October 31, 2006

A Play A Day #201

Desperation Candy

Many unseen trick-or-treaters

Setting: Andy's front entryway, chair with a bowl of candy. Door is just offstage, saving you the trouble of having to cast a ton of children, or costume them.

(lights up, doorbell rings, Andy shuffles to door, opens it, his responses are sub-laconic, he is depressed and hating the world, even the straight lines are bitter and cynical)

Little kids: Trick or Treat!

Andy: Well, what a coincidence, I have some candy here. (plunks one piece out for each of them)

Little kids: (as door is closing) Thank you.

(Andy starts walking off, doorbell, back to door, opens it)

Older kid with a little kid: Trick or treat!

Andy: Wow! Neat! This has happened before... what do I do in this situation? (thinks for a while) Ahh, yes... (puts candy into their bags) See ya.

(door closes)

Andy: No "thank you"? Nice.

(pause, doorbell, etc...)

Little kids: Trick or treat!

Andy: Hey, that's neat that you brought your dog with you!

One of the little kids: Actually, she's my little sister. She's in a dog costume.

Andy: Your dog's your sister? Whoa... I won't ask. Just take your candy and slowly walk away.

Little kids: Thank you!

(door closes, pause, Andy shuffles away, doorbell, etc)

Little kid: Trick or treat!

Andy: Nice costume.

Little kid: I'm pretending I'm invisible!

Andy: (handing out candy) I'm pretending you are too.

Little kid: Thank you!


Older kids: Trick or treat!

Andy: Hey! You guys drive here?

Older kid: Yeah.

Andy: (handing out candy) Alright, each one of these pieces of candy represents an express contract between me and the receiver that my property will not be burned or otherwise vandalized by any of you, and in exchange, I agree not to laugh at you, right now, for trick or treating past the age of fourteen. Deal?

(murmurs of assent)

(door closes)

Andy: I guess getting them to say "thank you" could have bogged down negotiations well into the night.

(doorbell, etc...)

Little kid: Trick or treat.

Andy: What are you?

Little kid: I'm Jesus.

Andy: Hey, Jesus. I'm unhappy. (hands over some candy)

Little kid: Thank you.

Andy: I always figured Jesus would come back for a Snickers.


Older voice: Hello, I'm trick or treating for canned goods for local charities.

Andy: Great! I'll be right back. (walking off stage) Haven't been shopping much lately. (returning) Here you go. (hands over two cans)

Older voice: Thank you, sir.

Andy: Good thing the lights are low or I never would have been able to get rid of that paint thinner.


Little kids: Boo!

Andy: Great. Now I've got nontraditionalists. Hold on. (walks offstage, walks back on) In honor of your breaking with tried-and-true trick or treating tradition, I present you with a nontraditional offering. (holds up one fork) But you gotta share it among the four of you. Oh, and make sure you wash it first, it was under the couch for a while.


Andy: This is too much.

Little kids: Tri...

(Andy has very quickly tossed a couple pieces of candy out the door and let the door shut right behind them)

Andy: Hey, that was better.


Little kid: Trick...

Andy: Hey, Satan. Here ya go. You can still catch Jesus if you hurry.


Andy: Who am I trying to kid? I hate this.

Older kids: Trick or...

Andy: I know! Alright?! Shut up already, damn! (throws candy out the door with some force) Fetch!

(door closes)

Andy: Lost my job, girlfriend's gone, don't even have e-mail anymore, and I gotta deal with this crap all night?


Adult voice: Trick or treat!

Andy: What? Hello? Don't you have kids of your own?

Adult voice: I know, I'm making a concerted effort to recapture my inner child.

Andy: (digging in the candy bowl, searching) Well, I'm making a concerted effort to find some chocolatey dignity for you, but I'm coming up way short.

Adult voice: It's part of my therapy.

Andy: Great! (hands out a piece of candy) That'll be $150. (door starts to close) Good luck catching that little fucker.


Andy: Have to end this somehow.

Little kids: Trick or treat!

Andy: (gives them the bowl and all the candy) Enjoy.

(door closes)

Andy: Just horrible, the whole thing. (shuffles offstage)

(doorbell, Andy rushes to the door, flings it open)

Little kids: Tr...

Andy: NO CANDY! (stabs himself with large knife) NO CANDY! (stab) No Candy! (stab) No candy! (stab)

(kids screaming, blood everywhere, Andy continues stabbing himself and saying "no candy" but gets weaker and weaker, slumps to the floor and lets the door close)

(lights start fading)

Andy: Bastards... didn't even say "thank you"...

(lights out)


October 30, 2006

A Play A Day #200



Setting: Coffeeshop or deli, interior

(Irina sits at a small table, sipping coffee, reading. Enter Kevin who slowly looks over the coffeeshop, sits at a table on the other side of the room but in direct line with Irina. He puts down a book and notebook, looks at Irina several times while doing this. Then he stares for a while, Irina looks up toward him, he quickly turns and walks off stage, Irina shakes her head, goes back to her book. Kevin reenters with a muffin, looking at Irina the whole time. He sits in his chair, slowly eats while watching her. She glances at him and then turns her body away. Kevin leaves his food and walks to another table holding his notebook and a pen. He sits, continues staring at Irina, opens the notebook and starts to write, looking up frequently. He stalls, then gets up, moves to yet another seat, sits, opens notebook and starts to write, frequently looking at Irina. He stops, pauses, thinks for a while, then gets up, walks to his original table and takes a bite of his muffin. Inspiration hits! He runs to yet another chair, sits, begins writing more quickly and without looking down, only at Irina. Irina gets more and more annoyed as Kevin's actions become more and more intrusive and obvious. He gets up again and sits in a new chair that is quite close to Irina, he sits, his back is to her, he writes very quickly, looking over his shoulder repeatedly at Irina. Irina snaps.)

Irina: What do you think you're doing?

Kevin: (still writing) Hmmm?

Irina: I asked you what you think you're doing?

Kevin: (holding his non-writing hand up to hush her) Shhh... I'm writing!

Irina: Yeah. Thanks.

Kevin: (making the "just a moment" gesture) Sorry, got a really good paragraph going here.... and... that... about ... does... it! There! (admiring what he wrote for a while) I think that will work....

Irina: Can you please not stare at me anymore?

Kevin: (holding up his hand again) Ohhh... hold on... (changes something in his writing) Yeah... ohhh... yeah... that's a lot better... much cleaner! (admires his writing for a while, then turns to face Irina) Sorry... Hi! I'm Kevin.

Irina: (doesn't shake his offered hand) Well, Kevin, can you please stop staring at me?

Kevin: Stop staring?

Irina: Yes! You've been walking around here and sitting all over the place and staring at me; your little pen scribbling away some sort of garbage about me.

Kevin: I don't think I was staring at you.

Irina: What?! You've been doing nothing but staring at me since you walked in.

Kevin: How do you know?

Irina: I saw you doing it.

Kevin: So, you were watching me the whole time?

Irina: Yes... no, just.... I saw you.

Kevin: Why were you staring at me?

Irina: I wasn't... you were doing it... (pointing at the various places he sat) There and there and there and there and even when you first came in!

Kevin: Sounds like you were doing most of the staring to me.

Irina: No! Listen, people can just tell when other people are staring at them... especially women.

Kevin: I'm a man.

Irina: Women can tell when men are staring at them, especially men they don't know, especially men they probably don't want to know.

Kevin: Really?

Irina: Yes, really; believe me, I have to put up with it all the time.

Kevin: With strangers... male strangers... staring at you?

Irina: All the time.

Kevin: Well, I think men are naturally attracted to humility.

Irina: Ha! Don't give me that! You know what I mean.

Kevin: Not particularly, but I'll go along for the ride.

Irina: Nice word choice... can you please leave me alone now... you got your eyeful... you wrote about me in your sick little story... now just...

Kevin: Sick?

Irina: Ohhh... right... I'm sure you were writing about my intellect?

Kevin: Your intellect? No, I was...

Irina: So you think I appreciate a stranger staring at me and writing perverted stories about me and not even attempting to hide it from me?!

Kevin: Who's doing that?

Irina: You know you are!

Kevin: I don't even know your name.

Irina: You don't need to know my name to write about having sex with me, or raping me, or whatever the hell...

Kevin: Whoa! Whoa! Listen. I'm not writing about raping you... or having sex...

Irina: Right! Whatever! It's rude and incredibly creepy to stare at someone and write about them... I'm not just free to be used like that.

Kevin: Okay. What do you charge then?

