June 27, 2006

A Play A Day #75

Burning With Fire


Setting: Anywhere two people can hang out.

Gripe: (bursting onto the stage as soon as lights are up, he is jumping around like a mad man, shouting and screeching a thousand miles a minute) Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! No! No! No! No! No! Nooooo! Help! Someone help! Help me help me help me help me help me help me help me pleasepleasepleaseplease; someone help! (continues this with terrified and painful ad-lib as Snipe slowly walk on the set. Gripe doesn't see him for a while, jumping around and yelping and begging for help, he even goes right by him on a couple of occasions. Finally, he catches on that someone is there, and he essentially begins molesting Snipe) Dear God! Help me! Help me! You must help me! Pleasepleaseplease!! (continues quieter whines and whimpers while Snipe responds)

Snipe: (carefully considering the man before him, finally he asks, slowly and flatly) What's wrong?

G: (loud screeching again) Can't you see?!! Can't you see?!! Can't you see!!? Help me! Please!! (softly again under next line)

S: (same as first time) What's wrong?

G: I can't explain now! I'm in pain! Help me help me help me help me!!

S: Tell me what's wrong.

G: (as a madman) I'M ON FIRE, DAMNIT!

S: (checking G over again, taking his time as G jumps and yelps about the stage) Figuratively?

G: What!!??

S: I said: Figuratively?

G: What?!!

S: Are you actually "on fire", or did you mean you feel like you're on fire?

G: I'm on fire!

S: That doesn't answer my question.

G: I'm... On... Fire!!!

S: Got it.

G: Help me!!

S: How?

G: Get a hose or something!!

S: Ohhhh... so you actually think you're physically burning?

G: I don't think! I am!

S: Well, Descartes would disagree with you there.

G: What??

S: Nevermind.

G: Well... Help me!

S: (long pause) I'd rather not.

G: You have to! I'm on fire!

S: No, you're not.

G: I'm on FIRE!!!!

S: Fine, could you describe the fire?

G: It's a fire, damn you!!

S: LIke a chemical burn?

G: No! A Fire!

S: Like a match?

G: Yes!

S: How'd that happen?

G: I don't care! Put the fire out, damnit!

S: Don't have any water.

G: Idiot! Help me!

S: Help yourself.

G: I can't help myself when I'm on fire!

S: Sure you can - stop, drop and roll.

G: Shit! Forgot about that! (does so, gets up, does it again, throwing himself to the floor with great force, rolling very quickly, gets up, does it again, gets up) Ahhhh... It's not working!

S: Yeah, it worked fine.

G: No, it didn't! You fool! Help me!! Help me!!

S: I did; fire's out.

G: I'm still burning!

S: Maybe, but you're not on fire.

G: Yes, it's the same damn thing!

S: Well, they're pretty close in meaning, but I think there are subtle differences.

G: You wouldn't think so if you were on fire!

S: Or burning.

G: That too! Now help me!

S: You know, you are about the whiniest guy on fire I've ever met.

G: What do you mean?!

S: Well, the last guy I met who was of fire; you know he bore up well under the strain.

G: I think I'm doing just fine for someone who's on fire!

S: Doubt it. (mocking pained voice) Mr-help-me-help-me-help-me... jeez, get a spine, man.

G: I'm on fire!!!

S: Blah-blah-whatever, little sissy boy.

G: That was just mean!

S: (taking a full bottle of soda from his pocket, opening it and taking a swig) Yeah, well, the truth always sounds mean, I guess.

G: (trying to grab his soda bottle) Give me that!

S: What the hell for?

G: I can dump it on me to put the fire out!

S: Hey! No way! Get your own damn soda.

G: Pour it on me!!

S: Forget it.

G: Save me!

S: I'd waste a soda, and you'd just get sticky.

G: And I'd be alive!

S: Nah, the stop-drop-and-roll thing didn't work, so I doubt a few ounces of Coke would do any damage to this intractable fire raging on you.

G: Yes! It would!

S: Hey! Wait a second! Is this fire inside you or on your skin, you know, outside you?

G: Ummmm... it's on the outside.

S: Why the pause?

G: No reason.

S: No, no you don't, answer me! Why the pause?

G: I... uhhh... couldn't remember.

S: You couldn't remember where you were burning?

G: No... I'm delirious with pain?

S: Don't sound too convinced about that.

G: Yeah, I am... the pain is such that I can no longer think clearly.

S: Your speech is fine; you're arguing with me fairly rationally. Come on; what's going on here?

G: Ummm... o.k., I have to level with you...

S: Don't feel obligated, but I guess I'd like a little explanation here.

G: I'm not "on fire" per se....

S: I picked that part up myself.

G: I am, however, burning with desire for the new fall line-up on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and the WB!

S: Ouch.

G: It's pretty bad.

S: The WB?

G: Yeah, it's a sickness.

S: Fox?

G: I just get the fever every line-up announcement season.

S: ABC's still on the air?

G: And I internalize it.

S: Pure bummer.

G: And then I think I'm actually on fire.

S: 101 percent pure.

G: So, do you think you can help me?

S: (pause) Want the rest of this? (holds up his Coke)

G: Sure. Thanks.

S: Let's walk a little; you gotta shake this thing.

G: I know. I know.

(lights begin fading as they exit)

S: You know, for a second there, I almost smelled burning flesh...

G: Yeah, I can be pretty convincing when the TV passion strikes.

S: Really though, man, the WB?

G: Sorry, it's not rational, I know...

(lights out)



ShOI said...

What, no UPN? I guess you have to draw the line somewhere...

Brendon Etter said...

I felt the need to make the play slightly more plausible; so, no UPN. Perhaps someday, but for now, it just seemed to jeapordize Gripe's integrity as a man on fire.

Unknown said...

When is the Golden Girls reunion happening?