pause)

V: Your call is important to us, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received. You are number 2 in the queue, your expected wait time is 16 seconds.

M: What the hell! It was just fucking fourteen! I remember! I REMEMBER DAMNIT!

(very long pause)

V: Hey, you're not going to believe this, but we actually just got a very, very, VERY valuable call... Your call was very important to us, comapratively, but you are now number 3 in the queue, your expected wait time is maybe like 18 seconds. Something like that.

M: This is... what... how do they think?

(very long pause)

V: We apologize for the extended wait time, we are experiencing very heavy call volumes during the calendar year. Your position in the queue is 37, your expected wait time is 21 seconds.

M: 37! You can't fucking do this to me!!

V: Please don't swear, sir. It reflects poorly on you.

M: Fuck you!

V: That was uncalled for, sir. If your not careful, I will switch the hold music to Muzak versions of Muzak songs.

M: I want fucking customer service!! That's all!

V: Sir. You must stop.

M: I won't fucking stop, you fucking piece of shit system!

V: We are extremely sorry that you have had to wait so long, a member of our valuable Carbon Futures, Incorporated customer service staff will be with you shortly. Your position in the queue is 1, your expected wait time is 97 minutes. This will be the last time you hear this message.

M: I'm number 1! Number 1! Number 1!! Damnit! Talk to me now!

(very long pause, Muzak continues)

M: (putting his head on top of the phone and resting his head on the desk, he whispers menacingly several times) I will kill you... I will kill you... I will fucking kill you, Carbon Futures, Incorporated.

(we hear a gunshot over the speakers, his head slips upstage of the receiver, the ear piece of which is smoking)

V: Please refrain from fucking with the Carbon Futures, Incorporated voice information system.

(His body weight and position pull him from his chair, he is dead, on the other end the line is hung up, loud dial tone as lights fade)


December 20, 2006

A Play A Day #251

Divorce And So Much More


Setting: A living room, one couch, one loveseat at a ninety-degree angle to each other.

Sue: Are you ready?

Tad: Yeah, I think I am. (long exhale) Wow... I can't believe we're actually doing this.

Sue: It's time... you know we're just living a lie.

Tad: But, for the children, don't you think we could...

Sue: Tad. No. We've been over this and over this. We can't just go on like this for the kids. It's not helping anyone. This is the best solution.

Tad: But...

Sue: Let's do it. Get the kids.

(Tad yells offstage for the kids)

Tad: Kids! Come here for a moment! We're in the living room.

(Sue sits on the loveseat, Tad joins her, they look at each other for a while, try to comfort each other and then turn away, the kids filter in, first Ellen, age 12)

Ellen: What's up? (she sits on the sofa)

Sue: Mom and Dad just want to say a few things, Ellen.

(then Iyla, age 10)

Iyla: (to Ellen) I wanna sit there! Get up!

Tad: Iyla, just sit down... please. (she does)

(then David, age 7)

David: Mom, can I have more cookies? Please?

Sue: Sit down with your sisters, David.

David: Pleeeeease!!?

Sue: David, sit.

David: Pleeeease!!?

Sue: Sit down!

David: (sitting) Pleeeease!

Ellen: Shut up, David!

Tad: Ellen!

Iyla: Yeah, something's wrong with Mom and Dad. Can't you see Mom's holding her knee?

Tad: Iyla...

David: Oh, crap.

Tad: David!

David: Oh, crap.

Sue: David!

David: Crap.

Ellen: Shut up, David!

Sue: Ellen!

Tad: Shut up!! Listen!

(long pause)

Tad: (small) Sorry.

Sue: Listen, kids... your father and I need to talk to you.

Iyla: It's serious?

Sue: Yes.

(Iyla vomits on the floor, Tad exits)

Sue: Jesus!

Ellen: Uggghhhh!!

David: Cool.

Iyla: Sorry.

Sue: It's alright. (Tad returns with a towel and a plastic bag, begins cleaning)

Iyla: Like, really serious?

(Tad looks up quickly, Sue starts to speak "y...", Tad snaps his head to her, Iyla retches, Tad snaps his head back, opens bag, Iyla vomits into it quickly)

David: That smells real bad!

(David retches, vomits, Tad catches his vomit in the bag too)

Ellen: Ahhh!!!