Irina: You asshole! How can you sit there and continue to insult me?

Kevin: Well, you haven't left yet.

Irina: You're horrible; how do you...

Kevin: Okay, sorry, sorry for being a little too precious... but you should know that I'm not writing about you at all.

Irina: Like I'm supposed to believe that?

Kevin: It's true whether you believe it or not.

Irina: You wouldn't stare at me and write without needing to include me in what you're writing... I'm like a model for one of the characters or something.

Kevin: No, not really... say, do you know where the bathroom is in this place?

Irina: That way, past the counter.

Kevin: Thanks. (he exits)

(Irina looks after him, still fuming a bit, then notices his notebook is still there, she pauses, thinks, then picks it up and starts to read, she does so for about a minute, then sees Kevin approaching, puts it down quickly, tries to look inconspicuous. Kevin goes to his original table, sits down, starts eating his muffin, without looking up, he says)

Kevin: So what did you think?

Irina: Hmm?

Kevin: Of the story, what did you think of the story?

Irina: Huh? Story?

Kevin: You read it while I was in the bathroom. The story in my notebook.

Irina: (quickly and guiltily, condemning herself the more she goes on) No, I didn't! Grow up... why would I do something like that? I mean, give me a break, you are so arrogant; you think I would just do something like that, because you were gone and the notebook was close to me, and you think I'd just pick it up and read it because I could? You're so arrogant, I wouldn't just do something like that!

Kevin: (lets the pause settle for a moment) A writer can tell when people are reading his stories. He just can.

Irina: (fuming, defiantly confessing) Fine! So what! So I read it?!

Kevin: Yeah, so what did you think?

Irina: It's stupid.

Kevin: Because it's not about you?

Irina: (she is hurt that he wasn't writing about her) No! (laughter which does a poor job of hiding her disappointment)

Kevin: I write fantasy stories for middle-school-aged kids... you know, about ten to fourteen.

Irina: (disappointment really rears its head) It about a unicorn!

Kevin: Yeah... I just started it a couple days ago... it's a unicorn who has been ostracized by everyone because he has two horns, one right under the other. So, he's considered a freak, gets picked on, leads to a life where he doubts himself, eventually he runs away from home, sort of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer syndrome.

Irina: (scoffs) Whatever.

Kevin: Eventually, he's going to find a female unicorn who believes in him and sees his deformity as a sign of strength.. sort of a standard story, I guess, but I don't have the full idea plotted out yet, these are just sort of rough chapters.

Irina: I'll agree with you there, very rough.

Kevin: I don't have it fully formed yet, but that's how I encourage the ideas - writing without a goal, usually more and more ideas come out while I'm doing that.

Irina: So, okay, you're not writing about me.

Kevin: Correct.

Irina: Okay... bizarre, but I guess... I guess that... I owe you an apology.

Kevin: No, no, no, no! I was acting weird. Truth is, I do get inspiration from looking to beauty.

Irina: (flattered) Ohh... well, thank you. Where did you get the main idea for this story? You must read a lot of fantasy books.

Kevin: Yeah, I do, but this book... well, it comes directly from my own personal experience. I'm even considering calling the unicorn Kevin.

(Kevin starts gathering up his stuff, then walks over to retrieve the notebook. Irina finally gets it. She holds out her hand.)

Irina: Hi, Kevin! My name's Irina.

Kevin: (shaking her hand) That's a beautiful name. Can I use it in my story?

Irina: (quickly gathering her things, grabs Kevin's hand, and they start walking out) I sure hope so.

(lights out quickly)


October 29, 2006

A Play A Day #199

Giving Your All

(all are adults, either gender)
Person 1
Person 2
Person 3
Person 4
Person 5
Person 6
Person 7
Person 8
Person 9

Setting: A line.

(lights up, all nine people are in a line, they wait to go into an office that is offstage, 1 is at head of line, 9 at the end)

1: I don't know exactly.

2: Nine o'clock was what the letter said.

3: Right, two forms of ID.

4: I've got my birth certificate.

5: Driver's license and social security card here.

6: How long will this take?

7: I don't know; they said just a few minutes.

8: I took the morning off work.

9: Why are we here?

(lights down, lights up, same as before, except each person now wears an ID card around his / her neck, like you see in hospitals, 2 is now at front of line, 1 is the end)

2: Maybe they need better pictures?

3: My letter said that we needed to sign some new forms.

4: Yeah, and fingerprints from everyone.

5: I didn't read the whole letter, it was really long.

6: Lots of small type; sounded like lawyers wrote it.

7: But now they'll know who's really American, and who's a terrorist.

8: Yeah, seem like the least we can do, with the troops fighting for our freedom.

9: I don't want my fingerprints taken. I didn't do anything wrong.

1: Listen, pal, then you don't got anything to worry about. Only a terrorist would refuse to get their fingerprints taken.

(lights down, lights up, they have rather large placards hanging on chains around their necks with a big picture of themselves and lots of writing underneath, 3 is at the front, 2 at the end)

3: Yeah, pretty sure it said blood sample.

4: Like the hospital kind?

5: Yeah, they need to check everyone's DNA against that of known terrorists.

6: Makes sense. I wouldn't want to be confused with a terrorist. Those guys are horrible!

7: You said it... TV said they're trying to take away our freedom!

8: Yeah, they could attack at any minute, anywhere.

9: What are you guys so afraid of?

1: Wake up, man! There are people out there who hate America; they want to destroy us.

2: Giving up some DNA will help protect us from them. We're lucky to be living here, in the land of the free!

(lights down, lights up, same placards, they are all barefoot, 4 in front, 3 in rear)

4: Light surgery.

5: Hope it doesn't take too long; I don't have many more sick days to take.

6: Yeah, it's been hard without shoes and socks, my feet got really sore at first.

7: Quit whining, at least you don't have to be in some backward country fighting for our essential freedom.

8: Everyone has to make sacrifices! I'd rather have the Calluses of Liberty on my feet than have terrorists living here.

9: But don't you guys see what's happening!?

1: Yeah, that one guy had bombs for shoes, dumbshit!

2: Shoes can't be trusted!

3: I'm so proud of my Calluses! I'm doing it for America; what's wrong with you? Can't make small sacrifices to preserve our security?

(lights down, lights up, they all have an eye patch covering their left eye, 5 is in front, 4 at rear)

5: Something about reassessment protocols, something?

6: I couldn't read it very well with just my right eye.

7: Me either, but I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm so glad they took it out!

8: You probably think they were being mean.

9: Yeah, they took out everyone's left eye! What has to happen to you people before you...

1: See how dangerous you are?!

2: Your stupid criticism just makes the terrorists stronger!

3: You have to learn how to shut up and let people protect us!

4: Doesn't he even know that the left eye was proven to be the evil one? Jeeessh!

(lights down, lights up, same as before, 6 in front, 5 in back)

6: Freedom. I don't know either. Freedom.

7: Liberty. Standard procedures in cases of national crisis. Liberty.

8: Terrorism. So nice to be back here; I really missed it last week. Terrorism.

9: 9-11. This is not freedom! You people are being lied to! 9-11.

1: Justice. Hey! I told you to shut your trap! The terrorists hear everything! Justice.

2: Sacrifice. You must be a damn terrorist! Sacrifice.

3: Shut up! You just never know when to shut up do you? Shut up!

4: Struggle. It's the least when can do to shut you up! Struggle.

5: Loyal. Some people just don't know how to sacrifice for the good of the country. So selfish. Loyal.

(lights down, lights up, same as before, except they know have headphones on)

7: Liberty. I love this one. Liberty.

8: Terrorism. Yeah! His highest really can sing this one! Terrorism.

9: 9-11. He can't sing and the words are meaningless! "This eternal war will bring us endless peace"? Do you not even see that's impossible?! 9-11.

1: (shouting over the loudness of his headphones) Justice. I turned my volume up; so I don't have to hear you... damn sympathizer! Justice.

2: (shouting) Sacrifice. Good idea! Sacrifice.

3: Shut up! Besides you don't know what the hell you're saying! The channel said just yesterday that you can't have peace unless you fight for it. Shut up!

4: Struggle. So the only way to have the kind of peace we enjoy - an endless peace - is by struggling all the time. Struggle.

5: Loyal. He's completely disloyal! Loyal.

6: Freedom. Doesn't know what freedom even looks like! Freedom.

(lights down, lights up, same as before, 8 at front, 7 at rear, they all speak as if making real sentences with the words, proper inflections and emphasis)

8: Terrorism terrorism terrorism, terrorism terrorism.

