Setting: Everywhere, everyone
(enter 1, stage left, looking down, enter 2, stage right, looking up, they collide in center, stumble, step back)
1: (mumbles to her/himself) Fuck you.
2: Excuse me?
1: (only slightly louder) Fuck you.
1: (conversationally, but not looking at 2) Fuck you.
1: No, I said, "Fuck you".
2: Oh. (long pause, they are motionless but thinking) Really?
2: "Fuck you"?
2: Like, (says it very affectionately and demonstrably as if meeting a gregarious, vulgar friend) fuck you?
1: No. Not like that.
2: Oh, okay, maybe more like, (said very menacingly, as if ready to attack) fuck you!!?
1: Whoa, no, not like that either.
2: Hmmm... neither one...
(long pause, thinking)
1: (not certain, but saying it anyway) It was maybe about halfway between those two.
2: Like how?
2: Well, you know, could you show me how that would sound?
1: What? Halfway?
2: Right, between the two extremes.
1: Uhhh... okay.... (pause as 1 tries to figure out how that would sound, gets nervous) Ummm... you know, I'm not an actor or anything.
2: That's fine; I'm not either. Just give it a shot; I'm really curious.
1: Okay... I'll try... (long pause as 1 works up to it) Fuck you!
2: (beat) That sounded kind of like you were going to stab me with a sponge.
1: I know, sorry.
2: Wouldn't it be more like, (works up to it) fuck you!?
1: Yeah, except without the questioning tone.
2: Awesome. Maybe I should try to become an actor.
1: That would be great.
2: The world needs more actors.
1: The world needs more actors that can swear.
2: Yeah! (just saying it as practice, changing tone and pitch with each one, 1 tries to mimic each one immediately after 2 says it) Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you. Fuck you! Fuck you? Fuck. You. Fuckyou! Fuuuuuuccccckkk yoooouuuu! Fuckfuck youyou. Fuck! You? Fukku!
1: Wow! You really are good! That's not easy to do.
2: Felt pretty natural for me.
1: Man! Wish I could swear so divergently.
2: Ahh, keep practicing. It'll come to you.
1: (kind of mumbling, working on different versions of "Fuck you") There are so many possibilities! (turns abruptly to 2)
(2 decks 1 with a powerful punch, then immediately leans over and helps 1 back to his/her feet)
1: Fuck! What did you do that for?
2: You did say "fuck you" to me. I was offended and angered.
1: Oh, yeah, I did... that's right. Sorry.
2: Hey. I'm sorry for punching you.
1: Well, I think you probably had to.
2: Nah... I was just practicing for an acting career. That's what you always do in movies and plays when you get offended and angered.
1: Yeah, but, I don't think they actually punch people when they're acting.
2: Oh... yeah... they probably don't. Well, fuck me then.
1: (laughs) Don't worry about it. Can we keep practicing?
(they slowly start walking off, a teacher and a pupil, lights fading)
1: I was thinking... how would you say it, like if you were in a fast approaching train, and someone was listening at the railroad crossing?
2: Oh, like, (does Doppler effect version) ffffffffffuuuuuuuucccckk yyooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?
1: That's it! Awesome! What about an angry gerbil on a fast approaching train?
2: (extremely high-pitched Doppler version) Ffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuccccckk yyyooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuu?
(They are off, lights are out)
You all knew I had to write one like this. Again, like "Holy Fucking Shit" from several months ago, this is not necessarily a play that is about the swearing for shock effect or vulgarity.
I'm using them to show that the swearing in and of itself can drive the plot; that it can be humorous; that, in England, it can be humourous; that it can be less shocking by actually paying closer attention to it rather than trying to pretend it doesn't exist or doesn't work.
Anyway, it's not like I'm the only playwright using swearing extensively. I make no claim of originality on that score. Never could; it's been going on since before I was born.
There's always a societal comment to be made... if the play was called "Watch Where You're Going" it would lose most of it's momentum. It's precisely because we choose to make certain words more forbidden, that, in my opinion, the plot stays alive in this one.
If you disagree, that's fine. Let me know why.
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