(Ellen retches and vomits, David isn't done yet, so Tad pushes David's head into Ellen's and they puke into the bag together)

Sue: (very shaky) Can we please stop with the vomiting!? Please!

Tad: (standing up, vomits into the bag, and walks out) Sorry.

Sue: (long pause as she collects herself) Your father and I need to talk to you. (Tad returns)

Tad: It's no secret that we've been having a very hard time being nice to each other ove the last year. You've heard us fighting, I'm sure.

David: One time, Mom wasn't yelling though... she was just saying wooo... wooo... a lot.

Ellen: (slapping David's head) Shut up, stupid. You're so embarassing.

Sue: Yes, well... uh...

Tad: Anyway. Your mother and I have talked about it for a long time, and we have been trying to keep this family together.

Sue: Yes, in fact, we didn't want it to come to this, because we were trying to do it for you kids. So you wouldn't have to come from a broken home.

Tad: But trying to keep the family together for the kids would probably do you more harm in the end.

Sue: The fighting would continue; there would be so much anger.

Tad: So we've come to a decision.

Ellen: You're getting a divorce.

Iyla: A divorce?

Tad: Yes.

Sue: We need to live our lives again; we can't go on kidding ourselves.

Tad: We are getting a divorce from you.

Ellen: From us?

Sue: We were so much happier before you three came along.

Tad: A clean house.

Sue: Peaceful nights.

Tad: Reading books.

Sue: Taking walks.

Tad: Lots more "woo-ing".

Sue: Now, here's the hard part. We are keeping the house. You three will have to move out.

Iyla: Where?

Tad: That's up to you now. We won't be your parents anymore. You are free to go where you choose.

Sue: But you'll need to leave soon.

Tad: By tomorrow morning, actually.

Sue: Or be in violation of a court restraining order.

Tad: The good news is that you won't have any bed times, or rules.

David: Awesome!

Sue: The good news for us is that we won't have to put up with your fighting, whining and messes.

Tad: Of course, the bad news is that you won't have any food.

Iyla: But, Mom! Dad!

Tad: Please, please, I think it will be easier for everyone if you call us Sue and Tad from now on.

Sue: Tad is right. Makes a cleaner break for all of us.

Tad: Now, in order to help us feel a part of society as parents, we have made another decision.

Sue: Oh yes, this is very exciting!

Tad: We have a certain function to fill as parents. We've met some very influential people in this town through our roles as parents. But, we asked ourselves: "Can we have the advantages of parenthood, without all the fuss and bother?"

Sue: As a human resource professional, I knew the answer was "yes", immediately! (beat, excitement) Outsourcing!!

Ellen: What?

Tad: For just twenty dollars a month, we are sponsoring a live link-up to a poor child in India. Anytime we want to be Arijit's - or just Ari as we like to call him - parents, we just text message him and give him some parental advice.

Iyla: You're already doing this?

Sue: Well, of course, we didn't want to just jump right into this parenting thing without practice.

Ellen: So your his parents now?

Tad: Yep. He's a good kid.

Sue: He's a pleasing caramel color; not all pale and splotchy pink like you three.

Tad: A nice evening-beige... not too dark to be scary.

Sue: And such a good listener! I told him to clean his room yesterday, and he didn't whine or complain at all. He was back online in a half minute with a picture of the dirt floor of the tiny room he shares with fourteeen other children. It was spotless.

Tad: Oh... tell them why!

Sue: He said it was because he didn't have anything to pick up.... and he meant it! (laughs)

Tad: He's quite a little comedian!

David: What about Gramma and Poppa?

Sue: (little wince) Oohhhh... yeah... well, good news and bad news there.

Tad: First the good news: They both died in their sleep last night when a horrible fire destroyed them and their home!

Sue: The bad news: Evidence may have been left at the scene.

Tad: But, more good news: As their only child, all their money will come directly to me.

Sue: But, more bad news: Since you are no longer our children, you will never see a cent of that money.

Tad: But, look at it positively, you're not their grandkids anymore, so you don't have to feel bad about any of that death stuff.

Sue: Well, thanks for listening, (standing up, shaking their hands formally) Ellen. Iyla. David.

(Tad does the same right behind her, they both start heading out)

Tad: I'm sure we will see you around from time to time.