9: (pause) Fuck this! (tears off headphones, the the large placard, pulls sandals out of his pockets, puts them on, stands defiantly, then walks away)

1: Justice! Justice justice justice justice justice justice justice justice!

2: Sacrifice!

3: Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up; shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up, shut up shut up shut up.

4: Struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle!

5: Loyal loyal loyal loyal loyal?

6: Freedom freedom! Freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom.

7: Liberty liberty.

(lights down, lights up, all except 9 are same as before, 9 is at head of line, the rest are on their hands and knees with their faces looking down)

(long pause, 9 stares at the eight people behind him, he gets a signal from offstage and walks offstage into the office, gun shot, body thumps to the floor, the other eight pick their heads up and look at each other, trying to smile and making muffled noises of approval through the stitching in their lips)

(lights fade out)


October 28, 2006

A Play A Day #198

Hell Through Seventeen


Setting: Janet’s bedroom

(Janet is seated on her bed and crying, she is fifteen and awkward. There is a soft knock on her door.)

Ian: Janet... honey?

Janet: Yeah?

I: Can I come in, sweetheart?

J: Yeah. (wiping tears from her eyes)

I: Sweetie... what’s going on?

J: Nothing. Nothing. I’m just going to take a nap.

I: You’ve been crying; I can see that you’ve been crying.

J: Dad, I’m fine... don’t worry...

I: I do worry, honey... what’s wrong? Huh? Talk to me.

J: No... I’m fine... I...

I: (sitting next to her pulling her close, she reluctantly acquiesces) Hey, hey... that’s what Dads are for. I want you to let me know what’s going on. I can probably help.

J: Dad... it’s okay... I’ll be fine.

I: Is it school? Someone being mean at school?

J: No... not really...

I: Well, what, sweetie? You can tell me anything. Really.... (pause) Okay, listen, let’s make a deal you let me in on what you’re thinking, and I’ll personally see to it that ice cream is served to this very bedroom... on a silver tray!

J: Dad...

I: No, I will... I will. I insist!

J: You don’t have to do anything...

I: Ah ah ah... nothing more about that, just tell me what’s on your mind, Janet.

J: Well, I’m just so confused right now....

I: Yeah?

J: Yeah... (pause) I... well... there’s this boy... at school...

I: (too excited) I knew it! I knew it! I didn’t want to say it, but I knew it was a boy thing!

J: Dad! Stop it! It’s not like that...

I: Oh... right. Sorry. (pause) Please, please, (prompting) there’s this boy at school and...

J: Well, he’s a friend... more of an acquaintance really, but, I guess, you know, a friend...

I: Right...

J: And... well... he’s in love with Marie.

I: Marie?

J: Marie LaClercois... the French foreign exchange student....

I: Okay...

J: She’s nice... but... you know she’s going back to France in a month and Danny’s only fifteen, and she’s seventeen and...

I: Danny? The boy is Danny?

J: Oh, yeah, right... yeah, that’s the boy.

I: Danny loves the French student.

J: The foreign exchange student, yeah... from France, and she really doesn’t care about Danny...

I: Okay...

J: But, she’s... ummm... really... uhhh... like, daring? You know?

I: Daring? Like... does dangerous stuff?

J: Sort of... she dresses sort of... ummm... with... ummm... like just a little bit... like a...

I: Whore?

J: Dad!

I: Sorry... slipped out! Sorry... she dresses provocatively...

J: Yeah... like a slut.

I: Better term.

J: Yeah, and she likes to... ummm... you know rub? Against people...

I: Ahhh... yes... she’s likes to turn the boys on?

J: Well... yeah... and... ummmm...

I: Yeah?

J: She... uhhh... likes to... uhhh...

I: Flirt? Have sex?

J: Dad! Please!

I: Sorry, but it did seem to follow from what you were saying about her... seemed like where the story was going, that’s all.

J: I don’t know... I mean... yeah... she probably does... I mean, that’s part of the problem, I guess... I don’t know for sure, but yeah... I don’t know. (pause) Anyway... that wasn’t what I was going to say exactly...

I: Sorry, I’ll stop interrupting...

J: No... that’s okay, Dad; you can interrupt if you want.

I: Okay... so what were you going to say?

J: Well... Marie came to school today, and she told me that she was pregnant.

I: Ohhh! Wow! Really?

J: Yeah, and so I told Danny and...

I: Is she saying the Danny got her pregnant?

J: Well... no....

I: What is Danny saying?

J: Well... he...

I: Did he have sex with Marie? Did he tell you?

J: He said he didn’t...

I: Oh... well... do you believe him?

J: Yeah... I mean... yeah... I think so...

I: And you don’t know for sure if Marie is pregnant, right?

J: I guess I don’t... but that...

I: Well, then Danny probably didn’t do anything.

J: Right... but that’s not the point, Dad.

I: Oh. What’s the point, sweetheart?

J: It’s really hard for me to say... I’m afraid you’re going to get mad...

I: Oh, c’mon... it would take an awful lot to scare your old man... I know much more about these things than you think I do.

J: Promise not to get mad?

I: I promise to listen and to love you... now, what is it, honey? (long pause as Janet squirms and evades her Dad’s eyes) You’ll probably feel better telling me... I’m sure it beats sitting in your room and crying about it.

J: Uhhh... yeah... so... Marie... she very pretty and she smells like lilies...

I: Hmmm... unusual for a French girl, but go on...

J: She does, and she... you know flirts with all the boys...

I: Right...

J: And... most of the girls too.

I: (beat) Okay...

J: And she’s really pretty...

I: Yeaaaahhh...

J: And... ummm... beautiful...

I: Yes... I...

J: And she smells like lilies...

I: (Overlapping) Lilies... honey you...

J: And she has this accent...

I: A French one...

J: And she’s just so cute...

I: Honey...

J: And smells so good, and...

I: She’s pretty and smells good and she’s pretty and smells good, too? Janet. What’s going on?

J: (beat, then very fast, as one word) Can a girl get another girl pregnant?

I: No... honey... don’t be so... (gets what she’s just said) Ohh! (pause) Oh my! Do you.... mean?

J: (trembling, slowly nodding her head) Yeah... I... well, she... she... kissed me and... well... uhhh... uhhh... ummm... I... kissed her back....

I: Okay.

J: And her front... and... umm... all over...

I: Ohh, sweetheart... it’s okay... it’s all right... (hugging her close) You’re shaking, sweetheart... shhhh... relax... it’s okay...

J: I just... I didn’t know...

I: That you were a lesbian?

J: No! I’m not!

I: Well, you had a sexual encounter with this girl and...

J: No! I mean, yes, I did... but I really, really like boys!

I: Okay...

J: Especially Danny... that’s why I got close to Marie, he’s been following her around.

I: So, perhaps... you’re bisexual?

J: That’s both ways, right?

I: Yep. Both boys and girls.

J: Maybe... I guess...

I: Ohh... sweetie... It’s no wonder you’re confused... you’ve got a crush on this boy and he’s got a crush on another girl, and you both have sex with her... ahhh... youth.

J: Jeez, Dad... you don’t have to understand it so well... I thought you’d be a little mad or scared or something.

I: Ohhh, Janet... what you don’t know about your Dad... You think I haven’t been a confused teenager... I was the height of confusion.

J: Yeah?

I: Oh yeah! My life was hell through seventeen! That’s when I met your mom, of course. We flirted a lot... we dated... then she started dating Tim Webber... big stud in the school... but I was desperate to have her, I spent all my time trying to be alone with her...

J: What did you do?

I: You know, typical stuff, tried to undercut Tim... show your Mom that he was just a liar and a user, you know... which he was... sometimes it worked... your mom would sneak away with me for a little tryst now and then...

J: Dad, please!

I: Well, one day, your mom tells me she’s pregnant... and possibly unlike your Marie friend, she really was. Pregnant with you.

J: So you married her after she had me... that was the right thing to do.

I: Right? No. I mean marrying her was good, but I never got her pregnant!

J: (with horror) But... what?!

I: No, it was Tim or Ryan or Jeff or Sam... one of those guys, your mother sure did like getting laid back then!

J: (panicky) But you! It could’ve been you too!? Right?! You said that you and mom... ummm... Right??!

I: (hearty, good-natured laughing) Ohh! We sure did, but it wasn’t me! I mean, I was still female then.

(Janet looks ahead, eyes roll back, and she slumps in her Dad’s arms)

I: (lightly shaking her) Honey? Sweetheart? You still want that ice cream?

