September 20, 2006

A Play A Day #160

A Clever Play About A Husband And Wife Who Find Themselves In An Odd, Unpleasant Situation, And Then, Using Clever Means, Deliver Themselves From Their Predicament In A Completely Unexpected And Shocking Way Which Involves Both Of Them Dying Simultaneously Because They Shoot Each Other In The Face. I Call It "Clever".


Setting: An Opulent Sitting Room. Late at night.

(Lanford enters quietly, lights are very low, he tiptoes slowly cross the room, lights turn on quickly)

Lanford: (startled) Wha... oh... Chelsea! Hello, Rosey Bits!

Chelsea: (sitting in a leather arm chair in a bath robe, by which I mean she's in the bath robe, not the leather arm chair.... did I mention that Lanford is in pyjamas and a smoking jacket? Well, he is.) Hello, Lanford.

L: What are you doing up?

C: I might ask you the same thing.

(L waits expectantly, a long time)

C: Yes?

L: What?

C: Why are you standing there?

L: Waiting to see if you've made up your mind yet.

C: About what?

L: The question.

C: Question?

L: The question you might ask me. (pause) The... uhhh... what-are-you-doing-up question.

C: I already asked it.

L: Well... hate to be a snip, Pumpkin Patch, but you said you might ask me the same question... might.

C: Yes, that was the question, Lanford.

L: Again, not to disect too preciously, Blossom Bosom, but "I might ask you the same question" is a statement... a declarative sentence... ending in a period, you see.

C: It's a rhetorical statement anyway, Lannie.

L: Good point.

(long pause)

C: So?

L: Yes?

C: Why are you up?

L: Ahh... that... yes. (pause)

C: Well, why?

L: (thinks, then very deliberately and slowly) I might ask you the same thing.

C: You can't...

L: (interrupting) In fact, I already did. Well... I mean, technically, my Dimpled Diamond, I asked you "What are you doing up" and not "Why are you up" which is not the same question, if one parses them out. "What" and "Why" being subtly different interrogatory qualifiers.

C: Are you going to answer my question?

L: I might ask you the same thing. (a little chuckle to himself on that one)

C: Alright. Since you're not being open, I will lead the way.

L: You've always been a self-starter, my Little Lick Of Love.

C: I am awake, and I am sitting here, because I have been waiting for you to steal it.

L: Steal what?

C: You know to what I'm referring, Lanford, don't pretend that you don't.

L: I won't.

C: Well?

L: I'm not pretending.

C: So, you admit that you were going to steal it?

L: No, I'm simply not pretending, my Seductress-In-Chief.

C: You're not pretending about what?

L: Yes, I am.

C: Pretending?

L: No, I am not, Push-me Pull-me.

C: So, you're admitting that you snuck in here tonight to steal it?

L: (gets very technical, he's not being coy, he sincerely doesn't know) Am I admitting that? Hmmmm.... let me think... I may just be pretending not to admit it, or not pretending that I'm not, or, perhaps, I'm only pretending to admit it, or pretending that I'm operating under the pretense of not admitting it.

C: Lanford... you've given me a headache.

L: Sorry, Cuddle Chum.

C: Were you planning to steal it?

L: Oh... ummm... let me be very, very honest with you, my Fuzzy Kitty; yes... no... I was perhaps not going to steal it.

C: How dare you! It has been in my family for over half a generation...

L: Yes, it has.

C: It has great worth to me, sentimental worth... in addition to being valued at nearly three billion dollars.

L: Wow! Three billion?

C: Yes, and that's why I'm so protective of it... for the... sentimental value.

L: Certainly, my Lumpy Bumpy Baby Boop. (to himself) Note to self, don't start the bidding at one dollar.

C: That's why only I have the key to the elaborate case in which it is held....

(they both look around)

C: (thinking fast) Which I've hidden in a very large safe...

(they look around again)

C: Which also is not in view here...

L: I see, my Licorice Whip...

C: Where? (she's looking for it)

L: Rather, I don't see, but I understand that it is hidden.