Sue: Oh, and you can pack up whatever you want from your rooms, but remember that you'll have to carry it.

Tad: Whatever you don't want or can't carry, just leave. We're having the place professionally cleaned as soon as you've all gone. Everything we don't want gets tossed... or burned. (they share a small laugh)

(a phone rings)

Sue: Oh, honey, that's little Ari!

Tad: (hurriedly pushing her out of the room to get to the phone) I love his funny accent!

Sue: So adorable!

(lights fade on the kids staring blankly at the audience)


December 19, 2006

A Play A Day #250

Objective Poopface Criterion


Setting: A sofa, in a house.

(Lisa sits on sofa, reading a magazine, enter Andy, he is bubbly and playful)

Andy: How's it going, Poopface?

Lisa: (putting down magazine in disgust) Andy. Please don't call me that; it's mean.

A: I'm just joking.

L: It's hurtful and disrespectful and flippant.

A: I'm sorry, Lisa. How about if I say it in a less flippant manner?

L: Andy.

A: (like a counselor) How is it going, Poopface?

L: Not funny.

A: Ahh, dear, it's just a pet name.

L: Then use it on the pets.

A: I tried; they hated it.

L: Your wife does too.

A: How about if I said it like this...

L: Just don't say it.

A: (prowls around a bit, then with over-the-top lust) How's it going, Poopface?

L: Yeah. I'm wet.

A: Hmmm... not working... romantic powers... failing... need to extend dramatic tension... (like a nearly-doomed hero's last ditch grunts to reach the button) How's... it... going............ Poopface?

L: Are you in seventh grade?

A: If I pass phy-ed!

L: Listen, Andy, I just don't appreciate it.

A: But, as a spouse, you are so awesomely terrifying to me, that I must demean you with some middle school sobriquet, just so I don't wet myself when you're near me.

L: Buy some diapers and live with my powers.

A: Ah, Lisa.... how about if I say it like this... (with a very silly or bizarre accent, you choose) How's it going, Poopface?

L: Just stop, okay?

A: (cuddles up next to her on the couch) Ohhh... you just don't love me anymore.

L: I love you, Andy; I always will. Just don't call me Poopface.

A: (snuggling her, he starts pushing into her with his head, getting between her and the magazine, which she drops to the floor, she gets an annoyed look on her face, he nuzzles her breasts, then her neck, kissing it a couple times, then he nuzzles against her face, little kisses wherever he goes, then, in the cutest little endearing voice he can muster he says) How's it going, Poopface? (their lips meet, a very passionate kiss ensues. Let it play. He leans her down into the couch more and straddles her, she lets out a moan, he jumps up very quickly, pulls a notebook and pen out from under the couch) Ha! Yes!

L: Huh... what are you doing?

A: I have established the baseline. The objective poopface criterion. (verbalizes as he writes) Kittenish nuzzling, cutesy voice, light kisses. (to her) That's what it takes to be able to call you poopface (rushes to nuzzle again, little voice) Isn't that great, Poopface.

L: Damn you.

A: (playing up the hurt) You know that's really disrespectful.

L: I was reacting to you, not to "poopface".

A: Nonetheless, the bar has been set. (indicating his notebook)

L: Forget this. (she leaves abruptly)

A: (lies down on couch, calling after her) Can we figure out the levels for... (flipping through notebook) ...Slutbunny?! How about Sugartits? (lights fading) Bitchy McBitchypoo? (to himself) That one's going to be a hard sell. (continues flipping through notebook)

(lights out)


December 18, 2006

A Play A Day #249


Cray (early forties)
Eddie (late twenties)

Setting: Office space, two cubicles open to audience with four-foot wall between them, both Eddie and Cray's computers are along the four-foot wall, they sit at their computers, Eddie is stage right, it is his computer playing the music throughout the play. Each song must be as indicated. Eddie and Cray's dialogue takes place through the wall, unless otherwise indicated.

Cray: Toots!

Eddie: Yeah, and the Maytals, song's called...

C: "Gee Whiz". Yeah, used to listen to this when I lived on the island, course everything Toots did was gospel down there.... ahh... something else, Eddie, too many bad memories... Jamaica and I just didn't get along after the third arrest...

E: Alright... (computer business while he selects a new song) There.

C: (immediately) Ween... nice... "Nicole"... these guys were so high... all the time.