(lights out on Ian ad-libbing softly to Janet and gently shaking her)


October 27, 2006

A Play A Day #197

Five Seconds


Setting: Ron's apartment.

(Ron is seated on couch reading a magazine, a loud bump is heard offstage, then some cursing and mumbling, then we hear a door handled being jiggled and Dale say offstage)

Dale: I can't, your door's locked!

Ron: Dale?

D: It's locked!

(Ron gets up and walks offstage, before he gets there we hear Dale say)

D: I think I'm okay.

(R looks confused, exits, they come back onstage D is holding his head)

D: Well, what does it look like I did?

R: You hit your head?

D: Right outside your door, that hall light.

R: You hit it on the hall light?

D: No, I don't want to go to the hospital.

R: Hospital?

D: You don't even have your car right now.

R: Right... I forgot...

D: Because I don't feel like driving.

R: Yeah... ummm... Dale?

D: No way!

R: What? No way what?

D: I am not... what's wrong with you?

R: Nothing... uhhh...

D: Then how could I be reading your mind?

R: Reading... my? (realizing that's what it has been like since Dale entered) ohhh...

D: Sure, a Kroft Draft is pretty good, I'll have one, thanks.

R: Kroft... how did you know that I had Kroft?

D: (long pause, looking at R in a manner which indicates he is listening to him) Uh huh...

R: Wait...

D: (long pause) Right, right, I know her... yeah...

R: Who? Dale... buddy? What are you talking...

D: (laughs) That's pretty typical of her, but, hey, (moving his head toward offstage, raising his voice) you got a good beer out of the deal!

R: Are you talking about Laura... and the beer? (leaves to get a beer)

D: (calling offstage) Yeah, I've heard as much from some other folks, (pulling his head back toward the chair, quieting down) Oh yeah! That's a good tasting beer.

R: (entering with open beer bottle, hands it to D, D takes a long drink) Are you seeing everything ahead...

D: I was turning around, walking toward your door, thought I dropped something, this receipt something, and I noticed I didn't drop it... What? No...I don't know where the receipt was from... not important - so I turn around, and wham! right into one of those old... what they call it... those uhhh... sconces, right that's it, thanks. Like right in the top of my head....

R: Wow... I don't know what to say anymore... you're just not here... are you? (pause) Dale? (pause) Hello, Dale?

(lights start fading)

D: (big laugh for a while) That's so funny, Ron... yeah, that's what I'm thinking... I should have seen it coming! (laughter)

R: (shaking his head, picks up vase on side table) I gotta do this...

D: (big reaction) Hey! What the...??!!! That really hurt! Jesus! You're trying... (vase comes down on his head)

(lights out)


October 26, 2006

A Play A Day #196

Greatest Thing Since


Setting: A wooded trail.

Sheila: Wow, The Alaskan Republic is so amazing! I haven't seen a car in, probably like...

Justin: Been at least two minutes!

Cam: Closer to three...

S: Yeah, yeah! That's almost creepy.

C: I told you guys that you wouldn't believe it up here... makes the Rockies look like a suburb.

J: Hey, there are still some strips of undeveloped land there...

C: I know, I know, but you know what I'm saying.

S: Guys, I'm kinda getting hungry.

J: You brought lunch, didn't you, Cam?

C: Of course, of course...

(they sit on the ground together, Cam opens his backpack, pulls out a small handheld device and a slightly larger device with a large slot in one side)

S: How far did we go?

J: (checking his wrist, small watch-like device attached) 2.17 miles, averaging almost the same miles per hour... average mood: excited with scattered peaks of contentment... bladder is nearly half full... whoa, better keep an eye on that level... hate to have an accident.

S: Gross... that's why you have a Global Dispositioning System in the first place. Don't wet yourself around us and say you didn't know it was coming.

J: Relax, Sheila... relax. Geez. I know how to monitor my own bodily functions, thank you very much.

C: So who wants what?

S: Do you have a signal?

C: Sure, always do, my skull is a wireless hotspot.

S: I just want a PB and J.

C: White or wheat?

S: Wheat's fine.

C: Creamy, chunky, or liquified?

S: Creamy, of course.

(C does some business with the smaller device, the old cranking dot-matrix printer sound is heard for a while after which two slices of wheat bread slide into the slot on the larger device, more business and a small packet of peanut butter then jelly come out, again accompanied by the old dot matrix printing sound, S takes each as they arrive)

S: Perfect! Fresh-printed bread in the middle of nearly-nowhere.

C: Justin?

S: Pita with hummus and tomato slices.

C: Comin' up... I know just the site for that. Makes the best hummus anywhere on the web.

(Dot matrix sound as the printer prints each item again, including two tomato slices)

S: Hey, I need a knife... gotta spread this around.

C: Sorry, forgot that!

S: Hey, no big deal, so did I.

(C prints a small plastic knife for her)

C: You don't mind just the plastic knife, do ya? It really saves printoms.

S: It's fine... still works for me!

J: That's knife looks a little thin... you running low?

C: Well, let's see if I can get my lunch out of here... (to his handheld device) just print out my hamburger...

(Printer prints out just a slice of ham)

C & J: Yep.

C: Getting low.

J: Too bad.

C: (working on handheld device) No problem...

(A new printom cartridge prints out, C takes it, opens printer, replaces the cartridge, then prints out his hamburger)

C: Anybody want this? (holds up old printom cartridge)

J: Yeah. (puts cartridge in his pita and crunches down on it)

S: No sense in it going to waste.

C: We could just leave it to the squirrels.

J: Did you see a squirrel? I haven't yet.

S: Was there one back by that old shack?

C: Here you go! (a squirrel is printed out of the printer, scampers away)

J: Oh! That was a lively one!

C: Well, fresh cartridge and all...

S: I suppose.

J: You know, it's feeling a little chilly now that we stopped. Can you grab me my jacket?

S: Me too...

C: Yeah... they're on your homepages, right?

S: Yep... the green windbreaker should be fine.

C: Got it.

(printer starts printing out a green windbreaker)

S: Thanks, Cam.

C: (checking the printer as it prints the jacket) Crap. Running low on batteries. Better print some more when the jacket's done.

(lights start fading)

J: I call dibs on the old ones... I'm still kinda hungry over here.

(lights out on the ongoing printer sound)


October 25, 2006

A Play A Day #195

KissKiss KillKill


Setting: Hannah's bedroom.

(Enter Hannah and Dexter, adlibbing sexual comments to each other, falling over each other to move toward the bed)

Hannah: (seductively) I know what you're looking for.

Dexter: Yeah?

H: It's in my mouth.

D: Is it?

H: Come. Taste.

D: Don't let it fall out. (grabs her roughly, they kiss passionately)

H: (pulling away, breathing hard) Did you find it?

D: (breathing harder) No. I don't think so.

H: Look again. (she grabs him roughly, kisses him hard, for a while)

D: Okay... I think that was it... I think I found it.

H: Yes, but that was just a doorway. The real prize is inside this dress. (turns her back, he unzips it, the top falls down, she turns and sits on the bed)

D: Very nice.

H: (leaning back on her arms, sliding hand under the blankets, crooks her finger at him) How do you want it? Fast or faster? (she starts unzipping his pants)

D: However you want to give it to me.

(Hannah lets his pants drop and then brings up a large knife in her other hand and starts stabbing him in the stomach and chest, he has no time to react, feebly flails in pain as she continues gleefully stabbing him many, many times, long after he has stopped putting up any resistance at all. Blood everywhere. Eventually she stops; laying back on the bed, leaning against the headboard, examining the knife, tracing the blood across her own body and smiling. Knock on her door.)

H: Come in.

Wyatt: (entering, looking at the scene) Hmmm... pretty graphic, Hannah.

H: But this one was so much fun, Wyatt!

W: I'm sure it was.

H: Feel the blood! It's so warm.

W: Why's your dress only half off?

H: It just worked better that way... the pacing, what he said... it just fit.

W: Did you let him kiss you?

H: Uh...

W: Shit! You let him kiss you! I can't believe you!

H: We were in the moment, and I...

W: I don't care if you were fucking him, you never kiss a client on the mouth!

H: But...

W: Never! You know the rules, Hannah!

H: I know the rules, but you have to be there, and then you can judge if it's okay or not!

W: No! I don't "have to be there", Hannah! You know why!? Do you!!??

H: 'Cause you're an asshole?!

W: Yes! I am! I'm the asshole that started this company; I have a reputation to maintain! What happens if it gets out that my girls are kissing clients on the mouth?

