August 31, 2006

A Play A Day #140

Fuckin' Sick


Setting: A doctor's office. Pat sits on a chair; he truly looks like death. Doctor enters.

Doctor: (extending hand) Hello, Mr.... (checking the chart) Lipson? Doctor Levren.

Pat: (not taking the handshake) Pat.

D: O.K. Hi, Pat. What brings you in today?

P: Fuckin' sick!

D: Right... what exactly is going on? Symptoms? Uhhh... when did you start feeling sick? That sort of thing.

P: Which one?

D: Uhhh... which? Oh! How about we go with when this started.

P: Eight years ago.

D: Eight years?!

P: Or nine, fuck; I don't remember.

D: Okay, okay... a long time ago; we'll say nine years. Now, what exactly is the nature of the illness?

P: I'm fuckin' sick!

D: Yes, yes, sure; I'm wondering what your symptoms are, Pat.

P: Like, apart from being really fuckin' sick?

D: Yes. Apart from that.

P: My fuckin' body hurts.

D: Ummm... where exactly on your body?

P: Nowhere exactly, just my body.

D: Your whole body?

P: Fuckin' hurts, yeah.

D: Feet?

P: Fuckin' killing me!

D: Legs?

P: Really fuckin' hurt!

D: Knees?

P: A lot of fuckin' pain!

D: Hips? Stomach?

P: Always fuckin' hurting me!

D: Chest pain?

P: Non-fuckin' stop!

D: Arms? Shoulders?

P: Barely fuckin' work anymore!

D: Neck?

P: Feels like it's getting fuckin' hacked with a machete!

D: Head?

P: Ouchy.

D: Excuse me? "Ouchy?"

P: Yeah, it hurts that fuckin' much!

D: Okay, so general pain all over... for nine years?

P: Fuckin' right.

D: (washing hands) How do you eat, Pat?

P: Sometimes in the truck, sometimes I eat at home, sometimes I use a fork, but usually...

D: I'm sorry... I meant what is your diet like?

P: Not on a fuckin' diet, that's pussy girl shit!

D: No... I mean, what, what do you eat?

P: Just about anything.

D: Like?

P: Cheetos, Pabst, Doritos, Beef Jerky, MGD... sometimes a couple Twinkies, but I usually don't eat those, 'cause they're pretty fuckin' bad for you.

D: Fruits? Vegetables?

P: Fuck that. I don't like cooking!

D: Most fruits and vegetables you can eat raw, Pat.

P: Yeah?

D: I do it all the time. They're actually better for you raw, no cooking needed.

P: Weird.

D: So let's get a look at you; please take your shirt off.

P: What! What the fuck for!?

D: I'm going to listen to your heart; so I can begin to...

P: What the fuck you need me to take my shirt off for?!

D: It just helps...

P: I ain't no faggot, man!

D: I assure you, Pat; I am also quite heterosexual. It's standard operating procedure...

P: Operating?! Shit, I thought you'd just tell me what's wrong, give some pills or shit, and let me go!

D: Pat, you come to me claiming to have been in extreme pain for about nine years; the least I can do is give you a thorough check-up, so I can understand what be causing your problems.

P: What about the drugs?

D: Maybe you'll need a prescription; I won't know that until I'm able to get a better sense of what's wrong with you.

P: My friend, Johnny, he tells me doctors are just there for getting drugs. Don't want no fuckin' check-up!

D: Pat, have you ever been to a doctor before?

P: Fuck no! You guys cost too much.

D: It is expensive, yes; do you have insurance?

P: Don't need it; I don't go to the doctor.

D: Yet here you are.

P: I'm really fuckin' sick! And you won't even give me drugs!

D: You may be very sick, Pat. I need to figure out exactly what's wrong, then, we may get you something to help, but I need to do a full check-up to start understanding what's wrong.

P: I told you! I'm FUCKIN' SICK!

D: Alright, Pat, you don't need to shout. Just let me take your pulse, check you blood pressure and ...

P: No way! That's when you start charging for all those fancy doctor tests!

D: Pat, I'm going to do something for you that I'm not allowed to do, but your case has moved me to do it.

P: What you talkin' 'bout?

D: I'm going to erase this visit from the computer files, I'm not going to do any paperwork on it. You will not be charged for anything. It's free. Pat, you may have something very serious wrong with you. I may be able to stop this immense pain you're in.

P: Free?

D: Free.

P: And the drugs?

D: Top of the line, Grade-A quality shit.

P: Free?

D: Completely.

P: Alright! No gay touchin', got it!?

D: Sure do.

(Pat removes his shirt, his chest is not visible to the audience, Doctor stops in shock)

P: What?

D: Pat, what are all those scars?

P: Oh, that... I got shot a few times.

D: (counting) Like seven?

P: Sounds about right.

D: When did this happen?

P: Eight, nine years ago. Some drunk fucker shot me.

D: Seven times?

P: Sure, seven, whatever.

D: And you survived?

P: Sittin' here right now.

D: Who saved you?

P: I did. Drove home, sat in a cold tub for a few hours, drank a case of Pabst, big fuckin' mess everywhere. I missed a few days of work.

D: You... Uhh... you never got any medical help?

P: Fuck no, the case of Pabst only cost 7.99, doctor woulda just stolen my wallet, then I wouldn't have been able to buy any beer.

D: Have you ever felt good since that day?

P: No... not really... felt sick since around that time.

D: Okay, Pat, this is where it's going to get a little more tricky. We need to do X-rays, some other tests, and probably a lot of surgery. I'm not sure I can cover up all those expenses for you, but I will try.

P: What!? You fuckin' led me on just to get me to take my shirt off; now you say it ain't gonna be free after all?!!

D: Pat...

P: Fuck this! (grabs shirt, starts putting it on)

D: Sorry, Pat... you we're shot seven times! We need to check...

P: Fuck you, man; you fuckin' checked me out enough!

D: (rummaging in a cabinet) Here, here, Pat, let's discuss this.... you mentioned drugs. I have plenty. Here. Take two of these.

P: What are these?

D: OxyContin. Just swallow those down, and tell me how exactly how you came to be shot seven times.

P: Fuckin' A! Now you're talkin'! These are free?

D: Absolutely.

(Pat swallows them)

D: I've got more if those don't do the trick.

P: Alright.

D: Now we'll talk about that night, and we'll see how you're feeling in a few minutes.

P: I'm keeping my shirt on though!

D: No problem... I want to help you, Pat. We'll see if I can find a surgeon friend to talk with you too?

P: What for? I don't want no fuckin' expensive surgery! I already told...

D: I understand; let's discuss that in a few minutes, huh?

P: Don't fuck with me alright!?

D: I would never think of it.

(lights out)


August 30, 2006

A Play A Day #139


Curt, The Zookeeper

Setting: A zoo, which could be represented by, ummm, a blank stage, for instance. Everythng is merely indicated, but, of course, if you've got the budget to stage a zoo, don't let my lack of visual cues hold you down.

Curt, The Zookeeper: (He is giving a tour of his zoo, he's very proud, walking on with Reena and Geoff behind) And, of course, as our summer interns, you will have access to all areas of the zoo. Let's begin our tour here, and, please, do ask questions as soon as they pop into your head. (indicating the cage) Here are our Indian elephants, Zita and Gee, they have been at the zoo for almost five years. As you can see their facilities are a little cramped, but they also have a small den through that opening there, where they can watch a 62-inch wide screen T.V. with full cable and 7.1 surround sound... and, of course, they have access to two top-of-the-line laptop computers.

Reena: Did you just say "laptop computers"?

C: Yes, I sure did... top-of-the-line. We spared no expense!

Geoff: Uhhh, what do the elephants do with these computers, Curt?

C: Well, they have 24-hour dedicated broadband access to the internet!

R: Nice... but what do they do... with them?

C: Whatever they want, we don't belive in keeping a watch over our elephants' online behavior.

G: Do you mean Zita and Gee browse the internet?

C: We prefer "forage"; they forage the internet.

G: They do?

C: We assume so. We don't like to spy, but wouldn't you if you had that much bandwidth?

R: What do they brow... forage for?

C: I would guess elephant-related sites, elephant merchandise, and Gee, well, he's a a bit randy... so probably a little elephant porn...

R: Elephant porn?

C: No filters on their computers. No way! We believe in total online animal liberation!

G: But, why?

C: As we like to say, if an animal can't be free, we can help it be virtually free!

R: But, you're not sure if they are foraging the internet?

G: Yeah, you said you don't monitor their online activity.

C: No need to. We trust them.

G: I think maybe, the question is more like, "Do they need them"?

C: (getting a little offended) Young man, I have been in the zoo business for over twenty years. You have a lot to learn about animals if you think it's beneficial to limit their access to the outside world simply because they are being held in a zoo!

G: I... no... that's not...

C: We must use all available technology to broaden the experience of these beautiful creatures beyond their dingy cells.

R: Sure, I can understand that, like when you let them outside, you probably have self-cooling water stations and...

C: Outside?

R: Yeah, when you let them out to play or rest in the sun?

C: And let them run away? Probably only to be struck by a car? Or captured and arrested as suspected terrorists, simply because they look a little different than you or me?

R: Are you saying that you don't let them out?

C: Noooo. Too risky.

R: But... elephants need to be outside, a lot.

C: Well, in your ideal, flower-child world, maybe we could do that, but that would require a costly landscaping and fencing and security renovation. Very expensive!

G: But, you said you would spare no expense.

C: To assist the animals with full access to the world of information available to them on cable and the internet.

G: Don't elephants need time to relate to their natural surroundings?

C: The cable package includes the Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery and HBO channels.


C: It's a movie channel.

R: Yes, I know...

C: We get HBO - Family and HBO - Animal.

G: Couldn't they have time outside being watched by zoo workers?

C: No. Very dangerous. We never get too close to the elephants.

R: Why?!

C: Because they're huge! Duh! C'mon, think about it... don't you realize those things could kill a person real easily.

G: But they need interaction, don't they?

C: Yes, and we do let zoo workers entertain them by talking with them in various internet chatrooms.

R: Chatrooms?

C: Yep! The elephants seem to like it too. Yesterday, Zita brushed against her keyboard. As if to say "LOL" or perhaps even "ROTFLMTO" or some other cute elephant chatroom shorthand.

G: So, you don't interact with them, don't let them outside...

C: Not physically, but that's what's great about running a zoo these days. You don't need to do all that messy stuff. You can let cable and the web take care of all that for you! Enough about the elephants, let's head to the zebra stable, which, it goes without saying, is a wireless hotspot!

(he starts walking off, Reena and Geoff look at each other with great apprehension about the summer to be, lights going down, Reena and Geoff slowly start to follow)

C: ... of course, we may not even see any of the zebras, since many of them will undoubtedly be blogging in the computer lab....

(lights out)


August 29, 2006

A Play A Day #138

Rest Easy


Setting: Basement of a house, the two twelve-year olds are in sleeping bags with flashlights, their flashlights are on, pointing, randomly at different audience members.

Thane: (scared) That was it!

Mort: What?

T: That scratching sound.. scritch... scritch...

M: I didn't hear anything.

T: Scritch, scritch, scritch... like three fast then two slow scritches... scritch.... scritch...

M: That's your cat!

T: Nuh-uh! My cat has no claws!

