May 12, 2006

A Play A Day #29

David Mamet Puppet Theater

Cast (All Puppets):
Narrator - A "Teacher" of "Things"
Snippy - A "Bill" "Collector"
Rumples - A Street "Magician"
Tracks - An "Artist"
Bones - A Health "Consultant"
Pops - A "Popular" Older "Businessman"
Police Guy - A "Police" Guy
Other Police Guy (non-speaking, non-shooting)

Narrator: Once upon a time in a challenging part of town, where the puppets survive on their intelligence, using all that life - including school! - has taught them. Snippy and Rumples are playing a fun game with cards!

Snippy: Rigged! That's what this is...
Rumples: Nah, nah... would I do that...
Snippy: Yeah...
Rumples: to you... you know...
Snippy: yeah...
Rumples: Nah, no way...
Snippy: Ya told me I had a good chance of winning...
Rumples: You do, sure...
Snippy: Bet more...
Rumples: Better odds if...
Snippy: You always say that... bet more...
Rumples: Yeah, better odds and...
Snippy: Luck, no odds in this game...
Rumples: Sure...
Snippy: No!
Rumples: Sure... always odds...
Snippy: Maybe so, but not this here...
Rumples: Yeah, odds just like any other...
Snippy: No there ain't...
Rumples: Sure, you...
Snippy: Ain't no sucker, Rumples...
Rumples: No! Course not...
Snippy: Ain't no sucker, Rumples...
Rumples: Exactly... what I'm sayin...
Snippy: Treat me like another...
Rumples: No, no, no, not you, Snip...
Snippy: Yeah me...
Rumnples: Nah! What I'm saying is there's odds...
Snippy: Not this here...
Rumples: Yeah, sure... you just...
Snippy: Stupid?! That it?
Rumples: No, not you, Snippy! Ya got big...
Snippy: Calling me stupid?
Rumples: ...brains, Snip...
Snippy: Don't call me stupid, Rumples!
Rumples: You ain't stupid, Snip.
Snippy: Why ya call me...
Rumples: Never said that, Snip.
Snippy: Yeah! Think you did!
Rumples: Snip, never said anything...

Narrator: Oopsies! Snippy is feeling very angry inside. He expresses this anger by drawing a "switchblade" from inside his coat. Yikes! Will he slit Rumples from navel to neck, or just stick him as a warning? Oh, my! Watch out, Rumples!

Snippy: I'm gonna gut ya!
Rumples: Whoa! Watch it, Snip; ya know I'd never...
Snippy: Sick of you ripping me off...
Rumples: C'mon, Snip! It's me, Rumples... man... whadya need?
Snippy: Need you to stop talking... permanently.
Rumples: Ah... c'mon Snips! Don't do this, man!

Narrator: Oh dear! Snippy sure is holding that sharp, sharp knife very close to Mr. Rumples's jugular vein. One good flick of the wrist and Rumples will get a very big owie! I hope someone brought a band-aid! Whatever will happen, children? I do hope we can find out in the next scene. Watch with me!

Snippy: You always making...
Rumples: Snips, Snips, this ain't smart, you know...
Snippy: Again! Stupid again?
Tracks: Yo, spazzy... he means your behavior's stupid...
Snippy: (notices Tracks) Huh... what Tracks?
Bones: Yeah, count to ten or something, Snipper...
Snippy: Hey, Bones... he said I was... (Rumples sneaks away)
Tracks: No he didn't, man, you gotta settle...
Bones: Knife this, knife that... ain't you ever heard of solving disagreements...
Snippy: Not always a knife...
Bones: ...like a gentleman...
Tracks: Just always stabbing things...
Snippy: He was asking for it, Tracks.
Bones: Use your fists, like I do...
Tracks: If your only tool is...
Snippy: Called me stupid!
Bones: ...like a real gentleman.
Tracks: a switchblade, everything starts...
Snippy: Ah, man, it ain't...
Tracks: looking stabbable!

Narrator: Phew! That was close one, hey kids? Can you spell "homicide"? What? You can't? That's alright; Rumples can't either. He's not very smart. He didn't go to big kid school, like you smart children!

Snippy didn't get much out of school either except for a few film projectors that got enough on the street for him to stay happy for a couple hours. It's such a nice feeling to be happy! Right now, I'm happy smart people like Tracks and his friend, Bones, came along to break up the potential gutting of Rumples.

What's that? Where did Rumples go? Well, Rumples had to go change his pants; he had a little accident. You know all about that, don't ya kids?