H: Then they feel like it matters more!

W: No! We don't want these guys getting too attached, and you can't be getting any diseases - you're one of my best girls. You use a condom, you don't kiss 'em, and you kill them the way they want to be killed.

H: They can't get attached; they're about to die.

W: No, but you could, and where would that leave the client; where would that leave the company?

H: I was doing what I thought was right.

W: I'm sure you were, but you need to do what I think is right. It's my business; you work for me. We offer professional escort services for a very special community, and you need to leave the policy decisions to me.

H: He was impotent.

W: So?

H: He couldn't get it up. I knew that; he told me. I had to give him some thrill without exposing him to actual sex. He knew what was going to happen. Just kissing. I didn't want to embarrass the poor guy.

W: Yeah, those are hard cases. I'll give you that... but you know you could always masturbate or something... give him a show... I mean, jeez, kissing him just is too dangerous in this business.

H: Alright, alright! Fine! Can we not argue anymore? I'm kind of in my afterglow stage here, and I'd like to enjoy it a bit longer.

W: (looking at watch) Not much time for that. You'd better shower, get some new clothes on... you've got a twofer in thirty minutes. I'll get the disposal and cleaning crew in here... (starts leaving) This time, Hannah, can you please stick with sucking and fucking and killing... in that order? Alright? It's for your own good. (leaves)

H: That man has no vision... (she gets up, looks at Dexter's corpse) Damn... you were a great kisser, too... (leaves slowly)

(lights out)


October 24, 2006

A Play A Day #194



Setting: partensrestaurant2.com

(lights up, enter sarahustrey12.com and lowellparktheperson39.com, they sit at an empty cybertable)

sarahustrey12.com: whathappenedthen.com?

lowellparktheperson39.com: wellhesaidthatmypossibilitieswithinthecompany.org aregrowingmoreandmorelimited.com bytheday.net soimightjustquitthewholecareer.net andgobacktowhatilovebest.org whatishouldhavebeendoingallalong.edu! bookkeepinggraphiccomputerassistedsuicidemanagement.com

s: isoagreewithyoulowellparktheperson39.com youhavealwaysbeensogoodatbookkeepinggraphiccomputerassistedsuicidemanagementissues.com

l: thankyousarahhustrey12.com iwishihadyouroptimismandsupport.net topullmethroughthesegrimdaysatthatalmostdomainlesscorporation.com

s: www...

l: yeswhatisit.org?

s: ijustthinkifyouwantedtoyoucouldindeedhavemyoptimismandsupportaroundyouwheneveryouwanted.com

l: howso.net? imafraididontfollowwhatyouresaying.org

s: imsayingthatiloveyouandnotinafriendlydotorgsortofway.net iloveyoulowellparktheperson39.com!

l: ohididntknowthat.net imsosorryyoumustthinkimsomesortofcompleteidiot.biz hereiamwhiningabouttheproblemsinmylifeandyouvebeenthereformeallalong.com

s: andiwanttobethereforyoupermanently.com!

l: really.org?

s: really.org.net.com.mil.edu.org.info.gov.xxx!

l: dotxxx.xxx? (s nods; l does soft whistle after which he whispers).com

s: lowellparktheperson39.com iveneverfeltmorepowerfullyattractedtoanothermaledomaininmywholelife.net ivespentmanyyearsbuildingacareer.com butnowirealizethatthislifeileadmeansnothingifidonthavesomeonespecialtoshareit.org ivelookedaroundandihadarevelationthatmaybeididntneedtolookaround.com maybetheanswerwasrightinfrontofme.net

l: imtheanswer.org?

s: yesyouarelowellparktheperson39.com willyoulinktome.net?

l: yessarahhustrey12.com! iwilllinktoyou.net! andwillyoulinktometoo.com?

s: foreverandeevertilwecanlinknomore.com!

l: ohwebbepraised.com! webbepraised.com

s: forwebisthedatathepowerandthegloryamen.org!

(they lean forward and each touch a finger to the other's temple and they get really passionate about it as the lights fade out)


October 23, 2006

A Play A Day #193

Free Speech

Kind Sir
Good Sir

Setting: Someplace stuffy and important-looking, a drawing room at a nice party, or a party room in a nice drawing.

(lights up on Kind Sir, sitting in a huge leather armchair, smoking a huge leather pipe, enter Good Sir)

Kind Sir: Ahhh, welcome! Welcome! Good Sir! So glad you could make it to my comfortably-appointed room.

Good Sir: Well, I wouldn't miss it, Kind Sir, wouldn't miss it.

K: Please, do sit down, Good Sir.

G: Yes, certainly. (looks around)

K: Do sit, do sit. I insist.

G: Yes, certainly. (looks around some more)

K: Whatever's the difficulty, Good Sir?

G: There's only one chair, Kind Sir.

K: (looking around) Quite right; quite right you are, Good Sir! Well said! Well said!

G: Shall I sit, Kind Sir?

K: Yes, by all means, do. (pause) I've got it! Take my seat. (getting out of his chair)

G: You're too kind, Kind Sir. (sits)

K: Think nothing of it, nothing. I'll just sit in the other chair.

G: I do believe I have sat in the first and last remaining chair, Kind Sir.

K: So you have, so you have! Bully for you, Good Sir! Well sat! Well sat! Couldn't happen to a more sitworthy fellow, say I.

G: Your kindness humbles me, Kind Sir.

K: P-shaa! The least I could do, Good Sir. The least. (holding up his pipe) Pipe?

G: Afraid I don't smoke, Kind Sir.

K: Ahh! So you don't; so you don't. I should have remembered! I entreat your forgiveness in the matter.

G: Quite forgiven, if it be necessarily so, Kind Sir.

K: (knocking tobacco out of the pipe) Thank you, thank you, Good Sir. (holding up pipe again) Pipe?

G: Most certainly! Most certainly.

K: (quickly putting pie into G's mouth) There you are.

G: (appreciating the gesture) A pipe of one's own; a truly grand gesture, Kind Sir.

K: 'Tis nothing. Nothing. Now, Good Sir, why did you wish to speak with me?

G: Kind Sir, as the two most important gentlemen in town, I felt we should have a meeting of the minds.

K: Quite so! To air and launder our differences, as it were, in a private conference; so as to present a more unified face to the public.

G: Yes. I agree, Kind Sir, I agree. The very appearance of disagreeableness between such important men as ourselves could set the population alight with doubt and disquiet.

K: Good Sir, you have read my mind. I am in agreement with what you say on the matter; we have an obligation to the masses. They await our very opinion, and it is for the public good that it be uniform and sound in nature and form.

G: So we meet to ponder, for a moment, The Plan.

K: (suddenly less genial) Yes... that.

G: I'm sure you'll agree with me, as a foundation for our further discussion that The Plan is a plan.

K: Yes, agreed. Being a plan, The Plan is most definitely a plan.

G: We are in agreement on the central nature of The Plan?

K: Yes, agreed that we are in agreement that The Plan is a plan.

G: Now, advancing to the next step, The Plan, being a plan, is planning for something. Correct?

K: Your logic is flawless, Good Sir.

G: Quite good, quite good. So, to sum up, we are agreed that we are in agreement that The Plan is a plan that, as a plan, is planning something.

K: Yes, I can attest to the truth in your words, Good Sir.

G: Now, let us make sure that we show this face of mutual agreement among learned gentlemen to the town as a whole, and all will be right with the community.

K: Pray tell, what?

G: The Plan will find quick success in becoming part of the town's code, and the people will learn of all the great benefit that will relentlessly accrue to them by its passing into law.

K: Good Sir, The Plan cannot be termed a decent benefit to our community.

G: Most assuredly, it will bring great wealth and prosperity to this little corner of the world!

K: The Plan, Good Sir, was written only by you for your narrow financial interest at the grave expense of the assured destruction of our entire village!

G: Preposterous, Kind Sir! Perhaps you have not read the precise language in The Plan, or you would surely not be so ill-advised in your opinion.

K: I have done so, Good Sir! The Plan states in its opening paragraph that, and I quote it with the precision that such shocking verbiage can instill in my mind, "The Plan calls for the complete destruction of all other buildings in the entire village, save the house and out-buildings of Good Sir, with the resulting land to be donated to Good Sir for his own narrow financial interests."

G: Precisely! Well quoted, Kind Sir! Do you not see the great benefit to the miserable citizens in this miserable town when I use them all to rebuild a more aesthetically pleasing and potentially prosperous society? A society built in my image for my uses!

