April 14, 2007

A Play A Day #365

Ten Second Delay


Cast:
Andy - talk radio host
Clancy - caller

Setting: Clancy's bedroom, extreme downstage center is a small table with a large radio on it, the play will be heard through the radio. It is preferable that the radio and table seem to be in the line of sight of the acting set - Clancy's bedroom - for many of the audience members.


(Note: Though we will see Clancy speaking, his voice will only be heard through the radio. Andy will only be heard through the radio as well, as he is the host of the talk radio show to which Clancy is calling.)


(lights up on Clancy's small bedroom, it's messy - small bed, floor lamp, desk, bookshelves, Clancy paces agitatedly around the room, holding a phone to his mouth)

Andy: (fading up from the radio) ...the ridiculous nature of the claims... I mean it's just water, people, whether it's in a bottle or in the tap, I don't see any difference. Longtime listeners Abdo's America will know that I am a big supporter of the American entrepeneur...

(We see Clancy start talking into the phone)

Andy: ...and if you're dumb enough to let yourself be duped by suspect claims on a bottle of water, then less power to you, but have these manufacturers gone too far? Let's go to the phones and hear what Andy Abdo's America thinks... Hello, caller, you're on with Andy Abdo.

Clancy: (from the radio) Hi Andy, wow... I've been trying to get through to you for months, and now here you are.

Andy: Here I am, caller... your name?

Clancy: Clancy, from Briggs, Rhode Island.

Andy: Clancy?

Clancy: Yeah.

Andy: Well, there's a name you don't hear much anymore - Clancy.

Clancy: I know.

Andy: Rhode Island... east coaster, you must see a lot of bottled water out there, little more upper crust, maybe?

Clancy: Not where I live, but, yeah, you see it a lot.

Andy: Well, you see it eveywhere it seems, but, what do you think, Clancy... will it cure cancer, lower your fever, cut through that nasty cough as apparently some of these bottled water companies are claiming in their ads?

Clancy: No, of course, it won't... there's no cure for anything.

(We see Clancy becoming more agitated)

Andy: Like cancer, well, some people seem to be having luck with some new treatments, but bottled wa...

Clancy: I meant, there's no cure for anything that really bothers people.

Andy: Not from bottled water anyway, is what you're saying...

Clancy: Not from anything... what really bothers people is the mind.

Andy: Sure, and some of these companies are apparently touting their bottled water as a cure-all for everything, including psychological diseases. Isn't this just a modern-day medicine show for the upper-middle class?

Clancy: I don't know, Andy, I can tell you that the only cure for psychological disease is death.

(pause, we see Clancy working himself into a more panicky state)

Andy: Well, no need to be grim, Clancy...

Clancy: I'm being real! I know, I really know... just endless pills, but nothing ever really changes...

Andy: Do you think "gourmet" water is going to come to the rescue?

Clancy: I'm not talking about water! I'm talking about killing your mind to get rid of everything that tells you you're nothing. I know nothing helps except dying.

Andy: (obviously talking to his producer at the radio station, muffled) No, no, leave him on Rick, we got a live one... (continues talking to Clancy) Clancy, come back to me, where do you see this bottled water health claim scam in terms of psychological health...

Clancy: I listen to your show, Andy, because I know that your mother and your brother killed themselves, and you...

Andy: Please, Clancy, let's stick to...

Clancy: And you've done a lot of shows about depression and suicide...

Andy: I have, but let's just stick to...

Clancy: So, I wanted you to know that I'm on my way out.

(pause)

Andy: Clancy... (to his producer) Rick, let's get a trace, and, right... (to Clancy) Hey, Clancy, I want you to stay on the line here, and we're going to patch you through...

Clancy: Don't hang up! I thought you would understand, because of your mom and Kevin, but you're just going to hang up and...

(We see Clancy start crying into the phone)

Andy: Clancy, no, not going anywhere, I'm staying right here with you. I'm going to be right on this phone line. My producers are going to get someone out there to help, and I want you to stay...

Clancy: I don't want anyone to help! I just want the weight to disappear. I want to fly and not care. I want my chest to expand, the air to fill me, the ground to release me, the sky to rock me to sleep...

(We see Clancy reach under his pillow on the bed and remove a handgun)

Andy: (a new tone, the radio host voice is gone) Alright, Clancy, okay... I.. uhhh... we're going to get someone there, we can contact emergency personnel in your town... believe me, Clancy, I completely understand, I know what you're going through, and I'm...

Clancy: (a new calm tone in his voice) Here's my gun, Andy.

Andy: No, Clancy...

Clancy: I had it under my pillow for months. I had to get through. I had to make sure someone noticed me.

Andy: People notice... is there anyone else there with you, in your house, Clancy? I want to talk to someone who can make sure you... (to his producer) You got through? Okay. (to Clancy) We have someone coming to your place, Clancy.

Clancy: It'll be too late. Do you know why I wanted to be on the radio, Andy?

Andy: Clancy, talk to me.

Clancy: I am. Do you know why I wanted to be on the radio?

Andy: (obviously stalling for time) Hey, I know you're in pain, Clancy. I'm here. It's just a radio show, but we're real people here, and we care about people. I know I'm abrasive, but that's part of the schtick. We care a lot about our listeners, and we're...

Clancy: You're avoiding the question, Andy.

Andy: Clancy. Listen. Here's what you're going to do...

Clancy: Do you know why I wanted to be on radio?

Andy: We just want you to know that help is on the way; just hold out for a little bit longer and there should be...

Clancy: Do you know why I wanted to be on the radio for this?

Andy: I honestly don't want to answer you, Clancy. I just want...

Clancy: People don't want to see the messof a bullet going through someone's head...

Andy: That's not going...

Clancy: But on radio...

Andy: Clancy, stay with me, and don't...

Clancy: But on radio, you just hear things.

Andy: Listen to me, Clancy!

Clancy: So soon all your listeners will get to hear the sound of peace.

Andy: No! Clancy, Clancy...

(We see Clancy raise the gun to his head quickly and pull the trigger, he collapses, body, gun and telephone thudding to the floor)

Andy: Clancy, what's going on?

Clancy: I think that's a gift. My gift to the world, Andy. The sound of peace.

Andy: Okay, Clancy, I'm not sure what you're doing right now, but...

Clancy: Oh, don't worry, Andy. I'm not doing anything, really. (we hear a gun shot, loud thump and the phone hitting the floor)

Andy: NO!!! Jesus! Ahhh, man... no, no, no, no...

(lights and radio fade out)

(end)

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Happy One-Year Play-A-Day Anniversary!!!! I know you started this blog hoping to go for a year, but I hope you continue.

Your Chicago reader (tromvestite's wife's friend),

Elizabeth