M: Cats have claws.

T: Not mine, we had 'em removed.

M: Ouch! I bet that fuckin' hurts!

T: Dude, no swearing... if my Mom catches you... you'll be in such deep poop!

M: O.K. Sorry...

T: There it was again! Scritch!

M: Why don't we turn the lights on?

T: You think we should?

M: Well, if you're gonna be a sissy all night.

T: You do it!

M: Man, now we can't use these awesome flashlights.

T: Hey, I'm just being safe!

(Mort is standing at a light switch, lights come up on the room, seated in an easy chair on the other side of the stage is Thane's Dad, Randy. He is sharpening a very large knife on a rectangular whetstone. Scritch, scritch, scritch... scritch... scritch.)

Randy: (shielding eyes from the bright lights) Hey! Turn those lights off!

T: Dad!

R: Hey, now. Thane. Mort. You two just go to sleep. I've got everything covered on this end.

M: That's a nice knife, Mr. Andreks.

R: Well thanks, Mort. It's seen me through some really big jobs before; gotta keep it sharp.

M: I'll bet.

R: Never know when something might need cuttin'.

M: Yeah, like what?

R: Oh, big things.

M: Neat!

R: You boys hit those lights, and get to sleepin' now.

(Mort turns off lights, business while they get into their sleeping bags, the scritch sounds start up again, goes for a few beats)

T: Oh, Dad? We're taking Mort to the water park with us tomorrow, right?

R: (scritching stops, pause) Sure, Thane. Sure we will. (scritching starts again)


August 28, 2006

A Play A Day #137



Setting: The gallows. Tad has just dropped through the doors, where he now swings by his neck, yet is, somehow, able to talk.

(Cynthia enters, she's walking and reading, or something, sees Tad, who has been coyly trying to avoid her notice.)

Cynthia: Tad? Tad? Is that you?

Tad: Wha... oh, hi, Cynthia!

C: Wow! It's been a long time!

T: About three years, yeah!

C: Yeah, three years... sooo, how have you been?

T: Alright! Doing just fine!

C: Great... hey, you look good! Of course, you always did!

T: Ah geez, thanks, Cynthia!

C: How do you stay so thin? You know, I just feel like I've ballooned lately...

T: You? No! No... nonsense. You look great, pretty much exactly like I remember you!

C: Ohhh, you're just saying that...

T: No, no... you look like you haven't aged a bit.

C: Gee, thanks, Tad... you always were so sweet. There's something different about you though.... (to herself) what is it...

T: Ummm... well...

C: Wait, I know! New shoes!

T: True, true! Thanks for noticing!

C: I like them!

T: Standard prison issue...

C: Well, they look so good on you.

T: Thank you, I...

C: Wait, where are your glasses? You used to wear glasses; I'm almost sure of that.

T: Yes, I... I did used to wear glasses...

C: Small round ones?

T: That's so sweet, you remember!

C: Well, how could I forget you, Tad?

T: Oh... Cynthia. I've missed you.

C: You were very memorable; if you remember the past like I remember the past!

T: Oh... I remember... I'll always remember you.

C: You serious? What a nice thing to say to a lonely girl.

T: You? Lonely?

C: Well, things have really gone down hill since we broke things off.

T: I find that very hard to believe, Cynthia.

C: It's true! It's true... I got a little bit of a reputation... after... after you.

T: Sorry about that.

C: It's o.k., I'm sooo passed that now, but a lot of men aren't... it's a hard thing to shake.

T: I'll bet, listen... you know, I'm sorry. I never really got to say that.

C: Ahhh, don't worry about it; it's in the past. It's been bumpy at times, but, you know, there's always some sort of deliverance waiting at the end of the line.

T: I know all about that! (laughs at his own joke)

C: So, Tad, what have you been up to?

T: Well, mainly, hiding from arrest - that didn't last long - getting arrested, going to trial, getting sentenced to death, appealling, getting my appeal rejected, pleading for clemency from the Governor, waiting for execution, getting executed. Stuff like that.

C: Wow! You have been busy!

T: Well, it's good to have work!

C: So, you know the Governor?

T: I guess, in a way.

C: Very cool.

T: You've been... doing what, then?

C: Well, just you know, trying to reconnect with friends, family.... trying to find that special someone.

T: Sure.

C: I thought that would be you once, Tad.

T: Yeah... I know.

C: Then you stabbed me so much I died.

T: Shot myself in the foot with that kind of behavior...

C: But, then I came back to life! Right there on the operating table!

T: Right! That's what I thought. You know when I left you out there in the woods, I thought to myself, and I mean this now, she's not really dead. She'll make it through!

C: Awwww... that's so kind...

T: (choking up a bit) And you did! I was... just... just... so proud of you!

C: (also getting misty) Awww... Tad... thank you... thank you for believing in me.

T: But, your Dad was the doctor who saved you...

C: And he wanted you to be punished for what you did; so he staged that mock funeral and everything.

T: He just has all the right connections.

C: Yeah, Dad's great that way.

T: Sure. Good guy! Looking out for his baby... who wouldn't?

C: I had to spend a couple years in the basement...

T: Yeah, I'll bet, you wouldn't seem very dead, if you were just out walking around! (laughs at his little joke)

C: (also laughing) Exactly, that's what Dad kept telling me too. Tad, I'm really sorry I didn't show up at your trial, you know, to tell people I wasn't dead.

T: Hey, hey, don't worry about it!

C: Probably would've helped you, huh?

T: Maybe, hard to say... you know, don't feel bad about it.

C: You know, Tad, when you weren't stabbing me in a blind rage, you were always so good to me.

T: Well, thank you, Cynthia, and when you weren't sleeping with my three best friends, you were great to be with.

C: Thanks... sorry about your friends.

T: Yeah, sorry about getting all knifey.

C: Actually, my Dad says the fact that I'd passed out from you strangling me probably saved my life... so thank you for that.

T: Ohhh, it was nothing, really; you know how much I always cared about you.

C: Yes... I do...(pause) Well, I've got to get going. I've got a first date.

T: Sure, sure, don't let me keep you. Good luck with that.

C: I have to convince yet another man that I'm not actually dead or a whore.

T: Hey! You tell this guy from me, that you aren't, on both counts, and I oughta know! (laughter all around)

C: Maybe... if my date doesn't work out... I could call you sometime?

T: Sure, I'd like that.

(lights start fading)

C: (walking toward him tentatively, giving him a little peck on the cheek) Nice talking to you, Tad. (she exits)

T: (looking up, he is hoarse with emotion, and starting to cry) I'll never wash that spot again, as long as I live.

(lights out)


August 27, 2006

A Play A Day #136



Setting: A lunch counter at a diner, except it's late, the place is closing down.

Bert: (catching waitress' eye) Waitress... Waitress? Hi, can I get a refill? (holds coffee cup out, waitress already has the pot in her hand, pulls it up)

Bert: (stopping her) Decaf?

Waitress: Yes!

B: Great!

W: (Goes to pour, thinks again) Umm... we're closing up. I don't really want to refill your cup...

B: What?

W: Look, you've been here for about five hours. This is your eighth? ninth? tenth? cup of decaf. We're closing down for the night.

B: I'd like a refill.

W: I know you do.

B: Is this because I'm black?

W: What? No.

B: I'm really getting tired...

W: You're whiter than skim milk!

B: Sure, bring that up...

W: What up?

B: Race issues.

W: You brought...

B: Why does my need for coffee need to be a question of my race everytime?

W: What? It's not! What...

B: You just accused me of being white!

W: You are!

B: Maybe so, but why does that disqualify me from a seventh cup of coffee?

W: It doesn't... look, you said you were black!

B: Maybe I said black, but I meant white and used black as an entry-point to discuss your vicious racist streak!

W: What! Listen, I don't know what you're trying to pull, man...

B: Nothing, I'm just another white man being denied his coffee refill.

W: We are closing!

B: A convenient cover for your racism.

W: No! It's a convenient cover for my wanting to kick you out.

B: So... you admit it?

W: I admit nothing!

B: You hate white people, and you conveniently use closing time as an excuse to deny them their coffee.

W: I don't hate white people!

B: Then... my coffee?

W: I hate white assholes!

B: How dare you!

W: Ohhh! I dare! I will continue to dare until...

B: My father was a white asshole!

W: I don't doubt it!

B: I refuse to be judged because of his behavior!

W: You're not being judged; you're being idiotic.

B: I am not the bearer of my father's sins!

W: Listen! Please, just leave... o.k. I've been here doing a double shift, I still have to clean the grill, close out the till, mop up and drive fifteen minutes to get home, I have two kids and no husband. My kids are small, I live in a bad neighborhood. I need you to leave!

B: Trying to get my sympathy... typical ploy to excuse your racism.

W: Listen man, I'm white, my kids are white, I don't hate white people. I hate people who are mean for no apparent reason. People who don't have the common decency to leave when the place is closing.

B: You have no right to deny me my coffee!

W: Actually, I do... see that sign? "Management reserves to right to deny service to anyone at anytime."

B: Why don't you just add "if they're white" up there!

W: (pause, pulls out her pen) O.K. I will (she goes to the sign, writes and speaks as she does so) If they... are... white ....and... an asshole.

B: Nice. Really know how to make a customer welcome.

W: I made you welcome five damn hours ago. You are no longer welcome here!

B: Typical.

W: (pleading) Why won't you leave? Do you have nowhere to go? Has everyone you know shunned you because of your assholery?

B: (quietly) Yes.

W: And now... (his "yes" sinks in) Oh... uhh... I didn't realize...

B: I am an ass. Just like my father. No one likes me. I alienate everyone.

W: Well, you haven't been easy to deal with here tonight.

B: I know.

W: If you know, then you can avoid it... right?

B: Maybe.

W: If you had just left a few minutes ago; I might not have been so upset with you.

B: Yeah, I know.

W: I mean, sitting at a diner for five hours is extreme, but not illegal. You were okay, you know, as a customer, until the whole bizarre race thing.

B: I don't know how to talk to people.

W: You're talking to me.

B: I always have to argue; it's the only way I know how to communicate.

W: Nonsense. You're being really nice right now.

B: Ahh... you're just feeling bad for me.

W: No! No... I never... well... o.k. I do feel sorta bad for you. You're right.

B: I know I am.

W: Well... you know you can come back tomorrow. We'll practice.

B: Practice?

W: Having normal, nice conversations.

B: Really?

W: Yeah, and we'll see how well you can learn to talk... to me... without arguing.

B: You'd do that for me?

W: Yes... sure... why... why not?

B: You'd be... like a... friend?

W: Yeah... I guess I would be. Sure.

B: (he starts breaking down, sniffling) I've never really had a friend.

W: Hey now...

B: Almost fifty years old, and I've never had a friend...

W: Well, I guess you have one now.

B: (crying) You know, never been able to make a friend... or... or... a girlfriend.

W: Ummm... just friends, for now... o.k.?

B: Yeah, yeah... friends... thank you... thank you so much...

W: You're very welcome.

B: Can I get my coffee refill now?

W: (stunned, not sure how to respond, long pause) Uhhh... no... I mean, I really...

B: Is this an age thing?

W: What? Please don't do this!

B: I see now, because you found out that I'm almost fifty, and you're younger than me...