C: Then why do you sneak in here, late at night, in a smoking jacket, only to be discovered by me...

L: (interrupting) Oh! Hey, my Cherry Pit of Heaving Desire, that makes me wonder. How did you turn the lights on?

C: What? When?

L: When you discovered me here, tonight. The lights just turned on, and you were seated in that chair, but the light switch is on that wall.

C: I'm quite fast.

L: Yes. Yes, you are.

C: I might also ask you this: Is that...

L: Yes, you might.

C: I will! Is that a hammer and a kit of safe-cracking tools in your pocket or do you now have an erection which happens to look like a hammer and a kit of safe-cracking tools, which, since I have had ocassion to see your erections in the past, would make me very concerned about your urological health as it would seem that you might have mutated in some way, perhaps falling victim to a rare disease which makes your erect penis resemble a hammer and a pair of safe-cracking tools, or are you just happy to see me?

L: Always happy to see you, my Li'l Love Magician, and I have a hammer and a kit of safe-cracking tools in my pocket.

C: How could you do this to me, Lanford!? To us?

L: I haven't done it yet, my Slobbery Saltlick.

C: But you were going to!

L: Welllll...

C: How can I trust you any more?

L: It will be difficult for you, I'm sure, my Cushiony Love Pillow.

C: I can never let you have it!

L: I feel the same way about it that you do.

C: What does that mean?

L: I might ask you the same... (interrupts himself) No... just kidding there... Umm, yes, but, seriously, My Amore Whore, I can't let you have it either.

C: It is mine.

L: Not for long. (Pats his pockets) Remember my mutant erection over here?

C: I thought this might be how it turned out; so I've made some alternate plans. (pulling large handgun from behind her back, pointing it at Lanford)

L: Yes, I see. Well, I thought things might not go entirely according to plan either; so... (he moves very slowly and carefully with his hands pulled back, and ultimately, reaches behind Chelsea) Pardon my reach, my Puddly Wuddly, oops... hey, not being frisky here... just... trying... to... there! (and pulls another huge handgun from behind her back. He slowly walks back to where he was standing, then levels his gun at her) I've also made some alternate plans.

C: Damn you, Lanford.

L: Damn you, my Fluffy Dollop Of Mashed Potatoes.

C: We can't on on like this.

L: Yes, my arm's already getting sore... this is a big one. (referring to the gun)

C: No, I mean, we can't go on like this, as in we'll never be able to trust each other.

L: Yes, I see. That might be a bit of a rub, huh?

C: Yes. We must divorce.

L: I can't let you do that: Then, if I steal it, it would be stealing.

C: So, are you going to shoot me?

L: I might ask you the same thing, my Cupcake of Lust.

(long pause, lights start fading, come back up, music starts, gets very, very dramatic, peaks, and fades out, lights fade out, come back up, lights fade out really quickly and bounce back up three or four times, nothing doing. Lights come back on, house lights come up, actors step forward take their bows, walk offstge, then they each run back on, and shoot each other in the face... a lot... like ten quick, loud shots from each gun. They collapse to the floor.)

(House lights go out, stage lights start to fade)

C: (gagging, spitting blood) My headache's gone, Lanford.

L: (same, but cheerfully so) Yes, good to hear, my Semiautomatic Siren.

(lights out)



Anonymous said...

These two remind me of slightly crazier versions of Charles and Elvira.


ShOI said...

This wasn't so much clever as it was intelligent in a witty sort of way. What's she keeping in the safe that's worth $3 billion? She could pay for almost two weeks of Operation Iraqi Liberation with that kind of dough.

Brendon Etter said...

It's a broach. A broach made out of sun. Not light, but an actual chunk of the sun, fashioned by master craftsmen into an attractive accessory for an evening gown. It's so expensive because of the craftsmanship and rare skill involved, and also because it's made out of sun. Plus it was made on a private commission. And I believe it's called "Operation Iraqi Freedom Infinity Plus". It's new and improved this year, now with 33% more perpetuity free!