E: Yeah, that's what I've read.

C: Dude, that's what I did! I must've huffed the nitrous and Scotchguard with Gene and Dean about a dozen times.

E: Really?!

C: Oh yeah. Those guys could ingest so much shit. Amazing... ahh, this song gets boring. Sooo long... truly gone, those boys were.

E: (changing song) Here.

C: The Tupelo... beautiful.

E: Oh yeah, I love this song.

C: Well, "New Madrid" is okay, "Anodyne" is a good album, but nothing tops the raw energy of their first album.

E: Oh... I don't have that.

C: I'll have to bring it in for you sometime. You got a reel-to-reel?

E: A what?

C: A reel-to-reel.

E: A reel-to-reel?

C: (standing up, looking over partition) You know, like a giant cassette player for full-size reel of audio tape... you thread the tape, feed it through the head, tighten it up, press play.

E: I don't even have a cassette player.

C: Too bad, 'cause I've only got the master tapes for "No Depression" in reel-to-reel, that's how they made them 'til the mid-90s, you'd need a reel-to-reel.

E: What!? You have the masters of an Uncle Tupelo album?!

C: Yeah, but just one album. (sits down) That's the only one I had time to help out on.

E: Holy shit, Cray.

C: Needless to say, I've listened to this stuff enough... next...

E: (stunned, selects new song) O... okay.

C: Wait, this is... Bl'ast! Second album, killer song... "It's In My Blood".

E: Yeah... it's the title track. How do you know all this? I mean this album probably sold five thousand copies, max.

C: Actually, I believe it did reach ten thousand... sort of the revisionist skater thrashers of the later eighties...

E: Damn... (selects new track, a game ensues)

C: Yeah, The French Kicks, "Oh Fine", love the sixties soul thing he tries to get to, not quite though...

E: That's a fairly new album... (selects again)

C: Wow... Dashiell Hedayat... haven't heard him since... wow... late seventies, I'd guess, this is one of his solo pieces... no, no... the group is backing him up, yeah that's definitely Gong... "Long Song For Zelda", you can hear David Allen's signature guitar work.

E: Unbelievable.... (new song selected)

C: (immediately) Dungen... "Lejonet and Kulan"... you know I think the world has heard enough of this... it's almost becoming trite now...

E: Jesus... (new music selected)

C: Ravi Shankar... the master... no mistaking that sitar... "Morning Love"... great track...

E: What are you? Where are you coming from? (new track selected)

C: Oh yeah, Spectrum's cover of "Santa Claus" by The Sonics. Loved 'em both, once upon a once.

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Dead Boys, "Sonic Reducer"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Aphex Twin, "Bummy" live version, 1997... Denver, I think...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Cramps, "Teenage Werewolf"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Boards of Canada, "One Very Important Thought"...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: "Slumberyard" by Hammerhead. I remember once when I was...

E: Bam! (new track)

C: Bowie, "Five Years". Duh.

E: Shit, sorry, no challenge there... okay... now! (new track)

C: "Raining Men" by The Weathergirls, again, duh.

E: Sorry again, go! (new track)

C: "The Things You Love", by David Brusie. Love his work.

E: But no one's even heard of him...

C: Really?

E: No.

C: Hmmmm.... weird, I thought, you know, Brusie, everyone must know...

E: Again! (new track)

C: Huh... oh yeah, J-Live, "Braggin' Rights", not his strongest, but...

E: Now! (new track)

C: "Raging Red" by Dear Leader... awesome anthemic rock song.

E: Okay... I give up... (stands up) they told me down in HR that you were interesting, but I never knew that one person could know so much about music.

C: Well...

E: Why aren't you, like... a rock critic or something.

C: That wouldn't work.

E: What do you mean, I've been randomly selecting songs for the past couple minutes and you know all of them almost instantly, song titles, artists, albums, the years... number of copies sold... are you... ummm... what's that guy, from the movies... the, uhhh... what was his...

C: Rainman?

E: Yeah! Wait! How'd you get that when I didn't even finish the question?

C: Figured that's where you were going with it.

E: You're like that guy... Rainman. I mean you're a technical writer, why don't you use your writing ability to be a rock critic or something like that?

C: Already told you that wouldn't work.

E: Why not?