W: Please! Stop!

B: This is just so typical!

W: No, we were going to be friends...

B: Just another older-American being denied his coffee refill!

W: Stop! (crying) Just stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!...

(lights out as waitress continues shouting "stop")


August 26, 2006

A Play A Day #135

Wander, Ponder, Repeat


Setting: Bare stage, cast can be of any age or gender, when lights go up they are starting to walk a circle as large as the stage can accomodate, one is going clockwise, the other counter. They start back to back (but not touching), they pace themselves, very slowly, so that they arrive face to face after making it halfway around the circle.

Ula: How old are you?

Wip: Doesn't matter to the universe.

Ula: On an astronomical scale, we don't exist.

Wip: On a geological scale, we really don't either.

Ula: In the history of humanity, we are unknown.

Wip: Unremarkable.

Ula: Unseen and unheard.

Wip: Within the history of this land, we are passed over.

Ula: Passed by.

Wip: Passed through.

Ula: Even in the present day, we are past.

Wip: Nothing matters about us.

Ula: Not to the stars, the planets.

Wip: History or current events.

Ula: All we have are first impressions...

Wip: The interpersonal connection that happens...

Ula: As soon as we bump into someone else...

Wip: You have maybe...

(They are toe to toe now, look up into each others' eyes for ten seconds)

Ula: (stepping around Wip, continuing around circle) ten seconds to create yourself...

Wip: (also continuing around circle) In that person's universe...

Ula: That person's world...

Wip: Their history...

Ula: And their present.

Wip: You have to connect...

Ula: To become real to someone else.

Wip: To actually begin to exist.

Ula: If you can't, then you might wander...

Wip: Endlessly.

Ula: Never stopping.

Wip: Never finding a home or an anchor.

Ula: Floating along, unknown, unrecognizable...

Wip: Unseeen, unheard. Circling.

Ula: A person, out of time, in no time.

Wip: Passed over and passed by.

Ula: So you have to use those ten seconds well.

Wip: You might ask the other person a question such as...

(they step around each other without acknowledgment, continue from same spot as the beginning of the show)

Ula: How old are you?

(either cut the lights immediately, or repeat the play endlessly from this point)


August 25, 2006

A Play A Day #134

Spot On


Setting: On the bank of a pond, in the woods. Zeke is sitting on the bank, bushes all around him. We see Zed walk by, then look back and peer through the bushes.

Zed: Zeke? Zeke Millit? Is that you?

Zeke: (barely acknowledging him) Yep.

Zed: Well! Funny meeting you out here on this trail.

Zeke: Actually not on the trail, Zed.

Zed: Whatcha doin' out here?

Zeke: Sittin'. Lookin' at Duckeye Pond here.

Zed: Hey, mind if I join ya? My feet are a little sore. (sitting down about three feet away from Zeke)

Zeke: Go right ahead.

Zed: Yeah... I'm scoutin' out a new place for my deer stand next autumn... this autumn comin' up, I mean.

Zeke: Oh.

Zed: Friend of mine told me that this neck of woods is pretty good.

Zeke: Yep.

Zed: So, I'm just walking around looking for good trees, checking angles and sight lines.

Zeke: Sure.

Zed: So, you come here a lot?

Zeke: Yep, least once a week.

Zed: Yeah... it's a nice spot.

Zeke: Great spot.

Zed: Nice view; leaves'll be turnin' before too long.

Zeke: Yep. They do that.

Zed: So, you just come out here and sit once a week?

Zeke: Sort of.

Zed: How d'ya mean?

Zeke: Well, sometimes I sit; sometimes... I stand.

Zed: Oh... yeah, sure, of course, but you just come out here? No fishing or anything?

Zeke: Got nothing on me.

Zed: You take pictures out here?

Zeke: Only with my mind.

Zed: I'd bring a lunch or something like that, if I came out here.

Zeke: You are out here.

Zed: Well, yeah... I meant if...

Zeke: Where's your lunch?

Zed: If I came out here just to come out here, you know?

Zeke: With your lunch?

Zed: Yeah, probably bring a lunch something...

Zeke: Then you'd be having lunch.

Zed: Right, yeah... lunch out here.

Zeke: Then you wouldn't be here, just to be here, right?

Zed: Yeah... eating a little lunch in a great spot like this.

Zeke: You'd be eating lunch.

Zed: Yeah. That'd be nice...

Zeke: You'd be eating lunch, which means you'd be out here to eat lunch.

Zed: Right.

Zeke: That means you wouldn't be out here only to be out here.

Zed: Huh?

Zeke: You'd be out here to eat lunch!

Zed: Ohhhh... I... I get it. I get what you're sayin'! Good point.

Zeke: I thought so.

Zed: (pause) So, you just come out here just to be here.

(Zeke touches his nose, points at Zed, the "you got it" gesture)

Zed: No fishin', no huntin', no readin', eatin', anything.

Zeke: Yep.

Zed: I guess that makes sense... go to the woods just to be in the woods.

Zeke: That's all it is.

Zed: No goal, no plan, just walk out here and sit.

Zeke: Or stand.

Zed: Or stand, sure.

Zeke: It's that simple.

Zed: Yeah, that is pretty simple.

Zeke: Just being.

Zed: Just you and the woods.

Zeke: Yep.

Zed: And the pond.... good ol' Duckeye Pond.

Zeke: Good ol' Duckeye.

Zed: Why d'ya think they call it "Duckeye" anyway?

Zeke: Duckass was already taken.

Zed: Ha! That's a good one!

Zeke: Yep.

Zed: Duckass was already taken... ohhh... nice one...

Zeke: Thanks.

Zed: (laughter slows, then stops, long pause) Yeah, it's a nice spot.

Zeke: You said as much a few times.

Zed: Yep. You just sit... or stand... out here for the whole day?

Zeke: Nah, couple hours, maybe.

Zed: Hmmm.... and that's it?

Zeke: O.K. O.K. Since you insist on bringing it up repeatedly...

Zed: I...

Zeke: There's one thing I often do do out here.

Zed: Oh? (pause) What's that?

Zeke: Well, it's a nice, quiet place to take a piss.

Zed: Sure. Nothing like pissin' wherever you stand! (starts laughing)

Zeke: Nothing like pissin' wherever you sit would be more accurate in this case.

Zed: Yeah! (keeps laughing)

Zeke: Right where you sit.

Zed: Right! (still laughing, then realizing what Zeke just said) Right where I... sit (hops up quickly) What?

Zeke: You kept wanting to know what I do out here...

Zed: (pause, he's wiping off his butt, smelling his hands, he smells no urine) Ohhhhhh!! Haha! That was another good one! Man, I guess I didn't know you were so funny...

Zeke: Well...

Zed: Always had you pegged as a real quiet type; but you're real funny too.

Zeke: I guess I can be both.

Zed: (long pause) Oh, hey! Did ya hear the news this afternoon?

Zeke: Nope. I was out here.

Zed: Police in town found a fourth woman, all stabbed up bad...

Zeke: A fourth one?

Zed: Yeah. She been dead only a day or two.

Zeke: Where was she?

Zed: Dumpster back of the steak house.

Zeke: The steak house?

Zed: Yeah...

Zeke: The bakery, you mean.

Zed: Pretty sure it was the steak house.

Zeke: Yeah, o.k. Right.

Zed: Four women killed in one month? That's pretty crazy for a town that size?

Zeke: Does seem like a lot.

Zed: You figure a sensible killer wouldn't do more than... maybe two a month.

Zeke: I guess some killers just ain't too sensible; are they, Zed?

Zed: (pause) They found one of the women out here, didn't they?

Zeke: About a half-mile that way.

Zed: Creepy! Tht's why I brought some protection. (he pulls out a large knife)

Zeke: That's a big knife, Zed.

Zed: Well, in case I have a run-in with this woman-killer guy.

Zeke: How do you know it's a guy?

Zed: Trust me, I know. How'd you know it was behind the bakery?

Zeke: That's what I heard.

Zed: (pause) Shame... you stting out here all alone, all peaceful; this freak come by and stab you to death.

Zeke: (standing slowly, eyes on Zeke) That would be bad, but I brought along my own protection. (pulls out a large knife)

Zed: That's a big knife, Zeke.

Zeke: I guess it is. (they are brandishing the knives at each other, but trying to look like they actually aren't)

Zed: Pity about those four women, huh?

Zeke: Yep... and don't forget the guy that got killed too...

Zed: Yeah... heard about him, quiet guy, kept to himself a lot...

Zeke: No, I heard it was the type of guy who asked stupid questions and disturbed other people's peace...

(they are stuck, sort-of brandishing their knives at each other, lights do a quick, five-step sunset, then immediately a five-step sunrise, Zeke and Zed are still standing there, they have been all night, they are holding their respective positions much more sleepily, their voices are hoarse, they've been negotiating all night long)

Zed: O.K. We're agreed then... you get the east side of town for the next month, I get the west...

Zeke: Right, and we meet every two weeks to review progress, and figure out how to avoid patterns.

Zed: Right. Now, we slowly back away on three; (overlap with Zeke) one... two... three

Zeke: One... two... three

(and they slowly back away, knives drawn, eyes on each other the whole way, lights out)


August 24, 2006

A Play A Day #133

Hail On Earth


Setting: In a picnic shelter at a public park

(Tornado sirens going off, Sever is sitting at a picnic table inside the shelter, Rip runs in, taking his coat down from his head. Note: You can do this play with full sound effects, or run it without. The hail, thunder and wind would be enormously loud, of course, but it could be done.)

Rip: Woooo! It's starting to come down!

Sever: Yep! Looks like some bad stuff coming in too.

Rip: Yeah, that sky's nasty looking!

Sever: Just listening on my portable here; they say rougher stuff is on its way.

Rip: Sure does look that way!

Sever: Yep.

Rip: Yes. Pretty bad rain.

Sever: Windy too.

Rip: Yeah, guess that's the bad stuff blowing in, huh?

Sever: Oh yeah! Definitely.

Rip: Yeah, it's coming from that way.

Sever: Most of the bad storms do.

Rip: From that way, yep. That's true.

(long pause)

Sever: S'pose I should call my kids in.

Rip: Well, I would, but they're having so much fun getting soaking wet.

Sever: Yep, guess you're right... there's my two little ones in that puddle by the slide.

Rip: Hey, mine must be playing with yours, at least... I think those two with the muddy faces are mine! Hard to tell! (laughter)

Sever: Yeah! I'll leave'm out there, they're having a blast.

Rip: MIne are Cody and Jessica... Cody's six, Jessie's four and a half.

Sever: Hey, my little boy is Cody too. He's seven. Little girl is Diane. She's three.

Rip: Cute.

Sever: Yeah, cute.

Rip: Real cute.

Sever: Sure. As cute as can be.

Rip: As a button.

Sever: (pause) I don't find most buttons to be that cute.

Rip: I guess you're right. Cute as a... teddy bear?

Sever: I think we've covered this topic enough.

Rip: Granted... granted. (pause) My name's Rip. (extending hand)

Sever: Rip? Really? Rip!? That's... if you don't mind me saying so... that's an awfully strange name. Rip?

Rip: Yeah... I know... I'm used to it, of course, most people say that, or, at least, think that. It's an old family name.

Sever: Rip? Wow! Old family name, huh?