K: No, Good Sir. Lest you forget, I am among this miserable throng you denigrate so easily.

G: No worries, Kind Sir, no worries. You will almost certainly be used as an overseer for the enslaved laborers. A plum position offering nearly two full meals a day!

K: Good Sir, our discussion is done; I cannot withstand the utter cynicism present in your every word.

G: You wish to cut me off, now? I have a right to have my ideas heard.

K: Yes, Good Sir, you do, and I believe in your right to do so.

G: Then you will support my right to make my case to the people?

K: I will support your right to make your case, but not your case itself. The people, in all likelihood, upon hearing The Plan for the first time, will kill you.

G: They would be denying me my right to free speech.

K: Yes, they would be, in the name of denying you the ability to deny them the right to free speech, they would, rather abruptly, deny you your right to free speech.

G: Surely, you would not allow this!

K: No, Good Sir, I would assert your right to free speech. But, to paraphrase Voltaire: I may disagree with what you say, but I would defend 'til your death the right to say it.

G: 'Til my death?

K: I would even defend your right to free speech after your death, but that seems almost silly, doesn't it?

G: But it's my right!

K: Yes. I would defend your right, you would exercise it, they would exercise their rights in doing wrong, and you would be wrongly exorcised of the right. Right away.

G: This is outrageous, Kind Sir.

K: Yes, you are. Now kindly go exercise your right to wrong people somewhere else. I need to sit and contemplate the glory of all those citizens freely assembling. (shoos G away, G leaves in confusion)

(lights out)


October 22, 2006

A Play A Day #192

On The TV


Setting: A TV

Qed: So what are we watching?

Jalli: Nothing, Qed, we are on the TV.

Q: Like television TV?

J: Precisely, like television TV.

Q: So people watching us, Jalli?

J: Well...

Q: No shit?

J: Not here.

Q: Hey people! I'm on TV!

J: He can't hear you man!

Q: What?

J: TV's not on.

Q: Who's TV ain't on, Jalli?

J: The TV that we're on.

Q: What TV?

J: We're only on one TV.

Q: I don't... huh?

J: Just one.

Q: We are one one television? In the whole country?

J: The whole world, Qed.

Q: How did that happen?

J: Hey, we are on TV, right?

Q: Yeah...

J: So quit complaining.

Q: Not complaining, man; I just thought, you know, you said that you had a TV show, and, well...

J: This is the deal I could make with the execs, alright?

Q: What deal?

J: To get on TV.

Q: We get to be on one TV?

J: Just one.

Q: But...?

J: If we do well on that TV, then they might add us to another one...

Q: Seriously?

J: Yeah, before too long we could be on literally dozens of TVs from America to Armenia!

Q: What's Armenia?

J: Nevermind. Point is; if we're good, then we get on more and more TVs.

Q: Alright... but how do people even know that we're on?

J: More like, how does that person know we're on... well... uhhh... I don't know. I suppose we could call him again. I called him just before we started and got his voice mail.

Q: You know who it is?!

J: Yeah, his name's Jeff. Lives in Georgia somewhere.

Q: His TV might be on though!

J: No, I got his voice mail, I told you that...

Q: Yeah, but people sometimes don't answer the phone because they're watching something on TV, right?

J: Yeah, possibly.

Q: So maybe he's watching TV, and maybe he's seeing our show!

J: It's possible.

Q: I say we call him right now and see. Tell him to turn to our show! Tell him he can be on TV!

J: Alright. (pulls out cell phone, dials, long pause) Nothing, man. Voice mail again.

Q: You could've left a message!

J: No, no point in being too pushy about it. Our audience demographic shows that Jeff doesn't like to be pushed.

Q: Shit.

J: You know, they're going to kick us off his air if you don't stop swearing.

Q: Sorry... sorry...

J: So, what should our show be about?

Q: Wait? You don't know?

J: Nope, wanted your help.

Q: Wow... unbelievable... well, I'm not letting my big chance fly by! I say we make the show about Jeff!

J: No... I'm not willing to do that.

Q: Why not?

J: I have my artistic principles. I'm not selling out to the highest bidder.

Q: He's the only bidder we got, Jalli.

J: Precisely, all the more reason to buck the status quo. Dare to do something truly different!

Q: Your principles are going to get us cancelled!

J: At least I'll have my dignity.

Q: Man... what does this guy like? Maybe he likes stuff that fits with your artistic principles.

J: If he did, then I'd change my principles. I'm not selling out!

Q: You can't do this to us! This is our big chance!

(cell phone rings)

J: (answering it) Hello? Ohh... yeah? Really? Yeah, I did call you twice. Yeah... my name's Jalli. Listen! Turn your TV to channel #69, 857! No... I know... only your TV gets that channel! Trust me! What? Seriously? No. No.... No... alright... yeah.... yeah... thanks for calling, man.

Q: Was that Jeff?

J: Yep... his TV's busted. Doesn't know when he's getting a new one.

Q: Ahhh... shit...

(lights out)


October 21, 2006

A Play A Day #191

The Little Rainbow That Had To

Ott, an Agent

Setting: Ott's office

(lights up on Ott's office, Ott sitting at desk, looking at some random magazine, faint knock on door, no acknowledgment, more knocking, nothing, finally a rainbow colored young woman opens door and pokes her head through)

Rainbow: Hello? Hello?

Ott: Yes, come in; come in.

R: Come in?

O: Yes; some do.

R: (entering timidly, approaching Ott's desk) Hi... hi... I'm Rainbow.

O: Name's Ott... just Ott... use to be Otto, but people were always spelling it backwards so I took off the "o".

R: The second "o"?

O: Yes, the "o", not the "O"... I felt that it would help me make a name for myself, literally, in the trade... lot of talent agents out there, and I figure now people will come to me because they know they ought to... get it...

R: Y... yes, I do.

O: Enough about me for now; let's talk about you, Rainbow. What brings you here where you ought to be? (chuckles)

R: Well, as a rainbow, I get plenty of work. Ads, logos, personal empowerment, tons of metaphorical manifestations, for which I'm usually not paid, but I just haven't had a lot of luck breaking into films.

O: Yes... film work...

R: Oh, I'm in a lot of films, but it's always just as backdrop or for inspiration, you know, sometimes, I'm symbolic, and on rare ocassion, I'm actually a sort of plot element.

O: Well, that sounds good to me; sounds like a lot of work coming your way.

R: Oh, don't think I'm complaining about what I get to do; I'm not. You know most of it is quite meaningful... for everyone else. But, I... well, I want to do something for me, you know?

O: Sure, sure... you deserve it! Rainbo... can I call you that? Rainbo?

R: Sure, that's my name.

O: Without the "w"?

R: No, there's a "w" at the end.

O: Not anymore, baby! We're rebranding you! Drop the "w"! You're Rainbo! Say it proud!

R: Rainbo.

O: Ah, the pride'll come later... now, Rainbo, you'll take this new brand, this new you, and we're going to hit the studios hard... you'll get a new press package, and for a large fee, a healthy percentage of your take, and certain expenses to be determined daily, you'll get some off the best representation in the biz!

R: Ummm... okay.

O: (reaches under his desk, pulls out a tape recorder, turns it off, rewinds it, hears her say "Ummm... okay" and stops the tape, and then turns it on again) Sorry... legal requirements, very important. Now, you want to be in the movies for yourself?

R: Yeah; a nice juicy part for me. Like a foreign film where I'm the mysterious woman and feared for my taciturn nature, but the people realize later that they we're expecting a rainbow that couldn't possibly...

O: (overlapping) Rainbo! Rainbo, remember...

R: Right, but, I'm still a rainbow with a "w". You know, in nature?

O: Not when we're through! We'll take that extra letter right outta there for everyone!

R: Okay... I guess that's not my goal...

O: Hey, I'm your agent now; I'll tell you what your goals are!

R: Oh...

O: Now you said you wanted to get a role in "films". That's really inspiring, babe, but you do realize that we might have to start you off in movies.

R: Right.

O: Not films; you understand?

R: Uhhh... no.

O: Films are art, Rainbo. Movies are art for morons. Got it?

R: Ohhh... I guess... yes...

O: We try to work our way up to films, and be, you know, respected as an actress and all that. But it works better to get a few hundred million in our pockets first.

R: With movies.

O: Yeah, for instance; I've a got a lead on a part for a natural phenomenon who is willing to appear naked for significant portions...

R: Naked?

O: For significant portions of the movie, yeah.

R: I can't... I can't do that... I want to be respected as an actress, and...

