June 9, 2006

A Play A Day #57

Emergency Home Medical Care Encyclopedia


Setting: A living room, bookshelves, couch, china hutch, also boxes everywhere. Ron and Rita are still moving in to this house. Lights up on Ron, he is pacing rapidly in front of the bookshelves trying to to look for the right book, but is also sucking on the side of his left index finger, then taking it out of his mouth and shaking his left hand violently. He's in pain.

Ron: Honey!! Rita!! Rita!

Rita: (offstage) Yeah?!

Ron: Can you help me? Please?!! (pause) Rita!!

Rita: (still offstage) Yeah?!

Ron: Right now, honey! Please!!

Rita (offstage, but entering as she says) Alright, alright, I'm coming... just relax...(she sees Ron, who is obviously frightened and in pain) Jesus, Ron! What's wrong? Are you alright?! What happened?!

Ron: Help me find that emergency home medical care encyclopedia, alright! It's... ahhhh... it's around her somewhere!

Rita: (getting it very quickly) It's right here! What's wrong, Ron? Tell me.

Ron: (sitting on couch, Rita joins him) Spider bites... S... Spleen... too far... Spiders... nd Spider Bites... here we go...

Rita: (looking at his hand) Jeez, a spider bit you, and it did that? Holy crap, dear! Are you o.k.?

Ron: That's what I'm hoping to find out here! (indicates book, he continues fervent search through a couple pages, trying to find description of the spider that he thinks bit him)

Rita: (going to an open box) Let me get you something to tie off the finger at least. (She reaches in to the box)

Ron: (just noticing this) Honeynotthatbox!!! (too late)

Rita: (bloodcurdling scream, she withdraws her hand quickly, an enormous hairy spider has attached itself to her left hand, and is biting down painfully) Get it off! Ahhhhhhhh! (she shakes spider loose, it flies through the air, lands on the floor, Rita tries stepping on it a few times, but it is too fast.)

Ron: No! This isn't happening. I can't find out what kind of spider it is! (Rita joins in, equally frantic now).

Rita: Did you find the Encyclopedia of Posionous Animals, that might help!

Ron: Damn! I didn't even think about that!

Rita: (moving to a large book box) It's got to be in this box. (opens it, puts here right hand in and fishes around for a book, let's out another bloodcurdling scream, jumps backward, withdrawing hand which has a small, brightly-colored snake attached to her index finger) Ahhhhhh! Get it off!! Get it off!!! (she flings so violently that snake flies off, as before, she tries to crush ir, but it gets away) Oh my God, Ron!! Help me!

Ron: Wait, we have the Encyclopedia of Posionous Snake over here! (opens another box, a large rat leaps out and attaches itself to Ron's face and begins knawing and clawing at him, Ron screams like a maniac and manages to punch it off his face, Rita tries to stomp on it, to no avail. They both stand there in shock, breathing heavily and terrified.)

Rita: There's got to a rational explanation for this. Right? Right? Tell me that, Ron!! TELL ME THAT!!

Ron: (trying to wipe blood from his face) I... I... don't know... but we have that Encyclopedia of Rational Explanations, it's in one of these boxes. (He tentatively begins searching for the book in the boxes, after a little while and barracuda "swims" onstage and bites Ron right on the butt) AGGGGGGG! WHAT! Get it off! (Rita slugs the barracuda off Ron, it swims away. Ron has a large blood stain growing on the seat of his pants.) That... that... was... that... uhhh... couldn't...

Rita: It was a fish, Ron! A fish!! What is going on!?

Ron: How... a fish... we are on dry land...

Rita: I don't know, Ron! It's not even raining!!

Ron: (getting woozy from the animal bites, blood loss and possible poisons) I... We... the Encyclopedia of Landfish... It's...


Ron: But... it's a very small... encylopedia...

Rita: Just don't touch the boxes, Ron! Don't!

Ron: (not really able to pay much attention any more, he opens another box) Must... be...

Rita: (spinning around frantically, looking for another animal, nothing happens, Ron shuts box) Just don't... honey... please stop...

Ron: (having a hard time staying upright, getting delirious) You know, you look so pretty right now! I'm so glad we moved here! So glad we got that new cat! (pointing offstage)

Rita: Wha... (turns and screams, a large cougar bounds on stage and latches its jaws onto Ron's neck, shaking him violently, Ron just smiles, Rita tries to step on the cougar, but this has no noticeable effect, she breaks a vase over the cougar's head, the cougar drops Ron and runs off stage)

Rita: Ron!! (she picks Ron's head up, blood everywhere, Ron is still alive, but not really there either)

Ron: Nice kitty.

Rita: Oh, Ron...

Ron: Mew, mew...

Rita: (dropping Ron's head a little too quickly) Wait, we have that Encyclopedia of Large Cat Maulings In American Living Rooms! And that one is already out of the box! (She finds it on the bookshelves) Here, Ron! Here! There's hope; this will tell us what to do!

Ron: Kitty. Kitty.

Rita: (reading from the encyclopedia) "If a cougar should attack you in your American living room, always remember to elevate the head and feet and try to stop the bleeding." (Rita puts one of the sofa pillows under Ron's head, wraps a blanket around his neck, then moves one of the boxes to Ron's feet and props his feet on the box, Rita then goes back to the book) "It is imperative, however, that you check to make sure the spine isn't broken before doing this." Ahhh! No! Ron!

Ron: (almost unintelligbly) Phone.

Rita: What, Ron? What did...

Ron: (with Rita) Phone. Kitty.

Rita: ... you say... What? Ron! Ron! (shaking him violently) You have to wait until I've finished asking...

Ron: (with Rita) Phone.... meowmeow kitty...

Rita: ... before you say.... Ron! Damnit, Ron! You did it again! (more shaking) Make sure I'm done talking first, Ron!

Ron: (long pause, she shakes him expectantly) Phone.

Rita: Wha...? Ah! The phone! Ohh! Ron! You genius! (she kisses then drops his head and dashes clumsily off-stage, she is getting woozy herself, and comes back on unsteadily with a portable handset) Ummm... crap... uhhh... 9... ummm... what is it?!! Help me, Ron! What's the number! (no responses from Ron who gurgles playfully and incoherently) 9... ahhhhh!!! Wait! We have that American Encyclopedia of Emergency Telephone Numbers! (she staggers to the box at Ron's feet, she's not doing well either, she slaps Ron's legs off the box and opens it up) It's gotta be in here somewhere... It must... I.... I....

(lights start fading, off stage we hear the combined roar of several grizzly bears getting louder, then wolves howling, then the loud trumpet and stomping of an African elephant, this keeps getting louder as Rita looks desperately from one side of the stage to the other. Lights out, one final, deafening roar from the encroaching animals, then sound is out)



ShOI said...

Being a reference librarian, I thought this was absolutely hilarious. This would make a great short film for a library science class. Of course, I would have had Ron get bitten by an elf, then search desperately for his copy of the Encyclopedia of American Elves (Carleton has a copy). Then I'd have Rita get stung by a senator, only to discover that her copy of CQ's Congressional Staff Directory was outdated.

Brendon Etter said...

New ending portion added as result of conversations with My-kill. That guy's amazing and funny. I like his other ideas as seen above (he is shOI), but this one fit better in the progression of the play.

By the way, "shOI" stands for "short-haired Organic Infiltrator"