Rip: Yep... yep... uh... well... it was the name of an old family lived next door to my mom when she was a girl.

Sever: So... uh... what's gonna happen when you die?

Rip: What?! I... uh...

Sever: I mean, your headstone...

Rip: I... don't get what...

Sever: Is it gonna be R.I.P., R-i-p?

Rip: What... Ohhh... Hey! Good one!

Sever: Thanks... really no one ever said that to you before? With a bizarre name like Rip?

Rip: No... I don't belive so... what's you're name?

Sever: Paul.

Rip: Paul. Nice name.

Sever: Yep... Paul...

Rip: Hey, wind's really...

Sever: Oh... man... I'm joking with you, and you bought it...

Rip: What?

Sever: Totally suckered you in!

Rip: Ohh... uhhh...

Sever: With my name! You fell for it!

Rip: Huh? Ummm... Paul, you mean?

Sever: (laughing uproariously now) Oh man! Paul! Yeah... that's a good one! Woooo!

Rip: So... Paul ... it's not your real name?

Sever: You kidding? Who'd want a stupid name like that? Rip? Paul? Gimme a break!

Rip: So... Paul's not your name?

Sever: No. Not even close!

Rip: Ummm... O.K.

Sever: Well... don't you wanna know what my name is?

Rip: You know... if... ahh... if you want to tell me, I guess, sure.

Sever: No... That's o.k.

Rip: Ummm... Ummm... yeah... uh... fine...

Sever: Wind's really picking up!

Rip: Uhhh... yes.

Sever: Uh oh! Hear that?

Rip: No, what?

Sever: Hail.

Rip: Really?

Sever: There... look...

Rip: Oh! Yep, I see it there. Cody! Jessie! Co...

Sever: Whadya doing?

Rip: Calling my kids in from the hail.

Sever: Hey! Look at 'em though having fun with my kids there.

Rip: Yeah...

Sever: Kids gotta have experiences like this... hail's tiny... don't take away the moment from them, man. Kids are too protected now, you know?!

Rip: Well...

Sever: Remember when you were little? Just running around! Leave the house in the morning and just run like crazy all day. And you did stupid things, right? Climbing huge trees, riding your bike down deadly hills, no frickin' helmet on, whatever. No big deal, right? Nowadays, we're all so hyped up about kid safety... it's gotten so bad, kids can't take a piss without being required to wear shoulderpads... it's ridiculous. What do we end up with? Kids that have healthy, safe and completely boring childhoods! Screw all that, man! What's a childhood without a few dozen scars? Nothing. It's nothing. So don't deny them a little rain, wind and hail. They'll remember it much better than the next time they have to put on a helmet at the spelling bee.

Rip: Yeah... yeah! You know what? You're completely right!

Sever: I know I am.

Rip: Let'em play! Screw it all!

Sever: There ya go, Rip!

Rip: Ohhh.. hey... hail's getting a bit bigger...

Sever: That happens.

Rip: Let'em have fun, though, huh?

Sever: You got it!

Rip: Hey... look at the limbs on that tree!

Sever: Yep, getting torn right off...

Rip: Yeah... um... what was that?

Sever: Hail's hitting cars.

Rip: Man! Window just smashed right out! Another!

Sever: (quietly) Yikes.

Rip: I gotta call the kids in!

Sever: Shoulderpads, man, shoulderpads!

Rip: No, this is truly dangerous!

Sever: What... softball-sized hail hitting the ground at over a hundred miles per hour? Nonsense!

Rip: I can't see the kids! The hail, the rain!

Sever: Yeah... too heavy to see.

Rip: Arrgghhh! Did you see that?

Sever: Hmmm... canteloupe-sized hail... pretty big...

Rip: Where are the kids!!!??

Sever: I don't know. Looks like giant ice heads falling everywhere.

Rip: You gotta help me! Your kids are out there! Here, we'll carry the picnic table over our heads!! (trying to lift his end) Help me!!!

Sever: Why?

Rip: Your kids are out there!

Sever: No... I don't have any kids.

Rip: Wha... what? What? I... help me... who... what... my kids... help me! Help me! Help my kids!!

Sever: In this weather?

(lights out immediately)


August 23, 2006

A Play A Day #132

Suckered By Love


Setting: Blank stage

Vena: (entering, noticing Zela standing there, looking at a magazine) Zela!! Hey! It's me! Vena! From high school!

Zela: Vena!? Oh my God! I haven't seen... what... fifteen years, has it been? Fifteen?

Vena: Yes! Yes! That seems right... Wow! What are you doing in Millfort?

Zela: I've been sort of moving east for the past five years, little bit further each year, it seems. This year... it's Millfort.

Vena: Yeah? That's great; so you'll be in town for a while?

Zela: If patterns hold, at least a year, maybe longer.

Vena: Fabulous! Wow! It will be so great to have you around!

Zela: Yeah; it's great to run into old friends so far from the old hometown.

Vena: Sure is!

Zela: How did you end up out here, yourself.

Vena: Ohhh... same old story... fell in love in college, then followed him around the country.... he's a regional sales representative, traveling all the time, but we moved here about three years ago. His company's based here. He doesn't have to do as many trips now; so we've settled into the slow life... small towns, you know.

Zela: Yeah, I like what I've seen here so far... maybe you could give me a tour sometime?

Vena: Yes! Love to! I like it better than most of the places we've lived before.

Zela: Where were you before?

Vena: Lincoln, Nebraska... then Milwaukee...

Zela: Oh, I spent a lot of time in both those cities too.

Vena: Then it was Dayton... Ohio, you know.

Zela: Yes, I lived there for over a year!

Vena: Weird! Were you following me? (laughter)

Zela: (laughter) No, no, ha ... doubt it... following my heart...

Vena: Sure... then I ended up in a little town about an hour direct east of Pittsburgh called... uhh... uhhh... jeez, I'm blanking on the name now...

Zela: Blairsville?

Vena: (same time as Zela) Blairsville... weird, how did you know that? You didn't live there too? (laughter)

Zela: (laughter, then more creeped out) Yes... yes, I did. A few years back, not for very long...

Vena: O.K., I've heard of coincidences, but that's just bizarre...

Zela: Yeah... definitely.

Vena: Then I moved to... wait... why don't you tell me where you moved to after Blairsville...

Zela: Gardenia... New Jersey....

Vena: (overlapping) New Jersey. Right.

Zela: You're with your husband? Travels a lot?

Vena: Well... yes... used to until about three years ago, then we kind of settled down here; he got promoted to a job at the headquarters, doesn't travel as much...

Zela: Interesting... Well, it sure has been nice bumping into you again! I'm sure I'll see you...

Vena: Wait, Zela... ummm... you said you were following your heart... that's what brought you to Millfort, right?

Zela: Yes... I'm dating a man; I met him about five years ago.

Vena: You just moved to Millfort, though... I've been here for three years... so....

Zela: Right.. ummm... so...

Vena: My husband should be meeting me here (checks watch) any minute now.

Zela: Vena... what's your husband's name?

Vena: Matt... Matt Pertzan

Zela: Ohh... O.K.

Vena: You ... know him... ?

Zela: Steve Amito... my boyfriend... Steve Amito.

Vena: O.K. Well, I have to say I was a little concerned... weren't you?

Zela: Ummm... yes... you hear stories about travelling salesman, don't you?

Vena: That's what Steve does too?

Zela: Yes. He's been getting settled up here for the last few years, then he decided that I should move here too.

Vena: Oh. (long pause) You... you don't ... ummm... happen to... have a picture of Steve, by any chance?

Zela: (slowly digs in her purse) I should have one... it's a couple years old, now... but

(Matt enters unseen to either woman, gives Vena a hug from behind, she stiffens, whirls around, Zela looks up quickly, freezes)

Matt: Hey, sweetheart!

Vena: Zela, this is my husband...

Zela: Steve Amito.

Vena: (same time as Zela) Matt Pertzan.

Zela: (anger) Hello, Steven.

Matt: Ummm... it's Matt... (offering his hand)

Zela: (anger, tears starting, unbelieving) You.... you... you! Five years! I've followed you for five years! And.... (continued ad-lib of anger)

Matt: (startled) Whoa! Hey? Ummm... (to Vena) Who is this?

Vena: This is an old friend of mine, from high school, Zela Kerring

Zela: You know exactly who I am!! I... I've never known your real name until now??!! You FUCKING MONSTER!!

Matt: (looking around) Hey... calm down... there must be some mistake... my name is Matt Pertzan, I'm a National Sales Manager for Northeast Office and Technical Supply. I'm married to....

Zela: Her! Fine! I would have appreciated knowing that, a really long time ago!

Vena: I don't think he's ever met you before, Zela.

Zela: What?! You're defending him?! You don't happen to know Steve Amito, who just so happens to be a National Sales Manager for Northeast Office and Technical Supply.

Matt: No... never heard of him... until now, I guess...

Vena: My husband is not a liar, Zela!

Zela: Wake up! He's been living a double life for the last five years! Musta got bored with you and decided to get another woman... only problem is he picked a woman who happened to be an old friend of his own wife!

Vena: No! You're completely wrong! This man has been here for me for eleven years. He travels a lot, but he doesn't cheat!

Matt: O.K. O.K. Hold it! C'mon now!

Zela: O.K. I'm tired of this one.

Vena: Yeah, me too.

Matt: No one's watching anyway.

Zela: Let's go back inside...

Matt: Street theater isn't any good if no one watches.

Zela: Maybe I needed to yell louder?

(they are walking off, lights fading)

Vena: No, you can't go overboard, you know?

Zela: Yeah...

Matt: Let's work on the script a little more.

Vena: Definitely, I think we have a winner with this one.

Zela: Maybe if I tear at my clothing?

Matt: Hey, whatever it takes to wake this town up...

(lights out)


August 22, 2006

A Play A Day #131


Dying Man 1
Dying Man 2
Dying Man 3

Setting: Impossible to say.

Dying Man 1: (on his hands and knees, the heat and dehydration are quickly taking him) Water... water!.... water... (continue, as he slowly drags himself across the stage)

Dying Man 2: (entering from opposite side, he is "swimming" in water across the stage, preferably he is holding onto a broken piece of wood in one hand, swimming with the other, figure out a way to stage this) Help! Help! (looks up a bit, sees land and man crawling toward water) Land? Oh! Land!! Land!!! (delighted squeals as he swims harder toward land)

1: (Overlapping 2's glee) Water??! (trying to pull himself upward) Water! Water!!! Water!!! Water!! (sounds of great joy)

(The two men cross paths about the middle of the stage, 1 jumps into "water" where 2 had been, 2 attempts to climb onto "land" where 1 had been. Both unsuccesful.)

1: (lifts head, spitting sand from his mouth repeatedly) No!!!!! (crying now) Water! Help!

2: (trying to keep his head out of water) No!!! (crying now) Help me! Someone! Land!!

(they hear each other, turn around, 1 spots water where 2 now swims, 2 spots land where 1 now stands)

2: Land? Oh! Land!! Land!!! (delighted squeals as he swims harder toward land)

1: (Overlapping 2's glee) Water??! (trying to pull himself upward) Water! Water!!! Water!!! Water!! (sounds of great joy)

(same result as before, they both head off the direction they had originally come)

1: Water... (getting quieter as he pulls himself offstage very slowly)

2: Land... (getting quieter as he swims offstage very slowly)

(Lights start fading, then shoot back up, a man in a parachute harness drops from above stage, he ends up hanging above stage, perpetually falling.)

