September 5, 2006

A Play A Day #145

Lean To Fro


Setting: A street, woman is leaning against a brick wall, she is modestly dressed. Man enters, walks in front of her, stops, backs up, speaks)

Man: Excuse me... are you a prostitute?

Woman: (highly offended) Excuse me? Am I a prostitute?!

M: Yes.

W: No! What the hell kind of question is that!?

M: Uhhh... an honest one?

W: Look at how I'm dressed?

M: Very nice.

W: Prostitutes don't dress like this!

M: Really?

W: Yes, they don't!

M: Do you know a lot of prostitutes?

W: What... get away from me!

M: Why?

W: Listen, I'm not a prostitute, even if I was, I wouldn't look your way!

M: Oh... but I'm not looking for a prostitute.

W: Right, sure. Nice cover!

M: No, I was just wondering if you were one.

W: I'm NOT!

M: Well, this is the dangerous part of town.

W: It is?

M: Oh yeah, kind of the redlight district.

W: Sign on the outside of town says about six hundred people live here.

M: Yes, six-fourteen.

W: Unlikely to have a prostitute with those kind of demographics, much less an entire sex district.

M: I'm sorry, but you were showing some leg, and leaning up against this wall.

W: I believe I'm permitted to show as much leg as I please!

M: And...

W: And what...

M: The leaning?

W: So I'm leaning against the wall! I'm visiting some family here, thought I'd go for a walk around town, stop to lean against a brick wall, and suddenly I'm accosted by perverts thinking I'm a hooker!

M: I'm not a pervert.

W: I mean, where the hell do you get off, mister.... uhhh... don't answer that, pervert.

M: I'm not a pervert.

W: Then don't act perverted.

M: I'm a philosopher.

W: Same thing.

M: I think of things in ways no one else has thought of.

W: Give you credit there, no one's ever thought I was a prostitute before.

M: Well, you don't know that.

W: Excuse me; I believe I do.

M: We rarely can know what other people think of us.

W: You knew I thought you were a pervert.

M: But, do I really know that? Are you hiding deep feelings for me?

W: No.

M: I choose to believe you.

W: Gee, thanks.

M: For me, seeing you leaning against this building made me wonder if you were involved in prostitution.

W: Probably because you're a pervert.

M: But, what do yo think it means to this building that you were leaning against it?

W: Please go away.

M: What would happen to this building if you stopped leaning against it?

W: I'm glad you enjoy the sound of your own voice.

M: I would bet that, by leaning against this building, you are slowly, subtly, pushing it over.

W: Now I'm a fat prostitute?

M: Not at all, but by leaning on the building you are putting stress on the structure, right?

W: So now you're a pervert architect philosopher?

M: Over many, many years you would alter the angle and direction of the building, causing...

W: Building's not moving.

M: Everything is moving.

W: Ahh, that's your philosohpy?

M: Conversely, stepping away from the building would allow opposite forces to topple the structure.

W: I'm not holding this building up!

M: Then you must be pushing it down.

W: No, I just am, alright.

M: Right, you probably just are.

W: Thanks for the affirmation.

M: I'm simply wondering if you would feel in any way responsible, if, having walked away from this building and then come back to it at a later date, the building had fallen over.

W: No.

M: Really?

W: Well, only if it fell toward me, according to your pathetic logic.

M: So you are simultaneously holding this building up and pushing it down; you just agreed, right?

W: I was only being nice... (quietly) for no apparent reason.

M: Right... that's fine... but it does follow logically?

W: Sure. Logically.

M: Now, what if you went away, then came back, and this building wasn't here?

W: How long?

M: How long?

W: How long would I be away?

M: Any amount of time.

W: Like two years?

M: Or two minutes.

W: Two minutes would be... ummm... bizarre. Wait a second, are you like a demolitions guy?

M: I'm sorry? No... I don't think so.

W: You're planning on blowing up this building?

M: No! I couldn't do that!

W: Why not, I've heard about you small-town explosion-crazy guys, hoarding dynamite in your basements.

M: I have no explosives.

W: Then why'd you say two minutes?

M: No reason, just to show you that logic may not apply in all you see, or hear, or lean against.

W: Logic always applies, in some way. You're not a very good philosopher or architect are you?

M: Let's say the building does not fall or disappear, what if you went away, two minutes again, came back and, instead of this building, there was a fish bowl the same size as this building?

W: Two minutes?

M: Two minutes.

W: Fishbowl have fish in it?

M: Okay, sure.

W: Water?

M: That would seem to follow.

W: You just said not everything is logical, besides you could have a bunch of dry, dead fish in a bowl.

M: True. Thank you for the lesson.

W: In two minutes... it's a fishbowl filled with fish and water?

M: Yes.

W: I'd say, that's one hell of a remodeler.

M: Ha! Good joke.

W: Show me.

M: What?

W: The fish tank.

M: Just a logic exercise... which you have yet to finish.

W: Right... would I feel responsible in any way if it were gone or a fishbowl? (thinks) Not at all.

M: Yet, if you stood here the whole time... the whole two minutes, and leaned against the building like you're doing now, felt it, touched it, smelled it, saw it, even heard it, will it change to a fish bowl or disappear?

W: Listen. This is really stupid.

M: Logically.

W: Logically this is really stupid?

M: No, would logic tell you that it would remain a building as you see it now?

W: Yes, logic and a shred of intelligence would tell me that.

M: So, by that statement you must agree that the only way it could become a fishbowl or disappear would be if you were not leaning against it, not attending to the building's presence in some way?

W: I never said that.

M: You said it couldn't do either of those things if you were to watch it for minutes.

W: But that doesn't mean that it will do them if I don't watch it.

M: Doesn't it?

W: So, no matter what I do, in your bizarre little world, I will cause this building to fall, disappear, or turn into a giant fish bowl with living fish in actual water?

M: You are now intertwined with the ultimate fate of this building.

W: What about everyone else who's touched, lived in, or interacted with this building in it's history?

M: Oh, no one has.

W: Give me a break! This thing's about seventy years old, at least.

M: No, this building doesn't even exist.

W: Great, one of those kind of subjective blah-blah-blah, b.s. philosophers.

M: Not at all, it exists, just not as a building.

W: Why'd you call it a building then?

M: For the clarity of my argument.

W: You know, I should've left with the prostitute question. (starts to leave) Fall down! Fishbowl building thing! Or disappear! I'm not looking! I can't hear you!

M: Stay please! I wanted to tell you that it will not turn into a fishbowl or disappear.

(She's gone, Man steps directly through the brick wall, there are a lot of beeping and whirring noises, then a futuristic engine sound, the building changes into a fish bowl with fish and water, and the fish bowl flies up very quickly, bathed in a green and orange glow.)


Circe said...

So he's an alien pervert architect philosopher? (Should there be any commas in there?)

Brendon Etter said...

September 6, 2006. Massive update, essentially a whole new middle section added to the play. I felt like I'd left out too much of the logic argument before. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

I noticed the update. At first I thought I'd missed the whole fish bowl element the first time around, but then I read your comment. "Pervert architect philosopher" is a great job description. I also like the line, "I'm glad you enjoy the sound of your own voice."