C: (stands up) Because I hate writing.

E: But... you're a technical writer.

C: Exactly, if you really liked writing why would you just produce this crap all day?

E: Well, it's writing...

C: Technically, yes. But, spiritually, emotionally, creatively... no.

E: Well, you could still write about music, right?

C: If I liked writing, doing this job would kill me. So, no, I couldn't write about music, because I still don't like writing.

E: But the music would carry you through that problem...

C: No, because I don't like writing, and I like music even less.

E: What!!?

C: Can't stand it.

E: No... stop lying, Cray...

C: I'm not lying. I don't like music, at all.

E: And you expect me to believe that after what I just witnessed here?

C: Yes. Why wouldn't you?

E: Jeez, I don't know, could be because you know just about any song that I randomly select from my collection; a collection that has so much miscellaneous and hastily downloaded shit in it that I think I'd be lucky to name one-third of it by ear. Hell, one-quarter even.

C: Well, I don't like music.

E: Arrgghh! Not possible.

C: I don't, but I love songs.

E: Ahhh... no you don't... same fucking thing, Cray... same damn thing... songs and music.

C: They're not. I know songs, I listen, I memorize them, but I don't know music... just songs.

E: Well, you don't have to understand music to love it.

C: I do.

E: A little kid might not know what a rainbow is, but he can still love it.

C: No, he loves the image of the rainbow, but he doesn't understand the rainbow, so his love is superficial and fleeting.

E: Ah... come on, he understands that he loves the pretty thing in the sky after the storm, he doesn't need to understand it to love it.

C: I do... music confuses me, it's amorphous, undefined, until you arrange it in a song... then, I memorize them... I listen to songs, not music.

E: But songs ARE music!

C: They are OF music, Eddie. Big difference.

E: No. No difference.

C: A rainbow is not a storm, but it is usually of a storm.

E: But then how do you enjoy the beat, the rhythm, the melody, the tempo.

C: They are only of music, too.

E: This is... rather ridiculous... you know that, don't you.

C: I guess I can see why you might be confused.

E: Confused? That's an understatement. Here you are, some sort of musical genius...

C: (correcting) Song...

E: Whatever, song genius, and you tell me you hate music.

C: Sorry, but it's true.

E: How do you get any enjoyment out of the song without enjoying the underlying music?

C: Lyrics, stories in my head, imagery, knowing that it has a beginning, middle and end. All those things bring me satisfaction.

E: Shit, you're amazing... I need the music... I love the music. Without the music, you know, without the music, I... I can't get no satisfaction.

C: Any.

E: Hmm?

C: I can't get any satisfaction.

E: Very funny. No, I was just using the Rolling Stones song...

C: (genuinely confused) Who?

(lights out)


December 17, 2006

A Play A Day #248

Beers, Steers, And...


Setting: Campsite, sitting at a picnic table, drinking beer

Chad: Another one?

Jimmy: Yeah, hit me up.

C: Drake?

Drake: Not done with this one, but no harm in being prepared.

(Chad leaves to get three more beers)

J: This is your first time out here?

D: Yep.

J: That's what Chad was saying.

D: Yeah, it's nice.

J: It's a weird sort of place, there's the woods and the lake, but then there are all these beef farms sort of surrounding the place.

D: But that might be why not a lot of people come here... the farming?

J: Yeah, that's why Chad likes it... told me he's never been in the campsite and had to deal with anyone else.

D: You and Chad have been friends for a while now?

J: 'Bout twenty years, there abouts.

D: Wow... twenty years.

J: Yeah, we meet in high school, we shared a love of fishing and 1980s glam pop bands.

D: Fishing and glam pop? That's an interesting combo.

J: We we're sort of half nature boys and half wanna-be new romantics.

D: Yeah, that doesn't happen that often in nature.

J: Early MTV days, had a powerful influence on our music preferences... turned us from the classic rock radio stations to that sleek pop world.

D: Video really did kill the radio star.

J: More of an assassination, no charges were ever brought. I think, growing up around here, we were glad to hear something other than Zep, the Who and Queen. We wanted that sleek cosmoplitan lifestyle.

D: I can see that.

J: Still like those bands, of course, but we got into Simple Minds, Human League, 'Til Tuesday, Duran Duran, Berlin, and eventually, of course, Depeche Mode.