Dying Man 3: Help! Help! Land? Water? Falling for three weeks straight? Food? Anyone? Help!

(lights out)


August 21, 2006

A Play A Day #130



Setting: Park bench

(Lute enters, sees Sissy sitting on one side of the bench. She is reading. He approaches the bench and stands in front as if preparing to sit. He crouches slightly, but doesn't sit on the bench. Sissy tries to keep reading, but she struggles with it because this man is crouching slightly on the other side of the bench. Lute looks at her, catches her eye.)

Lute: Hi.

Sissy: Hi.

(Lute stays slightly crouched, he isn't doing anything in particular, looking around, checking his watch, this goes on for a while with Sissy trying her damnedest to get back to her book)

Lute: Umm... yes.. uh.. excuse me? But do you know what time it is?

Sissy: Ummm... it's, let's see... ten past five.

Lute: (checking his own watch, Sissy listens to everything he says, politely nodding, etc...) I knew it must be, this thing's always five minutes fast... (business with watch, readjusting, mumbling)

(long pause)

Lute: Doesn't matter, you know... I just set it this morning, and, now, within nine hours, it's five minutes fast! Always happens...

(long pause)

Lute: It wouldn't be so weird; except, one hour from now, it'll be five minutes fast again, and if I never touched it again, it'd still be five minutes fast.


Lute: You know, 'cause if it goes five minutes fast in an hour, you'd figure it'd be ten minutes fast after two hours... like that... but it doesn't... just stays at five minutes fast...


Lute: I know it seems so odd... I think it must have been manufactured like a couple degrees of longitude east of here... you know, like five minutes ahead of where we are... according... according to the sun... (pause) five minutes... fast.

(long pause again)

Lute: (standing up straight from his slight crouch, turning toward her) I'm Lute, by the way... I don't think I caught your name...

Sissy: Yes... hi, Lute?

Lute: Yeah, like the instrument.

Sissy: The instrument?

Lute: Ummm... like an old-fashioned guitar, from the Middle Ages... and it...

Sissy: Oh! The one with the bent neck...

Lute: (Overlapping) it has the bent neck... (not overlapping) Right!

Sissy: Sorry, I know what a lute is; you said "instrument", and I was thinking about ... like... medical sorts of instruments. Not musical.

Lute: Oh no, nothing medical about a lute! (laughing at his attempted humour)

Sissy: Right... right... I know that... right... yes.... right...

Lute: So, what was your name?

Sissy: Oh, sorry, right... ummmm... my name's Sissy.

Lute: Sissy! Hi! That's a great name!

Sissy: Thank you.

Lute: You know, for a girl.

Sissy: Right, like me.

Lute: Hate to be called Sissy if I was a boy!

Sissy: Uhhh... yes... I guess that would...

Lute: Bad enough being Lute!

Sissy: Ohh, I'm sorry.

Lute: Not your fault; it wan't easy though. Kids really picked on me.

Sissy: Kids are like that.

Lute: Called me "guitar", "banjo", "violin", "asshole", "faggot"... stuff like that...

Sissy: Uhh.. sure... kids can be really mean.

Lute: Sometimes they'd punch me in the face... or the stomach.

Sissy: Ohhh... that's... that's no good...

Lute: No, it wasn't.... (stares off for a while, quickly snaps back) Sorry... you probably didn't need to know all that about me. I just have this way of letting out too much about myself, sometimes.

Sissy: No... don't worry... hey, no big deal. I like hearing about... some things.

Lute: I should probably just leave.

Sissy: No... no, you don't have to.

Lute: Really?

Sissy: Yeah! Sure... just sit... ummm... sit down right there.

Lute: (does the weird little crouch, back straight, with his butt only lowered a slight bit toward the bench's seat) Thank you... there, that's nice, sitting next to you, you seem like a very nice woman.

Sissy: Thank you... ummm... just... well, thank you.

Lute: This is really a very nice park... I come here a lot... how about you?

Sissy: (she is caught in wondering about why he's crouching like that) Ummm... yes?

Lute: You do? That's neat... I'm surprised I haven't seen you before today.

Sissy: What... uhhh... I... I'm sorry... what did you say?

Lute: I'm a little surprised that I've never seen you in this park before since we both seem to come here a lot.

Sissy: I... uhhh... I've never been here before... I...

Lute: Ohh... I thought... didn't you just say you came here a lot?

Sissy: Did I? I... must have mispoke... I...

Lute: Ohh... maybe I didn't hear you right, that's always possible. I just start talking, and everything else becomes background. I forget to listen. I have to really work on that... I know.

Sissy: No... don't worry about... (pause) Ummm... Lute?

Lute: Yeah?

Sissy: Can I... ask you an odd question?

Lute: Sure; I've heard a lot of them before. What is it?

Sissy: Why... why aren't you... sitting down?

Lute: Oh... well... I have an odd answer for that question - which really wasn't that odd, I'm surprised that you didn't ask earlier.

Sissy: Well... I noticed, and you just don't seem very comfortable.

Lute: Well, not really that comfortable, no...

Sissy: Why don't you just, you know, stand?

Lute: Well, it's part of the physical therapy, with any luck I'll be able to sit down fully in about another month. Meanwhile, I can't let those muscles atrophy.

Sissy: Can I ask... uhh... what the physical therapy is for?

Lute: I recently have had sex reassignment surgery.

Sissy: Oh! Sorry! I mean... that's

Lute: Oh, don't worry about it... it shocks everyone I tell.

Sissy: I didn't mean.. I.. I'm really open-minded, and...

Lute: It's O.K., Sissy; really, don't worry about it.

Sissy: Why did you decide to have... that surgery?

Lute: (he stands again) Well, for a very long time; I've felt that something was very wrong with my body; I was never comfortable with my physical attributes as a man... something wasn't right, you know?

Sissy: So, you realized that you were more a woman in a man's body?

Lute: Ohhh no! (laughing a little bit) Heavens no! No, I'm definitely all man. But there was alwasy something tickling my brain; giving me these messages...

Sissy: Why did you get sex reassignment surgery, if you ... if you were happy being a man?

Lute: Well, now, I had sex reassignment surgery, not gender reassignment surgery. Sex reassignment surgery encompasses all the sexual characteristics of men and women.

Sissy: I don't understand the difference, I guess.

Lute: Well, I was in my bathroom one day, just got out of the shower, and I was... well... I was looking at my butt in the mirror... a lot of guys do it, you'd be surprised... and I realized what had been bothering me all these years.

Sissy: Yes?

Lute: I realized that my butt cheeks were on wrong!

Sissy: "On"? Wrong?

Lute: Yes, it was that simple!

Sissy: I've never... how could your butt cheeks be...

Lute: It wasn't anything about how they looked... I mean my left butt cheek looked like, I guess, what a left butt cheek is supposed to look like... I mean, it was a butt cheek and it was on the left... but! But! Something deep inside whispered to me there in the bathroom, and I heard it. I tried to ignore it at first, but then it started shouting.

Sissy: You needed a new left butt cheek?

Lute: Yes! And I knew exactly where to find it!

Sissy: They have a donor program, or something?

Lute: No! No! It was my right butt cheek! It was practically screaming to be put on the left side!

Sissy: Wow! Really? You...

Lute: Switched my butt cheeks!! I had sex reassignment surgery!

Sissy: Ummm... uhhh... wow? That's... that's really...

Lute: Weird... I know. But I've been so much more at peace since the surgery! I can't explain it.

Sissy: Just more comfortable?

Lute: Yes! Definitely! More comfortable with who I am now.

Sissy: Wow... so you can't sit down?

Lute: No, but each day, I crouch a little bit further to help maintain my quads, hamstring, and push blood into those precious glutes.

Sissy: Helps with the healing?

Lute: The docs say it does, and I'm not fooling around with this re-ass-signment! Get it? (laughs a lot to himself)

Sissy: (a little bit of laughter) Yes.. I, I get it.

Lute: Well, I should be going, I have a support group for people who have gone through this surgery. If I go now (looks at watch, gives it a "see-what-I-told-you" look and tone), I'll be five minutes early!

Sissy: Ohh... O.K. It was nice to... talk to you, Lute.

Lute: Thanks so much for listening! The world needs people who can listen like you, Sissy; so more people with Gluteal Dysmorphic Syndrome don't have to suffer in silence. Thank you. (He gets a little misty here) Talking about it to people who know how to listen, like you, helps me realize that I did the right thing; that I found my true butt. (awkward movement, then he moves in for a quick hug, Sissy doesn't really reciprocate, but doesn't reject the hug) Bye, maybe I'll see you here another day! You can watch my progress toward eventual touchdown!

Sissy: (stands, looks after him) Sure. Sure. Good... bye. (Lute walks off)

(Sissy shakes her head a little bit, then she starts to sit down, but stops herself after a crouching just a little, tries to hold it for a while, then she stands, turns her head around far, trying to look at her butt, tries looking at both sides, lights start fading, she reaches down and touches left butt cheek with left hand, right hand butt cheek with right hand, then reverses her hands, looks up at audience with a bemused expression, lights out)


August 20, 2006

A Play A Day #129

Forward Toward Onward


Setting: Blank stage.

Man: (dressed for the weather, leaning into what must be a ferocious wind, and rain must also be pelting him quite angrily as well, he speaks, throughout the play, in a heroic, shouting voice to be heard over these extreme elements) Must.... reach.... goal!

Reporter: (dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, carrying notepad and pen, talking in a conversational tone, no storm rages about him, but then again, he doesn't know that one is supposed to be) Excuse me... sir?

M: Yes?!

R: We've received some calls at the paper from people describing what they say was a man walking forward, but not really going anywhere... I'm assuming they were referring to you.

M: I wouldn't know! I guess it's possible!

R: O.K. Great... can I ask you why you're doing this?

M: Doing what?!!

R: Uhhh... walking, but not really going anywhere?

M: I'm going as fast as I can!!

R: Really... you... you seem to be pretty healthy so...

M: Yes! I am healthy!

R: ... uhhh... so why are you not moving... or moving so slowly?

M: It's very hard to move in such a powerful storm!!

R: Storm? What... storm?

M: The one that rages around us right now!

R: Really... ummm... o.k. I don't see any storm.

M: Doesn't mean that it doesn't exist!!

R: True... enough... so where are you going, so slowly?

M: Forward!

R: To where?

M: Ahead!

R: Righhht... uh... where did you start?

M: Behind!

R: How long have you been walking in this storm?

M: What time is it!?

R: About... four-thirty.

M: Almost one month!

R: Uhhh... a month?

M: Very nearly, yes!!

R: You mentioned something about a "goal", what goal?

M: Onward!

R: Onward?

M: Onward!

R: To where?

M: Onward! Ever onward!

R: So when will you stop?

M: Most likely never!

R: Wha.... why?

M: Because I'm a metaphor!

R: A metaphor?

M: Yes! An enduring metaphor at that!

R: O.K.... ummm... Can you give me a name, sir?

M: Yes!

R: (waiting) And... what would that name be?