I want you children to remember some very smart things that Tracks said in that last scene. First, he said that Rumples was calling Snippy's BEHAVIOR "stupid", not Snippy himself. That's important! Please remember, kids, try to call what people are doing "stupid", not what they are being!

Second: Tracks said that when your only tool is a switchblade, everything looks stabbable. Be sure to vary the tools you use, kids! Bring along a gun, a tube sock with a cue ball in it, piano wire, hatchet, cyanide pills and a switchblade when you are out "taking care" of things. It gives you so many more ways of approaching a problem!

I think you'll see how things can be seen as not only "stabbable", but also "poisonable", "clubbable", "stranglable", "hackable", and even "executionable"! Always problem solve with an open mind!

If any of these things fail, you can always trust Bones' advice: "Use your fists!" It is a very polite way to approach difficult people. Try it sometime! If your teacher gets you in trouble for that, please remember all the great tools you now have for "settling" things with your teacher!

Now, let's get back to our story! Yay!! Do you remember where we were, kids? That's right! Rumples pooped himself. Snippy was calmed down by Tracks' and Bones' very good advice. Let's see what happens next!

Tracks: Ya calmed down, huh?
Bones: Alright? Back with us...
Snippy: Yeah.
Tracks: 'Cuz we need a cool head...
Bones: Very cool...
Tracks: 'Cuz we need the ability...
Bones: Thinking...
Snippy: Yeah!
Tracks: On your feet, ya know, not...
Bones: Cool head is...
Snippy: Yeah, I...
Tracks: Can't be freakin'...
Bones: absolutely essential.
Snippy: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tracks: freaking out ain't good.
Snippy: (manic) I'm not freaking out!!
Bones: (pause) Don't look good, Tracks.
Tracks: No, why ya gotta be like that, Snip?
Bones: We need calm.
Snippy: (with great effort at a calm voice) For what?
Tracks: Well, are ya cool?
Snippy: y...
Bones: We need cool.
Snippy: I...
Tracks: So, you settled?
Snippy: I...
Bones: We need settled.
Snippy: If...
Tracks: And we want fast!
Snippy: Fast...
Bones: We need fast.
Snippy: Yes...
Tracks: Fast, calm, thinking.
Bones: We need fast and calm and thinking.
Tracks: You up for that?
Snippy: (long pause) O.K... I...
Tracks: Tell us if you ain't. You'd tell us if you ain't, right?
Bones: We need honest.
Snippy: Yes! What's the job?

Narrator: NAP TIME!!! We'll continue our great story right after everyone takes a nice nap! (The puppets all lay down for naps. There is an exceedingly long pause, at least an hour and a half.) We'll that felt great! Are you all ready to get back to the story? You are? Good! Me too!

Tracks: Alright. Pretty simple.
Bones: But it's a big job.
Tracks: And simple. You want it?
Snippy: What is it?
Tracks: Need to know if you'll take it first.
Snippy: What?
Tracks: I need to know if you're loyal to whatever it is I may be askin'.
Snippy: So what're you askin'?
Bones: We need loyalty.
Tracks: And trust.
Bones: We need trust.
Snippy: What's the job!?
Bones: Hey, we already told you we need calm.
Snippy: Yes, alright.
Tracks: It's a big job.
Snippy: What're you paying?
Tracks: What're you askin'?
Snippy: Depends on the job, you know that.
Bones: We're paying.
Tracks: Job gets done, we pay.
Snippy: Need to know the job.
Bones: Garbage removal.
Tracks: Yeah, we can tell you that much.
Snippy: Garbage...
Bones: Yeah, removal.
Snippy: Removing to where?
Tracks: You're the boss o' that.
Bones: You get the garbage first.
Snippy: Then I remove it.
Tracks: Making sure it's in removable condition, so to speak...
Snippy: Of course.
Tracks: You want the job?
Snippy: Yeah, I'll take it.

Narrator: Yaaayyy! Snippy has a job! Do your mommies and daddies have jobs, kids? Sure they do! Snippy is just like your mom or dad! He just has a job to do, and he does it. He is a hard-working American! Snippy just got a job in the garbage removal business. It's simple and pays a lot of money. Do you get paid a lot of money for removing garbage at your house? You don't!? Well, maybe you can use some of Snippy's skill to see how much you can earn removing garbage! Let's see how he does it, o.k?