D: Ewww.

J: Yeah, once we hit Depeche Mode, we realized that we probably had to pull back, I mean, we loved the synth pop and the elaborately feathered hair, but Depeche Mode simultaneously enthralled and repulsed us.

D: Yeah, like what-had-you-become thinking?

J: We realized that we needed some more nature to spelunk us free of the oncoming cave of goth; so we headed back to fishing. We had to rebalance the scales.

D: Good plan.

J: You ain't kidding: the first day we came out here to fish, I opened my tackle box and found a can of Final Net and black nail polish.

D: Yeah, sounds like you made it out just in time.

J: It was... creepy.

D: I mean, Jesus, you guys would probably be enjoying Evanescence right now.

J: A little fishing saved us all those other peoples's pain.

(loud scream from offstage, getting closer, closer, Chad stumbles back on, tripping and terrified, he is blathering, in a different world, Jimmy and Drake help him to the picnic table while talking)

J: Chad! Chad... what the hell... what's going on?

D: Is he injured?

J: No, no... let's just get him sitting down...

(Chad sits, he's still breathing heavily and rapidly, panicked)

D: Chad, Chad, Chad, Chad? What's going on?

J: Something out there, man?

C: (trying to calm down, not succeeding at it) A lot of them, on the road...

J: Yeah, what?

C: I was getting the beer from the cooler, in the truck cab, and I looked up... I looked... I looked up... I...

D: Relax... relax... bigfoot or something?

C: No... worse! They were all over the place. I shut the doors, looked 'em and laid down... they kept coming... and they were... uhh... it was awful... they were actually... lowing!!

J: Shit... I knew this would happen one of these times.

D: What?

J: Cattle.

(Chad freaks)

J: Whoa whoa... you're alright... it's okay, man, it's gonna be just fine.

D: (quietly to Jimmy) Cattle?

J: Yeah, especially male cattle... bulls, steers...

D: Steers?

C: Stop saying that word!

J: Sorry, man... Drake's just trying to figure it all out.

C: Fine, alright, I'm terrified of steers. Okay!? Fine, yes, I know I fish out here where there are beef farms, but they are always penned or in the fields. These cattle, they broke free and they came after me!

J: Chad, no, they didn't come after you man... they just wanted to walk down the road, that's all...

D: Yeah, like a hole in the fence, just wandered through, cows do that.

C: Yeah?! That's what you guys think! I was lying there, I look up, one steer's got its nose right on the driver's side window, slobbering, licking, let out this huge mooo, sounded like he was saying (in cow mooing voice) "Fuuuuck Yooooouuu", it was horrible. Then one of them, maybe the same cow, starts to try to pick the lock with his horn, I knew I had to get out or become just another victim...

D: I don't think that cows...

J: (shushing Drake emphatically, pulls Drake aside) Dude, ixnay on the ictimvay. Okay...

D: But cows...

J: Listen I know that, you know that, but Chad's... diffferent.

D: But how...

J: Chad's dad left when he was six... his mom told him that he was carried off by steers when his truck ran out of gas on a country road. She couldn't tell little Chad the real reason.

D: (beat) What was the real reason?

J: No idea. She never told anyone.

D: So Chad thinks...?

J: Sadly, yes. He does.

(They turn back to Chad, who quivers at the table)

D: Chad, I'm really sorry... I wasn't trying to say you were a wuss or anything. I know that cattle can...

C: Go ahead and say it! I'm sure Jimmy's told you all about me! Well listen, it's not true!

J: Chad, don't worry...

C: You just have to blab all over the place, don't you Jimmy?! Can't just let it rest!?

J: Chad...

C: Fine! Fine! I'll tell you what it is, Drake! I'll tell you (starts crying) I love Spandau Ballet, always have, always will! Yes, I used a lot of mousse in my hair for many years, but I'm over that now, and contrary to Jimmy's lies, I AM NOT GAY!

J: Chad...

C: Go ahead ask him! (pointing at Jimmy) He's the the one who loaned me "True" in the first place! HA! Who's gay now, Jimmy!

J: Chad. I told Drake that we both liked synth pop, that's all.

D: I have an autographed poster of a-ha somewhere in my attic. It's okay. I understand.

C: But, I'm not gay.

D: Hey, I'm not either, don't worry.