M: How about Benjamin Franklin?!

R: Your name is Benjamin Franklin?

M: No!

R: What is your name, then?

M: I prefer to remain anonymous!

R: I think people might be better able to relate to you if you shared your name.

M: I'm a metaphor! Metaphor must be impersonal! That way it can be generalized across many different situations by many different people!!

R: Ohh. What metaphor are you?

M: I am man's quest to move ever forward, progressing at a slow and incremental pace against the very worst this world can throw at him!!

R: O.K., but what do we take from that?

M: Well, rugged individualists see the good of survival against the odds, conservatives see the progress of business, liberals see measured and sustainable development, many women see the soft-focus, human-interest story, kids see the importance of pursuing goals!

R: If I may be so blunt; I see it as fairly absurd.

M: Yes, some see that side as well! Good for them, I say!

R: The fruitlessnes of struggling against imaginary forces...

M: I see: The Power of Heroic Conquest!

R: The disabling of the mind, the disconnecting from reality...

M: The Courageous Fight against an Irresistable Force!

R: ... in the face of societal expectations... playing a useless game that brings no satisfaction...

M: The Humbling of Nature in the Face of Man's Dogged Persistence!

R: The persistence of man's doggerel to mask personal failings and deep, abiding anxiety...

M: Motions Full Of Purpose!

R: Emotions filled with pretense...

M: Signifying...

R: Signifying nothing!

M: Nothing! (snaps upright, starts talking conversationally, now) You're right. Thank you. Wanna get a burger or something?

R: Sure. Sounds good.

(they walk off together)


August 19, 2006

A Play A Day #128



Setting: A deserted country road, late at night. A male scream, a loud thump, brakes squealing, another thump, car turning quickly, skidding to a halt light (a headlight) from offstage right, whirls around and lights the stage from a low angle. A car door opening, closing.

Ben: (he is contorted on the ground in agony, moving about in pained contractions which are largely involuntary) Have... no... I... done... Carrie...Carrie... uhhhhh (he continues making nonsensical grunts and throat sounds, slow contortions, not really there, he is obviously critically injured)

(Lily enters running from offstage right, she is nearly-hysterical, words are very quick, almost undecipherable)

Lily: Ohno, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, noooooo! What! No, no, no, I can't do this... I didn't do this... I hit him... my car... I hit... Paula! PAULA!! HELP!!! Help! Help! Help! Help!!! Help!!! (Lily continues ad-libs as Paula enters, Lily is not getting too close to Ben, she wants to but keeps drawing back, in panic, great fear...)

(Paula enters, also nervous, walks to Ben, pulls away. She has become much more calm, she assesses the situation, tries to be logical.)

Paula: (trying to calm down Lily who continues ad-libs underneath) O.K. Lily... you hit a man... I think he'll be alright... He'll be alright... I think... we... we should go. Lily, we should go.

Lily: WE CAN"T GO!! He's dying! Paula! Help! We can't go... we can't... your phone... get your cell phone... call 911... 911... 911, get an ambulance!

Paula: No... we have to go...

Lily: Call someone, now!!!

Ben: Carrie? Carrie?

Lily: Carry? Paula... let's carry him, put him in the car, Paula...

Paula: No! We have to go!! Now, Lily!

Lily: You're a murderer! You're crazy! He's gonna die!!

Paula: Shut up, Lily! We're not helping him by talking about dying... he can hear us... we just grazed him....

Lily: The headlight's gone, Paula! I hit him... hard, the headlight! Look! I hit him hard! Call for help!! NOW!

Paula: We can't do anything for him...

Lily: (fighting with her now) Give me your damn phone!!

Paula: NO! Knock it off! If... if he's going to die, he's going to die...

Lily: You fucking murderer! We can save him! Stop and give me your damn phone!

Ben: Help... Carrie. I'm going to be right here...

Lily: (quickly moving toward him) Hear him?!! Did you hear that!? He knows something's wrong! He's going to live... if we help him, Paula! (she kneels next to Ben's head) Give me a cloth or something! Hurry up! This will be on your head, if he... if he... (she decides that she can't say that, starts actually tending to Ben, quiet, soothing ad-libs to Ben throughout Paula's monolouge)

Paula: You were the one driving. You're the murderer. Potential murderer. Why was he out here?! Have you asked yourself that, why was he just walking along this old road? At this time of night. He's dressed in black, head-to-toe, dressed in black. I never saw him and he was on my side of the car!
He must have heard us coming for more than a mile... walking down the road, and he just keeps walking? No reaon... I'm just gonna dress up in black and walk in the middle of the road? What's wrong with this? Everything... a man in all black, quiet country road, ten miles from town, stays right on the road when a car is obviously coming along. I'd say he wants to die.
There's nothing for a man dressed like that to be doing on this road this late at night; unless it was something bad... I can almost guarantee you that it must have been.
So we call the cops, 911, whatever, they come out here, and ask us how fast you were going... then they ask us if we've been drinking tonight? What do we tell them... huh?
"No officer, I definitely did not just drink four beers at a party?" Isn't that how much you had, Lily, four beers? You're eighteen, you weigh about 120 pounds, you just drank four beers in a couple hours at a friend's house with about sixty other kids, all underage, except that creepy guy from the college.
You drink four beers... I drink the same... we get in a car and drive for a half-hour for no apparent reason... just two girls, talking... and, whoopsie, we run over a man! The cops like our story, we get handcuffed and they dispatch other squad cars to the party where most of our friends also proceed to get in shitloads of trouble... kicked off their sports teams, dropped from student council, whatever.
So what do we gain from calling the cops... a clean conscience? Maybe, a little cleaner... for you. I guess you'd be happier to have a guy maimed rather than killed. Fine. That makes you rest easier, but not me.
Now, let's look at the other side. We leave. We're a little sad for a while that this happened; then we move on. We don't talk about it. Ever. The mind forgets, Lily. That's its job. Everything it knows; it forgets.
If we leave now, then we simply let someone die. If they find out who we are, and he dies, then we killed him. Actually, then... You kiled him... I'm looking out for you.
Nothing good is going to come from this, Lily. Leave now and swallow the pain. Walk away. It was obviously his fault; you're not going to undo that by trying to save him.

Lily: (in tears, has temporarily stopped tending to Ben, and has been listening in disbelief for the last ten seconds or so, cradling his head) You... ARE SICK! CALL! NOW! NOW! NOW!! NOW!! Paula! Call, please! We have to! NOW!!

Paula: No.

Lily: Paula! We have to! You don't know anything about this guy! Maybe he's deaf, and he didn't hear the car coming!

Paula: Or see the headlights coming up from behind?

Lily: Shut up! Shut up! None of... it doesn't matter! Give me your phone! He needs help!

Paula: No, he doesn't!

Lily: You fucking monster! Give me the phone!!

Paula: NO! Let him die!

Lily: What is wrong with you! We can't let an innocent guy just die to save you from a underage drinking ticket!


Lily: The phone! Now!

Ben: (fairly loud) Help me... please... Carrie? Carrie? My head hurts, Carrie.

Lily: See...

Paula: Shut up! Just shut up, Ben! Shut up, asshole!

Lily: We can... what? Who?

Paula: (pause) His name is Ben Ellson.

Lily: You... you know him?

Paula: Yes... so do you.

Lily: No... I don't... how? What?

Paula: Do you remember when our kindergarten teacher was in that accident. Ms. Dickenson? Remember?

Lily: No... What are you talking about? Paula, he's dying!

Paula: Ben Ellson was our substitute teacher for over a month. He came in while Ms. Dickenson was recovering.

Lily: This doesn't matter? So he taught us in kindergarten, the more reason to help him! Now! C'mon, Paula, we...

Paula: If all he did was teach us; I would want to save him. (she slowly starts breaking down) But... he ... he liked little girls. He liked me...

Lily: Wha... you... ummm...

Paula: He fondled me... then he did worse... a lot worse... he would keep me in at recess, Lily... (she is crying openly)

Lily: Are you... (looking at her; then Ben for a while) You... you're not lying...

Paula: No... not... not at all...

Lily: But... I didn't know... I don't remember that at all... I...

Paula: I didn't remember it either until the nightmares started a few years ago.

Lily: That's what all your therapy...

Paula: Yes... I've remembered a lot since then... Lily... He used to keep you in at recess too...

Lily: No... I never... I mean...

Paula: You were one of his favorites...

Lily: (trying to laugh it off) No... no... I would remember all of that. I would... I remember kindergarten...

Paula: It happened... you're comforting the man who raped you, repeatedly, in kindegarten...

Lily: It's not true! You're a liar! You just don't want to get in trouble!

Paula: (grabbing her roughly) Lily! It happened... to you, to me! It happened. He did it. We cut him down. This is justice.

Lily: No! Let go of me! We need to help him!

Ben: Carrie... I'm sorry... so sorry.... I didn't know...

Paula: He's probably thinks he's talking to Carrie Heiden, she was in kindergarten with us too. Remember her?

Lily: You fucking liar! It's probably his wife, or girlfriend, or his daughter! There are tons of Carries in the world.

Ben: Just stay right there... Mr. Ellson will be right back, sweetheart...

Lily: No! None of this is true! Give me the phone! Now!

Ben: Carrie... I'm sorry... I'm sorry, Carrie. I was trying to protect you... Please, Carrie, don't cry. I'll help you.. I will...

Lily: The phone!!

Ben: Carrie... don't go... you want to help me too, right?

Paula: (standing slowly, reaching into her pocket, tosses cell phone to Lily) You want to help him? I'll be in the car. (turns and leaves)

Ben: Carrie? Carrie? Where'd you go? Mr. Ellson will find you...

Lily: (looking at phone, then Ben, long pause) I'm right here... I'm right here... Mr. Ellson... behind... (a look of shocked recollection grips her, voice goes up a bit)... the red horsey...

(lights start fading)

Ben: Lily? Is that you? You're my special friend, aren't you, Lily?

(Lily looks up, crying, she opens the cell phone, looks down at Ben, lights out, just the cell phone illuminates the scene)


August 18, 2006

A Play A Day #127

Tough Guys


Setting: School hallway, a row of chairs outside the principal's office. Office door next to the chairs.

(Pilky enters, he is like a thug. Darrin is already sitting there; Pilky sits next to him. They are in 8th grade.)

Pilky: Hey... (pause) Name's Pilky.

Darrin: Hi.

P: Whadya do?

D: Excuse me?

P: Why ya here?

D: Well, I.... (unsure if he should tell him)

P: Bad shit, right?

D: (picking up a tough attitude, out of nowhere) Uhhh... yeah... yeah... bad (looks around, more quietly) ... shit...

P: Whadya do that for?

D: What?

P: Say "shit" all quiet and shit?

D: Did I... no... I ...

P: 'Fraid the chief dick is gonna snatch ya?

D: Wha... who?

P: Fuckin' rent-a-cop guy?

D: You mean Officer (realizing he is not sounding tough at all, trying to backpedal) ... that Nick guy...?

P: Yeah, course, Nick the Dick. Fuckin' "Officer"?

D: Nah.. I am not... ain't.. afraid of him!

P: Then why'd ya get all sneaky-eyed then?

D: Just... uhhh.... you know, man...

P: No... you're just a sissy boy... I hear your name all the time... announcements...