Pops: Hey, Snipsy! To what do I owe this most distinct pleasure?
Snippy: Couple of friends told me that you might have a garbage removal problem.
Pops: Garbage removal.
Snippy: That you might have some garbage about that needed removing.
Pops: I have no garbage, Snips.
Snippy: That's too bad, Pops.
Pops: You know that I haven't any garbage for a couple months now.
Snippy: They were sure that you had garbage for me.
Pops: Hey, quit (bleeeep)ing with me, Snips. I never use you when I have to take out the trash.
Snippy: Maybe that's because you're the trash.
Pops: Outta my (bleeeeep)ing sight, you wormy little (bleeep). Who put you up to this?
Snippy: (drawing switchblade, getting very angry)You don't short The Weasel two mil. and get away with it!
Pops: The Weasel was paid fair market value for his products.
Snippy: (getting sweaty and anxious)I'm gonna gut ya, ya old piece of lard!
Pops: (grabbing his cane and hitting a button on his desk) Ya got about thirty seconds before my service arrives, better start stabbing.
Snippy: (sweating profusely) Won't take long!
Pops: (advancing quickly on Snippy, hitting him with his cane, he moves fast and viciously for a fat, old puppet, he shouts this as he is beating on Snippy) You (bleeep)ing (bleep) (bleeep), I been (bleep)ing taking out the muther(bleeeep)ing trash, since you (bleeep)ing didn't exist! You're dead now, or you're dead in ten seconds! (police siren approaching)
Snippy: (said at same time as above,wailing in pain, trying to stab at Pops) Don't.... short... the... Weasel... and... you... ahhhgg... you... can't... do... (police siren close, then stops, sound of feet coming up the stairs, two cops burst into the room)
Police Guy: Freeze! (Pops walks across room, sits at his desk, Snippy stands with switchblade in his hands) Drop the blade, man! Hands up! (Snippy does that, police guns still aimed at him, one of the cops looks over at Pops, Pops nods his head. Police Guy shoots Snippy twice, in the face and in the chest. Snippy lets out a brief scream and gurgle and collapses dead to the floor.)
Police Guy: Jeez, Pops! How'd you let him get that close to you?
Pops: (reaching in a drawer of his desk) He was a nice kid. Too hotheaded, otherwise, he woulda been a good man to have on my side. The Weasel got to him first. Here you go, boys. $10,000 should cover a couple long vacations for you and the wives and kids, huh? We'll get Jerry downtown to mock up the ballistics. Should be an easy case.
Police Guy: Thanks, Pops! Pleasure helping a citizen in need.
Pops: I don't know ya... get outta here... (the cops exit, divying up the money as they go, Pops surveys the bloody mess left on his floor) (Bleeep)! Now I gotta get someone to take this trash out...

Narrator: Oh No! Snippy didn't do his job very well, did he? No, he didn't, and he was terminated! So sad! Maybe... just maybe, children, if we all start clapping our hands and believing that Snippy is alive, he'll come back to us! Do you think we can do that? I bet we can! We just gotta believe! C'mon kids! Let's go now! Clap those hands! Believe! Believe! You can do it! I know you can! Clap! Clap! Clap for Snippy! (stops clapping, waits for kids to stop)

Just kidding! No amount of clapping or happy thoughts are going to magically revive our friend, Snippy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a greedy, imagination-solidifying corporation. No, when you take a police round through the brain and another through the heart, it stings, children! Like when you skin your knee! Ouch! It stings just like that, but in a deathier-sort-of-way.

What did we learn today, kids? I think we learned two things: Police officers are always helpful, and dead people are really, really, really not-alive. (whispered tone) And, just between you and me, I also think that Pops shouldn't use so many "bleep bleep" Mommy-and-Daddy-on-a-Saturday-night words. Oh well, he is a grown-up; so that makes it o.k. Don't tell Pops I said that, alright kids? Phew! You kids are just the best!

Guess what? I have to go now, but join me here next week, when we'll talk about the funnest places in the whole-wide-world... Internet Chatrooms!

See you then, kids!

(end)

3 comments:

Circe said...

I feel that this was somewhat Cinderella inspired. The narrator feels a bit like Buttons. I really like the moral of the story though. See, I read your blog again.

Bleeet said...

No, Circe, it was more inspired by David Mamet and The Teletubbies / Muppets / Avenue Q, and even that stupid Disney crap with Tinkerbelle.

The X-dressing Trombonist said...

I am now a better person for reading that. Words to live by--dead people are really, really, really not alive. Thank you.