J: Chad, I didn't say enything that wasn't true.

C: I mean I like fishing.

D: Chad, it's alright.

C: I'm sorry, I'm sorry... The cattle... picking the lock... my dad... (crying more)

J: Hey now... (sits and put arm around him) It's all good, Chad... I know it's scary... I know, man...

C: They never found him, Jimmy... they never found him... the cattle came and... (anguished bellow)

J: That's it, that's it... what would Rolan and Curt say, man?

C: Ahhh....

J: C'mon... what would Roland and Curt say, man? Out with it!

C: (quietly) Shout.

J: That's it, louder! Louder! Sing it!

C: You start, please?

J: Alright, Drake join in... (singing loudly with no sense of irony) Shout! Shout!

(Drake starts tentatively, then Chad, until they are all belting it out very loudly, very defiantly, as the lights fade)

J, D, C: Let it all out! These are the things I can do without! Come on! I'm talking to you! Come on! Shout! Shout! (fade with lights)


December 16, 2006

A Play A Day #247



Setting: Occam's small bachelor pad, Occam is shaving at a mirror in the "bathroom"

(lights up, knock on door, Occam walks to door, still shaving)

Occam: Hey, Bob, come in...

Bob: You're not ready!?

O: Gotta shave, man. (returning to mirror and shaving)

B: Shit, we're gonna be late.

O: No we won't, not really late anyway.

B: Let's just move it, alright.

O: Don't worry, I've got a plan.

B: Like what?

O: (stops shaaving) Well, we each drive to the game separately, you take expresswaay, I'll go through mid-town, if we arrive at the ballpark at exactly 1:10, five minutes after the game starts, we should be able to park on 41st, right by our gate, because they let half the ticket takers go as soon as the game starts. Those guys always park on that street; my cousin did it for three years, that's where they are told to park. They get let off from work and they bolt to their cars; so, wham, a few minutes after the game starts, all of a sudden there are about fifty premium parking spots open right next to the stadium, and! You pay nothing for them, 'cause it's a Sunday and they don't enforce the meters. We probably miss a few pitches, max; because they do all that ceremonial junk on the field before the actual start.

B: Why would we do that?

O: Dude, just explained that.

B: No you... keep shaving, man (O returns to shaving)... you didn't explain anything.

O: Yeah, I did. We just miss a few pitches... it's a flawless plan.

B: Ummm... why do we take separate cars exactly?

O: Uhhh... don't know... kinda rub it in... you know? We get the prime spots together. Total high-five!

B: Why should we take separate routes there?

O: Ummm...

B: No reason, man.

O: (stops shaving) No... like terrorism?

B: Bullshit.

O: If something hits than one of us survives.

B: What?

O: Then at least one of us sees the big game.

B: If "something" hits, then the game is probably cancelled.

O: No.

B: Yes. Cancelled or destroyed.

O: Okay, so we'll go together. Happy?

B: Better. Keep shaving man, we've got to get going.

O: But, we still do the parking on 41st, get there a couple minutes late? (starts shaving again)

B: No. I hate getting there late, you have to drag yourself past everyone sitting down already.

O: Yeah, but free parking man.

B: Save on parking so we can annoy a whole bunch of other fans?

O: Yeah?

B: Fans we have to be next to for three hours?

O: Sure.

B: No thanks, man.

O: C'mon, it'd be a huge parking score.

B: I'd rather pay a little bit, park ten minutes away and get there on time.

O: Nah...

B: What's the point of waiting twenty minutes here to ave a couple bucks and ten minutes of walking time?

O: 'Cause we'd be right next to the park man... you know, about as close as you can get without using the players underground lot.

B: Whatever, just finish shaving.

O: I'm getting there...

B: Besides, what's the point in driving in the first place?

O: What?

B: Take the subway, it stops about a block from the park.

O: Oh yeah, I guess we could do that... miss out on the parking orgasm though...

B: Keep your parking-related sexual fulfillment to yourself.

O: (finishes shaving, splashes water on his face, towels off, pulls on his shirt, something strikes him) Oh! Hey!

B: Yeah?

O: We could just walk.

B: Could.

O: Five blocks, six to the gate.

B: Be there fifteen minutes early.

O: Don't have to worry about cars.

B: Or fares, or anything.