D: Wha... no... I...

P: Fuck yeah. (mimicing intercom announcement) "Will Darryl Schmidt come to office so he can kiss our asses for a few minutes?"

D: Nuuuhhh-uh... my name's Darrin.

P: Whatever. That's who I meant.

D: No... I'm pretty bad... you know...

P: Fucking straight-A student, even... I know you...

D: I get in trouble all the time...

P: Fuck that... won't even swear in the hallway... look at you... you're a fucking pussy, man... you're in 8th grade...

D: My teacher even... ummm...

P: The system hates you, man... so fuck 'em all... that's what I say...

D: Yeah! Me too.

P: You too what?

D: That's... what I say too.

P: What do you say?

D: (trying to be confident, but dropping his voice lower) Fuck... them all. That's it.

P: Bullshit you do. You couldn't even say that right there... just now...

D: I said it.

P: Fuck you did! Say it again, but this time louder... none of this pussy whisperer shit.

D: O.K. You'll see...

P: I'm looking, but I don't see shit.

D: Fine... Fuck.

P: Not bad. Louder!

D: (looking around as quickly as possible) Fuck!

P: Louder, you wuss!

D: Fuck!!

P: Now do "cocksucker".

D: Uhhh... alright... (pause) Cocksucker.

P: Louder!

D: Cocksucker!

P: Say "Nick the Dick"!

D: Nick the Dick!

P: And "Mutherfucker".

D: Mutherfucker!

P: Good one! Ummm... how about "Fucking cunt"?

D: (getting into it, losing himself in the taboo nature of it all) Fucking cunt!!

P: Again!

D: Fucking Cunt!!!

P: Now... uh... "Asshole licker"...

D: (standing up) Asshole Licker!!!

P: Shit! You like that one! Uhhh... "Bitchass".

D: (really shouting everything now, with more and more joy entering his voice) BITCH ASS!!!

P: Damn! Uhh... "Suck my dick"!

D: (getting up on his chair) SUCK MY DICK!

P: No thanks... say "I'm A Faggot".

D: (On his chair, jumping up and down) I'M A FAGGOT! I'M A FAGGOT!

P: Nice! "Fuck me in the ass".

D: (jumping down, running around, waving his arms and hopping) FUCK ME IN THE ASS! FUCK ME IN THE ASS! FUCK ME IN THE ASS!

(A very stern and proper secretary, at this moment, opens the office door, and stands and stares in shock at what she is hearing, Darrin continues since his back is to the office door)

D: FUCK ME IN THE ASS!! FUCK ME IN THE ASS!! FUCK ME IN THE ASS!! FUCK ME IN THE ASS!! FUCK ME (turns toward door, see secretary, keeps turning and jumping) IN THE ASS!! FUCK me... in... the.... (stops horrified, staring straight ahead, Pilky is all smiles)

Secretary: (pause, lets it all soak in) Well, Mr. Schmidt, it seems you have broken the tie for the 8th Grade Student of the Month award all by yourself. Mr. Pilkowsky? (Pilky perks up) I believe the award goes to you now. Please come in.

(Darrin looks at him in confusion. Pilky slumps down a little bit, gets up, keeping up the bad guy act, as if he's annoyed to be receiving the award, he slinks through the office door)

Secretary: Thank you for making the decision so much easier, Mr. Schmidt. You can wait here while I inform Principal Barrens of your curious form of self-expression. Sit down. (She turns quickly, goes back into office)

(Lights start fading, Darrin sits down directly on the floor, puts head in his hands)

D: (quietly) Shit.

(lights out)


August 17, 2006

A Play A Day #126

The Ballad Of Johnny Eggeater

Newscaster Lady
Reporter Guy
Johnny Eggeater

Setting: Picnic table, outside, a park or similarly picnic-ical type place.

Newscaster Lady: (sitting at a desk, separated by lighting from the remainder of the stage) On the lighter side this evening, we bring you this story about a man with an egg-citing idea, and perhaps a case of severe indigestion! Reporter Guy brings you the story.

Reporter Guy: Thank you, Newscaster Lady! We are here in Brittletown tonight with a man with an egg-citing idea, and perhaps a case of serious indigestion! A Brittletown man, on a bet from friends, has turned his disgusting display of gluttony into a disgusting display of gluttony that raises money for charity! They call him Johnny Eggeater, and you're about to see why. (turning around, indicating large barrel) In this barrel there are approximately... how many, Johnny?

Johnny Eggeater: (eggshells all around him, talking with egg spewing out of his mouth) One thousand five hundred eggs, hard boiled.

RG: Wow! One thousand five hundred hard-boiled eggs, and you plan to do what?

JE: Eat'em all!

RG: That's right folks! Johnny Eggeater will, in one sitting, attempt to eat all 1,500 eggs in that barrel. But there's a catch, right Johnny?

JE: (peeling egg and eating the whole time) No, not really... it started as a bet, my friend, Nick, he says... Johnny... I boiled 1,500 eggs this morning, but then I realized I wasn't hungry....

RG: He boiled 1,500 eggs?

JE: Yeah! Of course... how the hell else do you get 1,500 hard boiled eggs?

RG: Yes...

JE: So I tell him I'm real hungry for some hard boiled eggs, and he asks if I want 'em all, and I say 'yes'. Then he says I'll never be able to eat 'em all.

RG: Certainly.

JE: I ask him "how much?" Nick says "I'll give you my old snowblower if you eat 'em all in one sitting!" I thought... my snowblower's in the crapper... so I say "you're on!"

RG: But then something else happened, right Johnny?

JE: Yeah, my wife works at this charity and she says I should charge so much for every egg, but people only have to pay if I eat 'em all... Like, she says, "I'll give you a dime for every egg... 150 bucks... I think, not a bad idea... I start asking around, people start offering to pay to see me eat these eggs, some folks just give like a penny for every egg, some give me a whole dollar... one big-spender says he'll give me a hundred bucks for every egg, if I eat all of 'em in one sitting. Then it just started rolling in, we set a date... that would end up being today, you know... and then advertised it as a fundraiser for my wife's charity... then people started calling me and corporations started asking if they could contribute... it was crazy...

RG: What is the value of each of those eggs you're eating now, Johnny?

JE: Each egg is worth 3 and a half million dollars...

RG: (stammers, sputters, nearly faints) What?

JE: Yeah, 3 and a half.

RG: Million?

JE: Yeah.

RG: Dollars?

JE: You stupid or something? Yeah, dollars!

RG: Each?

JE: YES!! If I eat 'em all, of course.

RG: That's a lot... a lot...

JE: Yeah, uhhh... five and a quarter billion dollars...

RG: And how many have you eaten so far?

JE: I'm not counting... just eating 'til they're gone.

RG: An estimate?

JE: Ummm... 'bout twelve... I'm gettin' pretty damn full...

RG: Ohh... I... I see... What is your wife's charity?

JE: Place called Koats for Kute Kittens...

RG: (taken aback) Ummm... and what does that organization do?

JE: Just what you'd expect... they make tiny coats for orphaned kittens... keep 'em warm in the winter and stuff... They're gonna have plenty of money for new yarn and crochet hooks, if I get through all these!

RG: Uhhh... welll... ummm...

JE: If I get through these eggs, I told my wife they could change the name to Koats, Kaviar and Kadillacs for Kute Kittens...

RG: (forcing a laugh) Welll.... ummm.. Johnny Eggeater, here's to hoping you can make... a kitten's dreams come true... in... you heroic quest. That's the story out here in Brittletown, Newscaster Lady. This is Reporter Guy reporting.

Newscaster Lady: An inspiration to us all, Reporter Guy! Thank you for that amazing story. We'll be back tomorrow, folks... 'til then keep the news new with Channel Twenty-Two! Stay wonderful, my friends!

(vapid, self-important theme music up, lights out)


August 16, 2006

A Play A Day #125


Putter (14 year old boy)
Simmy (same)

Setting: Outside, blank stage.

Putter: Well, I dare you to take two Milky Ways from The Fuel 'n Flee!

Simmy: Steal them?

Putter: Yep. Two of 'em.

Simmy: (deep breath) O.K.

Putter: Well? Get going!

Simmy: Alright, alright! (heads off quickly)

Putter: (calling after him) The full-size ones, not those little things!

Putter: (speaks as he wanders around the stage) Those little candy bars are so stupid! I mean a regular candy bar is not much bigger than bite size anyway; who'd want a tiny one... people always eat like five or six of 'em anyway... just a waste of wrappers... You just have to spend all that time trying to open 'em to get the same amount as a regular-sized one that you only have to unwrap once... instead you have like... (slumping down against a wall and sitting, as soon as he sits, Simmy literally sprints back on stage, right to him, he is panting heavily, bent over catching his breath)

Putter: (back up, quickly) D'ja get 'em?

Simmy: (shakes his head) No...

Putter: What?! It was a dare Sim! You have to get them! That's the rule! You have to do whatever the dare was!

Simmy: (regaining some composure and breath) You.. do it.. then!

Putter: No way! You have to do the dare you got, then... then you can make a dare!

Simmy: There's a pit bull, Putter, a pit bull!

Putter: At The F 'n F? A pit bull?

Simmy: Yes!

Putter: So?

Simmy: Whadya mean, "so"?!

Putter: So. Like so what.

Simmy: It's A PIT BULL, Putter!

Putter: Yeah... but does it know that you're stealing?

Simmy: What? No... I mean, yes... it probably does...

Putter: I doubt it, Simmy.

Simmy: Yeah-huh! Dogs can smell fear!

Putter: So... don't smell like fear then.

Simmy: You do it... you walk in there to steal and see a pit bull sitting by the counter and try not to be afraid!

Putter: It's not my dare! Look, just go in, pretend you're gonna pay for the candy bars, then just sorta forget... walk right out...

Simmy: I... I... No, I can't.

Putter: You have to; it was a legitimate dare! You agreed to play!

Simmy: But...

Putter: Do it, Simmy; then you can dare me to do something...

Simmy: No.. I...

Putter: You can do it, man... you're the one who taught me how to steal!

Simmy: But I was only twelve then!

Putter: And you just turned fourteen, so?

Simmy: Yeah, see... I've matured.

Putter: Just go get the candy bars, Sim!

Simmy: I... o.k... but you have to wait right here!

Putter: Duhh! I know that. Go! Go on!

Putter: (Simmy walks off backward facing Putter, then turns just as he's near the exit and starts running, pause) Can't believe he can't even do this... he's turnin' sissy. He's probably faster than a pit bull anyway... kid can run like nothing else!
(pause, Simmy comes bursting back on stage, exhausted again, Putter jumps up)

Putter: Well... (Simmy smiles, extracts two Snickers bars from his pocket, breathing heavily) Hey... (changing his tone) oh... wait... these are Snickers. I said two Milky Ways!

Simmy: I know... I... just ... the dog started... it was growling... and... I just grabbed... Snickers... and ran...

Putter: Shit. Wellll... ummm...

Simmy: C'mon! It counts... it should... count...

Putter: I don't know, Sim... I asked for two Milky Ways...

Simmy: Shut up! The dare was about stealing from the F 'n F, not about exactly the right candy bar!

Putter: But, I really like Milky Ways best!

Simmy: Too bad... I did the dare... it counts... it totally counts!

