August 13, 2006

A Play A Day #122

Miss Print

Shelly, a printer

Setting: Nondescript Office, the room where the printer is.

Shelly: (seated in the center of a table, a stack of blank paper behind her, to man)

Hey, nice to see you again! Yeah, you are busy today! This has to be your third or fourth time back here; I know what it’s like having to get all those month-end payments set up and all those invoices that you must have to... what’s this?

(Shelly reaches behind her as the man looks around nervously; she grabs the top sheet of paper and “processes” it in such a way as to imply that it is printing at that moment, she holds the sheet in front of her for a while)

... a cartoon... hmmm, must be a new type of invoice?

(man snatches printout quickly and leaves)

Ummm, what was that woman doing in that drawing? Well, I can’t say that it’s the first time that has happened. Supposed to be used only for business purposes. Nothing personal. It’s right there in the employee manual.

(man reenters, looking about nervously again)

You know that I’m really not supposed to be used for printing cartoons, now what... you know I’m not getting any younger... I know that it’s my job, but I could be a little bit fresher if you guys weren’t printing garbage all day long. You hear that, that squeaking? That’s my rear feed drum... you could have me checked out and routinely maintained, get that nice guy from IT in here with the warm hands...

(paper comes out again)

What is this?! You’ve got to be kidding me, a collection of dirty jokes... haha, I’m not laughing...

(man takes paper, leaves)

Disgusting jokes if you ask me. You know, what it is, it’s disrespect plain and simple. Not the nature of the jokes, some of them had some merit, but the fact that’s he’s printing them out on the office printer; he knows what it costs the company every year in paper and ink alone... I mean he handles all the intra-office accounts... I’m not some cheap hussy spewing out any sort of garbage... I’m being used in a manner inconsistent with this company’s policies, I’m being used, and... and... I’m being abused!

(Man reenters, with fake sincerity Shelly begins her plan)

HELLO! So nice to have you back, what important document shall I produce for you now?

(Shellly, starting to get a sexual high from the print job that she begins processing, more slowly and sensually this time)

Oooohhh, you dirty, dirty man... oh my, such a big job you have here... that’s right... just like that... oohhh, that’s nice... let me just role your job around for awhile and....

(abrupt break in mood, processing stops, Shelly’s voice becomes monotone and robotic)

Paper jam... beepbeepbeep... paper jam.... beepbeepbeep

(man nervously starts hitting Shelly on the back and head and shoulders, Shelly gets louder)


(continues this, getting louder as the man gets rougher, eventually man, after much fruitless searching and futile attempts, “opens up” Shelly’s back to retrieve the jammed paper, Shelly goes “off-line” by drooping down a bit, man, with crumpled paper in hand shuts Shelly, who comes back to life with a scowl on her face)

You fucking asshole! I can’t believe you did that, you don’t know the first thing about how to treat a printer! Keep your hands off me! Why didn’t you call Darren over; he knows how to retrieve misfed documents, no clumsy fumbling from him.

(Another job starts processing, Shelly continues her tirade against the man)

He can make a printer feel like a printer, with no awkward regrets the next morning. I’d give him a print job anyday! You, with this stream of shit you want from me.. I have news for you, jerk, I didn’t jam your job, I gagged on it! Oh and what now?! ANOTHER DIRTY PICTURE!

(Shellly holds the paper very tightly, man struggles mightily with her for the page)


(Very loud as man wins the struggle, and leaves quickly looking confusedly at Shelly)


(Shelly starts to break down)

Just go! Go! Don’t come back, I have real jobs to print, I don’t need your endless sea of filth. Just be right here... printing out tears... why did he have to go bad too? It always seems to go that way: printer meets boy, boy meets printer, printer loses boy to porn...

(lots of sighing)

Anyone? Print jobs? Hello? Anyone?

(lights fade as Shelly calls out mournfully)


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