May 29, 2006

A Play A Day #46



Setting: Lights up on a den in a comfortable house. Five white women sit on comfy couches or chairs or whatever you've got. They are all overweight in some way, from merely pudgy to obese. There is an obscene amount of snack food arrayed before them on coffee tables: chips, dips, chocolates, jellybeans, candy bars, sampler packs of truffles, donuts, cakes, ice cream treats, and anything else you can think of. The women are eating constantly, even while talking.

Pollyanna: No, I'm not done with it yet.

Rosieanna: Oh, you're in for a treat; it's as good as she said!

Ollianna: Exactly as good as she said!

R: She's so smart. All the books are always exactly as good as she says they should be.

O: I know! I don't know how she does that! She says where the sad parts are and what the book means, and then I read it. I cry right where she said I would, and it means exactly what she says it will mean!

P: Amazing! Same thing for me! I'm so excited to finish it!

Hollyanna: I'm just so glad she found it.

P: I know, I never even heard of the author.

Allianna: He's really old, I think.

R: Yeah, he's not writing much any more probably.

O: Yeah, she can't even get him on the show to discuss the book. I think I heard about him once. She has this great way of finding these obscure books and helping people learn about them for the first time.

P: Yeah, and normally I wouldn't read a book like that because my family history. I'm really sensitive about it.

R: Well, you certainly should be.

O: (hugging P) You were so young.

A: I hope you've been to a counselor.

P: Oh yes. For many years. So traumatic.

O: You saw it happen, didn't you?

P: Yes. (choking up) Right in front of me.

R: Polly, dear, you don't have to talk about this.

P: I know, but she says I should.

R: Well, you just go ahead and listen to her then!

O: That's the best we can do!

A: And the best we can be!

R: So true!

P: I know; she's always so right! You know what I mean? In he, I trust!

H: Polly, what happened to you again? I don't remember the whole story; it was your brother, right?

P: Yeah, he was fifteen. I was nine. I worshipped him. We were in the kitchen, and he was hungry. He was always so hungry! He grabbed some yogurt... (pause, light crying) I told him "no!" He just laughed at me. (long pause)

H: Then what?

P: The yogurt was past its expiration date. (crying harder now) He knew it. He ate it anyway; he was still laughing. Then he started coughing. The active yogurt cultures were attacking his throat. He reached for me. He scared me, and I turned away. His left hand slammed into our industrial-strength blender, and his head cracked down on "purree". He couldn't get his arm out of the blender until it had chewed past the elbow. When he did, he pitched backward in pain. In his shocked state, he reached his right arm back and it went straight into the garbage disposal. My mom always left the garbage disposal on; because she could never remember which was the switch for the disposal and which was the light switch. (nods of agreement all around) It was so... horrible....

H: Ohhh, you poor thing!

O: That was some very bad yogurt. (laughter all around)

P: Tell me about it!

R: He's still the world's only yogurt-related double amputee, isn't he?

P: Yep! Arms, legs or other! We're very proud of him.

A: And she actually wanted he on the show, right?

P: Yeah! But not for the "Farewell To Arms" discussion. I guess it's not about double amputees at all.

A: Well, that's an honest misconception to have.

R: (a little impatient) So... did she call?

P: Oh... no, not her herself; just one of the programmers.

H: Which one?

P: My brother said it was Jarret.

R: Ohhh! He's one of her favorites.

O: Yeah, she wrote about him two issues ago.

A: He's... gay. Isn't he?

P: Yes, but she doesn't even care!

H: Wow! She's so open-minded.

P: She even wrote about AIDS in her fifth book.

O: She's had so many close personal friends die from it.

H: Mmm-hmm... some of the chapters in "This Time It's For Real" made me cry. All those friends with AIDS!

P: And some of those people were only sort-of-gay.

H: It's just tragic.

P: I wish she never had to suffer so much.

H: It takes the gay friends and the part-gay friends too.

A: A horrible disease.

R: Still, I wish I had so many partially and non-threatening gay friends too.

P: Me too! They'd be very special friends; 'cause I would know that they could die of a horrible disease so quickly. I hoped I could survive it all; exactly like she did!

R: I knew a gay man once, but he wasn't famous and didn't have a famous disease or anything like that.

H: That's too bad.

R: Yeah, he was really dull. He even wore bow ties.

H: Well, he probably had so much gay sex all night, that he just liked acting boring and straight during the day.

A: See, we wouldn't even be having an enlightened discussion about gay guys without everything she has taught us. I mean think about it: Gays, AIDS, healthy eating...

O: And exercise

A: Oh! "For Real, For You" was such a great book on exercise!

P: I loved that book, but I thought "This Time It's Really For Real" was almost as great.

H: I tried it. It didn't work for, but that was my fault, not hers.

P: That's a relief!

H: Yeah! I couldn't scratch up the extra five thousand a month for the personal trainer and dietician.

R: But you tried, I remember!

H: I sold two of our three SUVs.

A: That helped!

H: Peter was so mad at me though!

R: I remember that part too!

H: I had to give up the dietician to pay for the marriage counseling.

P: You still look great though.

H: I should. I lost four pounds last year!

P: Woo-hoo! You go girl! (When this is said, a liturgical silence passes over them, no food is eaten until indicated. The women "round" themselves, as such)

O: (fingers of right hand to throat) The throat to remember our voices.

P: (to left breast) The left breast to remember our romantic hearts.

R: (to womb) The womb to remember our power of life.

A: (to right breast) The right breast to remember our sexual nature.

H: (heads bowed, holding hands with each other) The circle to remember she that empowers us.

O: Whose search for her inner meaning is our inner meaning.

A: Whose product sanctioning reduces our consumer anxiety.

R: Whose thoughts guide our every thought.

P: Saving us from the dark isolation of independent reasoning.

H: Her words be done.

P: (pause, hands separate, then loudly) Sassily! (all women give a cheer and dive back into the food with renewed purpose)

A: Who's on tomorrow?

P: The inner-city preacher who solves relationship problems with prayers that he raps.

(lights start to fade slowly)

R: The black guy?

P: Yeah, inner-city.

O: I can relate to him so well.

A: That's exactly what I was thinking!

P, R, H: Me too! (they look at each other and start laughing)

R: Woo-hoo! You go girls! (Women "round" themselves again, lights out as they do so, they don't say the words, just do the touching)


1 comment:

Brendon Etter said...

A woamn I know finds this play "demeaning" to women.

I think women are so darn cute when they use big, fancy words like that!

Really, though, isn't "demeaning" just taking the mean away from something? Obviously, if I'm demeaning to women, then I'm being nice, or making them nicer, or, perhaps, I'm just demeaning they needed in their lives...

O.K. Yes, I know these were all pretty crappy, but I liked it.