Putter: Fine! Alright, fine! It counts... I just like Milky Ways better.

Simmy: O.K.... my turn?

Putter: Yeah, fine... your turn.

Simmy: I dare you to steal two Milky Ways from The Fuel 'n Flee.

Putter: What!? Wait... then it was about stealing exactly the right candy bar!

Simmy: I guess... but I like Snickers better...

Putter: Pretty cheesy, Sim.

Simmy: Get going, Putter! None of the tiny ones, either!

Putter: Alright, alright... fine... o.k. (He sprints off)

Simmy: (Simmy wanders around, leans against wall, takes out a Snickers bar and unwraps it, starts to eat it.) Hmmm... I guess it's true... it does taste better when you catch it yourself. (a little laugh, continues eating, Putter bursts back onto stage, gasping for air)

Simmy: Well?! Did you get 'em?

Putter: (bent over, hands on kness, breathing hard, nods his head, then pulls two Milky Ways from his pocket, he's not smiling) Got'em.

Simmy: Whoa! Cool! (Simmy notices Putter is not looking so good) Putter, what's up? You gonna hurl or something? (Putter shakes head "no") Well, what's the deal... you look real sick.

Putter: (straightening up) I... the dog... he... started barking... he jumped at me... I moved fast, and he missed... the owner came out and grabbed him and I took off...

Simmy: Wow! Well, you made it...

Putter: I... I was nearly killed...

Simmy: Yeah? Crazy!... well, it's your turn, I guess.

Putter: Ohh. Umm... o.k. (long pause, he is considering his options) Uhhh... I dare you to never dare me to do anything again.

Simmy: Wha... (pause)... O.K. ... Done.

Putter: Your turn.

Simmy: Uhhh... I can't go... I can't dare you anymore, remember...

Putter: Right. Well, then I guess it will always be your turn.

Simmy: Yeah... yeah, so... umm, hey, then you never get another turn?

Putter: Exactly.

Simmy: Ohh... O.K. I get it...

(lights fading as they walk off)

Putter: I mean, we're fourteen now...

Simmy: No more little kid games, I guess...

Putter: Yep... I think you're right.

(lights out)


August 15, 2006

A Play A Day #124

And Then, And Then

Lacey (13 or 14 years old)
Stacey (same)
Lacey's Mom (voice of)

Setting: A porch swing

Lacey: And then he said...

Stacey: Really?

L: And so I said...

S: Yeah?

L: And also...

S: Ohmigod!

L: Right, and then we...

S: That's so cool!

L: But he was all like...

S: What a jerk!

L: Exactly, so I said...

S: Awesome!

L: And then, we all...

S: That was smart!

L: And then, they started to...

S: What?!

L: Right, and then, they just...

S: That's amazing!

L: Couldn't believe it! They were all...

S: How'd you survive even?!

L: Not easy, but wait, then he...

S: You should've left!

L: We tried, but he...

S: Then what?

L: Well, and then she had...

S: Uggghhh! What is wrong with her?!

L: I don't know, 'cuz she kept on...

S: What a total brat!

L: You saidit! And then he...

S: Geez... I knew it!

L: Anyway, I kept yelling that...

S: Good for you!

L: And then they were like...

S: Figures.

L: So we couldn't...

S: Right! Right!

L: And then they both...

S: Ahhhh! Unbelievable!!

Lacey's Mom: (voice from offstage) Lacey! I can hear you out there! Stop with the gossip! You know what I've always told you: if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all!

L: That's what we're doing, Mom!


L: And then, he went...

S: Gross!

(lights out)


August 14, 2006

A Play A Day #123

Shooting Pool


Setting: A bar with a pool table, after hours. Lights are off except over pool table. Woman is getting ready to shoot eight ball in. It's not an easy shot, lots of green, last ball on the table. There is a crash, sound of a door opening, women jerks upright, turns around, grasping pool cue tightly, a masked gunman enters, he is young and extremely nervous, pointing gun at woman, she doesn't move. The young man is so jumpy and excitable that it's entirely possible that he might accidentally fire the gun at any time.

Man: Hands up! Hands up! Now! Fucking bitch, now!!

(woman slowly raises hands, pool cue is still in one hand)

Man: Drop the stick! Drop it!

Woman: (calmly) Can I put it down gently? It's my favorite cue.

Man: Drop it, right fucking now!!

Woman: (starts to slowly place cue on table, looks at him very intently) Why are...

Man: Shut up! No fucking talking!!

Woman: (calm) I'm just wondering...

Man: Shut up! Shut up!!

Woman: Alright. (long pause) Ummm... now what?

Man: Just hold... Shut up! I told you to shut the fuck up!

Woman: You probably want money?

Man: Get me the fucking money!

Woman: None left. Manager took it home.

Man: You fucking liar! You're the fucking manager!

Woman: Just a bartender. I'm closing tonight. Thought I'd shoot...

Man: Stop fucking around! I know you're the manager!

Woman: How do you know that?

Man: I been here before!

Woman: Really?

Man: Yes! Get the money!!

Woman: Now, son, I already told...

Man: I'm not your son! I'm not anyone's fucking son! Get the money!

Woman: Must be somebody's son.

Man: I'm no son! Shut up! Now! Shut up!!

Woman: Momma won't claim you anymore?

Man: Fuck you!! Stop fucking talking to me!! The money!

Woman: Sorry. It's not here. The mana...

Man: (grabbing her viciously by the hair, snapping her head back, gun to her neck, very loud screaming) You're the fucking manager!! Get the money! Get it now!!

Woman: (fear for the first time) O.K.! O.K.! O.K.... O.K. ... O.K. ... just... c'mon now, just... c'mon now... relax... let go of my...

Man: I won't fucking relax! (pulling hair violently again, she cries out in pain) Fuck you... fuck you... get the money!!

Woman: Alright... alright... calm... uh... please let go... please... I'll get the money!

Man: (letting go violently, throwing her head forward as he does, keeping gun very close to her head, he is sweating with nerves, shaking like crazy) Fucking right you will! Get it, get it now!

Woman: You know... you were right... I'm the manager... sorry I lied to you... it's just... I'm not only the manager, I own this place. That money is what I live on...

Man: Fuck if I care! Get it now, fucking bitch!

Woman: (observes his shaking) This is you first time doing something like this...

Man: Fuck you! Stop stalling!

Woman: You're 16? 17?

Man: Shut up! Shut up! I want the...

Woman: You don't have to do this!

Man: You fucking cunt! (grabs her hair hard again, gun at the soft underside of her neck) Fuck you! I'm gonna fucking kill you now!

Woman: (rapidly) Not like this! You don't... not like this...

Man: Shut your fucking face!

Woman: You can turn around... I'll let you go.

Man: You'll let me go?! That's fucking funny!

Woman: You knew before you came in here that this was a mistake...

Man: Fuck you! (throws her to the ground, she cries out in pain, she lands on her knees, he snaps her head back, straddles over her back and stands tall, putting the gun barrel directly on top of her head) Just stop...

Woman: A mistake that you can still stop... you don't have to do it... I won't tell anyone...

Man: (more interested than he wants to show) You already fucking lied to me once!

Woman: Yes yes yes... I did... You're right, you're right, I shouldn't have... but not this time... I won't...

Man: You can't! You can't lie! I'll kill you! BAM! Right through your fucking head!

Woman: I know... I can't... not this time... o.k. o.k.... so a deal... uhh.. you leave... I tell no one.

Man: Fuck that! I need that money!

Woman: O.K. O.K. Sure, sure... uhhhhh... better terms then? Uhhhh... a bet?

Man: A fucking bet?

Woman: Yes... a bet.

Man: Like what?

Woman: (thinking fast) Uhhh... pool! Pool!

Man: What?

Woman: See that shot on the table? (he looks over his shoulder) Eight ball...

Man: Yeah... eight ball.

Woman: Right... long shot, not easy...

Man: So?!

Woman: If I make that shot, you leave, and I don't tell anyone...

Man: If you miss?

Woman: You get the money.

Man: And you don't tell anyone?

Woman: Ummm... no... (he snaps her head back hard again)... yes yes... o.k. yes... I don't tell anyone that I've been robbed....

Man: (pause) You're a liar. Fuck it! How about I shoot you and take the money, then you can't tell anyone.

Woman: (he cocks the gun) No! No! Better terms! A better deal for you!

Man: It better be! Why should I make a deal with you to get what I came here to take anyway?

Woman: Right... right... so a better deal... (pause)

Man: What's the deal, bitch!

Woman: Uhhh... it... uhhhh....

Man: NOW!! (pushes her head to the floor)

Woman: ME! ME! You... get... me!

Man: (lifting her head up) What?

Woman: I miss the shot... you get the money, and... you can have sex with me.

Man: What makes you think I want that; you ain't so fucking hot.

Woman: It's what I have. I'm just making a guess.

Man: And if you make it?

Woman: You leave; I tell no one.

Man: Probably a pool shark.

Woman: No... no...

Man: You got a favorite cue, you already said that.

Woman: I play a bit... I mean I run a bar... that's to be expected...

Man: Then I get to call the pocket.

Woman: (pause) O.K... you call it...

Man: Same deal?

Woman: Yes... same deal... like we just said...

Man: But I get to call it?

Woman: Yes, yes...

Man: Sex and the money?

Woman: If I miss...

Man: And you tell no one?

Woman: I'm telling no one whether I make it or not.

Man: Sounds just about right... but why don't I just fuck you, kill you, then take the money?

Woman: Because you want a way out.

Man: No, I don't want...

Woman: And I'm giving you that chance.

Man: You aren't the one who gets to say what chances I get!

Woman: Yes! Yes, I am. You rape me, rob me, kill me; you're life is done. Even if they never catch you, you'll never sleep soundly again.

Man: You fucking...

Woman: You'll be trapped in a past life. You'll never escape.

Man: You don't have a...

Woman: I'm letting you out of that. Take the deal, and you get off free... you might get the money and have sex with me... with my permission. I make it, you have a new life...

Man: I don't need a new life!

Woman: Yes... you do. You're miserable right now; something driven you to do something on an impulse... an impulse you wish desperately you could have back...

Man: (obviously thinking, trying to stay tough) I... but...

Woman: I'm giving you the chance to pretend this didn't happen. I make the shot, I tell no one. Your life is free of this, forever. You'll be free again.

Man: (heart's not in it as much) Shut up. Shut up. Shut...

Woman: You don't want to fuck me. You don't want the money. Not like this. It's a trap.

Man: Shut up!

Woman: Your own trap! You set it! I'm giving you a way out.

Man: Shut up!!

Woman: I'm offering you salvation.

Man: (pulling her up by her hair and throwing her against the pool table) SHUT UP!!! Take it! Take the fucking shot!!

Woman: (picking up cue, calming herself) Call the pocket.

Man: (long pause, he is shaking violently, he can't decide) The.... uhh... the... the... uhhh... no... the... this one. (puts his hand down on the pocket that is closest to the eight ball)

Woman: (looks at him for a while) That's... that's... the easiest pocket for this shot... you do realize...


(Weird white noise sound starts low, getting louder, Woman leans forward to line up shot, draws back on the cue a few times, hits cue ball, lights out immediately, white noise sound up all the way for a couple seconds, then silence)