O: That comes later... first you gotta show some tit.

R: But...

O: Pays two million, three, maybe four months of work.

R: I... don't...

O: Two million, you'll make a lot of contacts...

R: But... naked?

O: Well, not the whole time.

R: What's it called?

O: Uhhh... let's see... oh, here we go... "Nature Freak"... (continues reading)

R: Well...

O: Hey, says here in the call, that there will be a certain amount of intimate activity involved...

R: Intimate activity... like...

O: Like... ummm... (reads them off) bondage, feather torture, golden showers...

R: Showers? I know about showers...

O: Sure you do, babe. (pause) Should I set up the audition? I'll get you a preferential screening time.

R: It seems sort of cheap and tawdry...

O: Gotta start somewhere, sweetheart. You want to have the good roles... you gotta put out a little... even if you're a rainbow.

R: I was expecting something more enticing.

O: Depends on who's watching.

R: I don't want to be a... a... typical Hollywood bimbo.

O: Then you do your best, and you become an exceptional Hollywood bimbo!

R: I don't know...

O: Look, sugar, I'm offering you a leg up here. I'm breaking my back. I want to see you succeed! Listen: Have I ever done you wrong?

R: I... I just... met you.

O: And I haven't hurt you yet! Why would I start now?

R: I don't know.

O: I wouldn't. You know, you go out there... you shake your rainbo ass, take it off, be free, discover yourself... people will notice...

R: But it's not my typical role.

O: You said you wanted a new type of role. You know, I had the Aurora Borealis in here a couple years ago... she didn't want to do it either; but she did! Where is she now? Huh? Won the Oscar last year for Best Celestial Glow In A Feature Film! It works... no one even remembers the porn she had to make to get things moving for her.

R: She made a porn?

O: See? Yeah... her first starring role. Was it sick? Yes. Was it a good career move? Hell yes!

R: But... I don't want people to think I'm a... a... you know...

O: Whore? Hey, listen, hate to burst your bubble, because you're a sweet kid. You are. But, a rainbo already exists just to make people happy... in many ways you are the whore of the natural world. Kind of fluffing things up after storms and such.

R: Hey...

O: Sorry, truth hurts, but I call'em straight.

R: (pause, thinks) Alright! I'll do it!

O: Great, kid! (pulls camera from desk) Now take off your shirt... gotta get some shots for the files.

(R looks even more concerned, lights out)


October 20, 2006

A Play A Day #190

Stand Up And Go

Voice: A Voice
Man: A Man; could just as easily be Woman: A Woman.

Setting: Stage, chair in center

(lights up on chair)

Voice: (calm, soothing) Please enter now.

(long pause)

Voice: Please... do enter.

(long pause)

Voice: I assure you that now would be a very good time for you to enter.

(long pause)

Voice: (whispered, dropping to a more conversational tone) We discussed this already... I said this would be how we'd start; don't you remember? You can't leave me hanging here... it's kind of embarrassing. You were supposed to be on stage after the first line.


Man: (offstage) You didn't tell me the whole story though... you said that I just had to walk to the center of the stage and sit down, but... you didn't say anything about there being people there...

Voice: (quickly) Oh, c'mon, you can't be serious...

Man: I'm entirely serious. How was I supposed to know that all these people would watch the thing.

Voice: You're an actor, damnit! What did you honestly expect?

Man: This is a different type of show... and I thought...

Voice: You thought what?

Man: Well... I was... I guess, you know... it... uh...

Voice: What?!

Man: It's artsy... you know? Like all artsy.

Voice: What do you mean?

Man: Just, like... artsy...

Voice: And that's bad?

Man: Well, I wouldn't expect people in this town to go for that...

Voice: Oh, really, why not?

Man: Ummm... you know... they're not the pretentious type... they like simple things...

Voice: Who are you offending more right now?

Man: I'm not trying to offend anyone... they like a story... this is not a story sort of play... it's all...

Voice: Pretentious?

Man: Yeah, basically. I think it's a bit pretentious.

Voice: What's pretentious about it?

Man: Well... it's 273 pages long... that's a clue, I guess.

Voice: And?

Man: You call it a "one-act".

Voice: It moves quickly!

Man: If you skip the middle 260 pages, I guess.

Voice: Don't you dare, that section is the crux of the play!

Man: Right, I'm sure it is, but...

Voice: You want the play shortened to 13 pages?

Man: Well, that's what I read.

Voice: You didn't even read the whole thing?!

Man: Why did I need to, you speak the entire time.

Voice: Well, you need to know how the story advances.

Man: What story?

Voice: The story of Man! Your story!

Man: Right. I realize that it's my story... I just wish, and I think these people will wish, that there were a bit a more story to your story.

Voice: It's an analogy about the futility of humanity... the brainless need to follow authority... the fear of freedom that most people have...

Man: Great, but why could that be done in five pages or so?

Voice: Because that's part of the point! These idiots will sit through the whole thing because they're supposed to, simple as that, the play makes the case and proves it in a little over six hours!

Man: Ummm... I think they can hear you, man.

Voice: What? No... I turned the mic off when you wouldn't come out.

Man: Okay... but I think I can hear it in the house...

Voice: Not a chance, and even if you could hear what I said, those dolts would never leave, because they need theater so that they can feel cultured, high-brow and all that... so that's what were feeding them... they gotta have some meaning in their dreary little lives in Hickland.

Man: So putting them through six hours of nothing is your revenge? Revenge on these people because they paid to see your show?

Voice: It's a slap in the face of the American theater-goer.

Man: Really? Because you were making it sound more like you hated just these people, in this town, specifically.

Voice: It doesn't matter who's face I'm slapping as long as I'm slapping someone's. Not get out there and sit in the chair! Or they're going to stand up and go.

Man: Damn them. That is the title of the play.

Voice: Duh! I wrote this thing, but they can't stand up and go until the end because that creates the irony of the whole play.

Man: Wow... you are truly an awful man.

Voice: Yeah, so what? They won't know what hit'em.

Man: Can I at least put underwear on?

Voice: No, you knew the part required extended periods of nudity.

Man: But, there's no reason for it!

Voice: Sure there is. You just get out there, flash your dick around for six hours and wait for the adulation to come your way.

Man: I just keep doing what you say for 273 pages?

Voice: Time's wasting, pal.

Man: I'm your puppet for six hours, and I'm naked.

Voice: Yes, just like we rehearsed it.

Man: Like I said; I wasn't expecting anyone to show up.

Voice: Too late. Your clothes are off, and you're on.

Man: This is just mean on so many levels.

Voice: Hey! They paid their fifty bucks, they...

Man: You charged them fifty dollars to use them as the objects of derision?!

Voice: The more expensive it is, the more they expect; the more likely they are to rationalize it in our favor. Shit, I could have charged them two hundred bucks a pop, and they would have thought they were seeing a Broadway show. Wait 'til they find out that the toilets in the lobby don't work; they'll probably demand to pay more. (laughter) They'll be saying "Well, if it was that painful, and I sat through it, then it must have been a truly important play."

Man: Oh... God... this is obscene.

Voice: No, that's around page 190.

Man: Let's get this over with.

Voice: That's the spirit.

(long pause)

Voice: (back to the calm, soothing tone) Please enter now.

(long pause)

Voice: Now. Enter.

(long pause)

Voice: (angry) What the hell is going on?! Get on the... hey? Where are you? Hello? Shit! You've got to be kidding... that fucking bastard! Stupid, stupid... I knew I should have padlocked the doors... Shit, gotta do something here...

(long pause)

Voice: (calm and soothing again, but nervous, lights fading) Ladies and gentlemen. Imagine there is a completely naked man sitting in that chair. He is responding to whatever I say. The first thing I say is "stand up and go", and the play starts...

(lights out)


October 19, 2006

A Play A Day #189

Diggy Don't


Setting: Outdoor, park.

(lights up on Sue; she calls out loudly)

Sue: Diggy!! Diggy!! C'mon boy! Diggy, come!! C'mon Diggy! Diggy!! Diggy!! (continues over Fay's entrance)

(enter Fay)

Fay: Stay away, Diggy!! Go on!! Get outta here! Diggy, go!! Get!! (continues in this vein for a while as Sue starts to quiet down and turns to take offense)

Sue: Do you mind?!

Fay: Huh?

Sue: I'm trying to find my dog.

Fay: Yeah?

Sue: Yeah... well, please don't tell him to stay away.

Fay: I was only trying to help.

Sue: Well, it wasn't working. (pause) Diggy!! Diggy!! Com'ere boy! Diggy!!