O: Yeah. (grabbing a ball glove) Let's head.

B: (opening door, O starts out) I was wondering what the hell you were talking about for a while.

O: Yeah, that was kind of weird. This is much simpler, isn't it? (he's out the door)

B: Yep, simple. Hey, Occam, should I hit the lights?

O: Yeah. Thanks.

(lights out, door closes behind Bob)


December 15, 2006

A Play A Day #246

Right Sites


Setting: In the woods.

Hib: Then there's wind.

Tip: Yeah. Wind.

H: Wind and wind.

T: How...

H: Do you tell them apart?

T: No idea.

H: Context, I guess...

T: Context... Yeah.

H: Yeah... before it... and after.

T: Surrounding it... the meaning of other words in the sentence.

H: Yeah.

T: (standing up, pointing rifle straight out at audience and firing) Damn... missed again.

H: You are not a good shot, are you?

T: Fuck you... good enough.

H: Wasn't even moving that fast.

T: Fast enough... there's funky winds...

H: Right, not winds, winds.

T: Obviously, context and all, obvious it's winds, not winds.

H: Yeah, winds doesn't make sense in that sentence.

T: Context.

H: Wind.

T: Or wind.

H: Doesn't matter by itself.

T: Yeah, just in context. (jumps up, shoots twice, sits) Shit!

H: Missing everything today.

T: Know that, Hib.

H: Don't get pissed, just stating facts.

T: Don't state too many facts to a man carrying a rifle.

H: Doesn't look like I have much to worry about on that score.

T: Fucker.

H: Suppose I am, in the proper context.

T: Just a fucker.

H: Like your wife's bed, that sort of context.

T: Fucker.

H: In that context, oh yeah.

T: Fucker doesn't even bring his gun on the big hunt.

H: It's broken, told you that last night, but...

T: Get a new one, is all...

H: You didn't even remember to bring your extra.

T: Forgot, man.

H: Bullshit, you didn't want me bagging anything...

T: Not true, Hib, just forgot.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah...

T: God's Honest Fucking Truth, Hib.

H: Whatever.

T: Here comes... (stand fires, sits)

H: That thing was right there, not even twitching, Tip.

T: Shut up.

H: Your site is probably fucked.

T: Probably, you sat on the damn thing in the truck.

H: Sorry, man. I apologized already.

T: Should've pulled the trigger then.

H: You still would've missed my ass.

T: Damn, that's a tough thing to miss too; what you put on about twenty in the last month?

H: No, same weight as last time you saw me.

T: Bullshit. You're porking up.

H: Fuck that.

T: Nothing but Ho-Hos and mayonnaise for you, I guess.

H: At least I've got some mass to me.

T: I'd say more mass in you.

H: Not a fucking pussy scrawny girl, like you.

T: Yikes, guess I hit a little button somewhere in all that flab.

H: Shut it, prick.

T: Ahh, Hib, let's cut the bullshit.

H: Sounds good.

T: I mean let's just agree to disagree that you're a fat fuck.

H: Yep, and you look and shoot like a girl.

T: Fair enough.

H: Fair enough.

T: (long pause) You've never hunted before, have you?

H: No... never have... don't want too.

T: Shit, man, why didn't you ever tell me that.

H: Fuck, Tip, this is the third time I've gone out with you, and it never struck you as suspicious that I always "forget" my gun?

T: Well... no, I guess, you lying about hunting had me convinced.

H: No, I just like hanging out in the woods, and Dale told me you were a terrible shot; so I knew...

T: Fucking Dale. Fucker... that dickass can only hit shit because he's got these laser sites... it's not fair... that's not hunting...

H: I would agree there.

T: Talking shit about me, that fucking rich snob.

H: (long pause) So, Tip, you ever hit anything?

T: Yeah... I hit shit... all... I've killed many... I've hit a lot of... all the time... just one after the other sometimes, you know...

H: (long pause) So.... no then?

T: (long pause) Not technically... not in the formal sense of the word "hit", I guess... then no... I haven't.

H: You know... don't worry about it.

T: No, it's fucking frustrating... I love shooting things, but I never can hit anything.

H: You know... I'm sure the dolphins (pointing where Tip has been shooting) don't mind in the least.

T: True.

(lights out, another shot)

H: Let's go, Tip. Flipper wins again.