Fay: I don't think your way works either.

Sue: It will, okay?

Fay: I was watching you for a while, and I don't think your dog's any closer to you now than when you started shouting.

Sue: How would you know?!

Fay: Just a sense.

Sue: Not a common one.

Fay: Haha!

Sue: Please let me look for my dog; if I need your help, I'll avoid you as much as possible.

Fay: I was trying something different; that's all.

Sue: I don't need anything different! Alright?! Please leave me be. Diggy!! C'mon boy!! Digg...

Fay: Reverse psychology!

Sue: Stop!

Fay: That's what I was trying... reverse psychology!

Sue: Yeah, whatever... it's a useless idea, okay!? Reverse psycholgy doesn't work! Go away!

Fay: You go away!

Sue: What?!

Fay: I said, you go away!

Sue: I heard what you said!

Fay: Then why didn't you go?

Sue: Because I don't want to!

Fay: Really?

Sue: No, I'm looking for my dog; I'm not just going to turn and run because you said so. I'm staying right here!

Fay: Suit yourself. Leave, Diggy!! Go away!

Sue: Stop it! Stop it! You're really pushing your luck lady!

Fay: What? Reverse psychology doesn't work anyway!

Sue: My dog won't recognize your voice; he'll come running for mine! You're just confusing him and covering the one voice I know he'll respond to! So stop!!

(enter Vic)

Fay: (long pause) I don't think your dog's coming back.

Sue: SHUT UP!!

Vic: Yikes! Hey, what's wrong?

Fay: I don't know, just trying to help Ms. Fuss and Bother find her dog.

Sue: I lost my dog about an hour ago, and this lady just started yelling at my dog to stay away.

Fay: The dog wasn't coming when she was calling for it; so I tried some reverse psychology.

Sue: I don't need reverse psychology! I know my dog! He will come when I call him! I have had him for eleven years; I think I know how to call for him!

Vic: Your dog's eleven?

Sue: Yes, about eleven and a half.

Vic: Maybe he can't hear so well any more?

Sue: No. He hears fine.

Vic: Well, you never know; sometimes it seems like a dog can still hear, but they're actually responding to other stimuli, you know what I mean?

Sue: Yes, I suppose, but Diggy's not deaf.

Fay: You never know?

Sue: (growls at Fay) I know, alright! Lay off!

Vic: Hey, hey, let me just try something, okay? I usually have great rapport with dogs.

Fay: Yeah, can't hurt.

Sue: (to Fay) I don't need your advice! What are you going to do?

Vic: Watch! It should work! Dog's name is Diggy?

Sue: Right, Diggy.

Vic: (stretches out a bit, loosens up, then goes into an elaborately exaggerated and comical hodgepodge of American Sign Language and a pantomime version of "Diggy! Come Here boy!" This goes on for a while, then he stops) There.

Sue: Are you a clown?

Vic: No. That was sign language for Diggy, come here boy... then I threw some pantomime in there too to give it that extra kick.

Sue: Sign language? What is wrong with you?!

Vic: Well, I had a brother who was deaf, so I learned sign language...

Sue: No, don't you realize what you were doing?

Vic: Yeah, I told you... I signed Diggy, come here boy and added some...

Fay: I loved it!

Sue: How did you expect that to work!?

Vic: Well, if Diggy's deaf, then sign language is the best way to communicate...

Sue: No!! No!! No!! No!! No!! No!! No!! Unbelievable... that is so stupid on so many levels... I thought reverse psychology really cut it, but... wow... that just cut it and ate it at the same time.

Vic: Geez, just trying to help...

Sue: You know, I appreciate help when it actually helps, otherwise you're just wasting my time that I should be spending trying to call my dog.

Vic: But, if he can't hear you...

Sue: Then he surely can't see you and your sign laguage interpretive dance bullshit either... and even if he could, why would he have been anything but frightened at your weird movements?

Vic: Well, I guess I know where my help isn't wanted!

Sue: Yep, right here!

Fay: (to Vic) Why don't we go find her dog somewhere else?

Vic: Yeah...

Sue: (to both of them) Wait! You can't do that!

Fay: What?

Sue: Find my dog!

Vic: Now who's being stupid?

Sue: No! You can't find my dog!

Fay: Hey, if we find your dogm then we find your dog.

Sue: Only I can find my dog!

Vic: Doubt it! I've found many dogs. I'm good at it.

Sue: But... I don't trust you two...

Fay: You think we trust you?

Vic: Ditto!

Sue: But how do I know you won't hurt my dog if you find him?

Vic: How do we know you won't hurt him?

Sue: He's my dog! I've never hurt Diggy; I never would!

Fay: Well, that's what you say now, under duress, but it's really just your word, and based on how you've treated us, I would think you're probably likely to hurt poor little Diggy.

Sue: No! I was trying to get you to stop telling my dog to leave, and I trying to tell you that sign language doesn't work if the dog can't see you!

Vic: But you were so mean about it.

Sue: Alright, alright, maybe I was... I'm sorry, listen I really just want to find my dog.

Fay: So do we.

Vic: Yep.

Sue: (big sigh) But I can't let you go off to find Diggy by yourselves...

Vic: I think we have that right...

(long pause)

Sue: Alright, listen... I'm sorry about how I treated you... please, please stay here and help me find Diggy...

Fay: Why should we?

Sue: I'll be nicer; I promise.

Vic: And you'll let us help in the best way we know how?

Sue: (pause, she's stuck with them) Yes...

Fay: Alright! Let's get to work! Diggy!! Go away, boy!! Get outta here!! We hate you! Diggy!!! Leave!!

(Vic commences his elaborate sign language / mime routine again)

Sue: (watching for a moment; then resignedly starts) Diggy!! Here, boy! Hear my voice, Diggy!! C'mon boy!!

(lights fade on this shouting and miming scene)


October 18, 2006

A Play A Day #188


Homeless Person (HP)
Business People (BP)

Setting: Elevator, downbound. All is mimed.

(Lights up on Homeless Person, pushes a button, elevator goes down.

After a few seconds a few business people step in front of the elevator, one pushes the down arrow, doors open, HP moves to the back corner, business people awkwardly board elevator, button pushed, doors close.

BP start acting out a fair level of disgust, catching each other's eyes and bunching closer, away from HP, they are making faces, one tries holding his breath, others breathe through pursed lips.

Several seconds, more BP gather in front of elevator, down arrow pushed, doors open, more of the same, enter, disgust, hands waving in front of faces, woman hold handkerchief to her mouth and nose.

Several seconds, repeat the procedure, adding any more mimed adlibs the new BP can think of.

Several seconds, repeat, the elevator is extremely crowded now. People almost turning blue trying not to breathe. Most showing pretty extreme level of silent disgust.

Several seconds, long pause, then doors open, all BP burst out of elevator, start walking off in different directions, one BP says loudly)

"Good God! What was that?!"

(Another BP loudly replies)

"Sounded like a Muzak version of Kenny G!"

(Another BP wonders, again loudly)

"How is that even possible?!"

(All BP are off, pause, elevator doors open, HP exits elevator)

HP: (as he walks off, big smile) Never fails; that elevator always plays my favorite song!

(lights out)


October 17, 2006

A Play A Day #187

Time Slip


Setting: Dining room table

(enter Mom)

Mom: Well, your father should be home any moment, but let's eat, huh? I'm so hungry.

Peter: Sure. What's for supper?

M: Ohhh... Pork roast, sweet potatoes, asparagus and whole wheat buns.

P: Wow! Is that all in the kitchen... kinda serve yourself?

M: Whoops! Hey! Sorry, dear, forgot to make it! I'll get going on it right now. (exits)

P: (talking after her) I'm gonna go to Brad's place while you're doing that, okay? (pause, he shrugs his shoulders, start to leave)

M: (re-entering) Peter. Time to eat.

P: (turning around at exit) No, Mom. You haven't made supper yet...

M: Yep, all done.

P: What do you mean, you just left...

M: All done; sit down and eat, dear.

P: No... ummm... but I was going to go to Brad's and...

M: Supper's ready, Peter. Sit down.

P: Mom, it can't be ready... I don't even smell anything...

M: (holding out her hand) It's right here.

P: (moving close, picking a small pill from her hand, holding it up) Very funny, Mom... this is a Tic-Tac.

M: No, that's supper...

P: Pot roast, sweet potatoes, buns?

M: And asparagus, and you had better eat at least some of your asparagus, young man, or no dessert for you!

P: What? This is a ...

M: Strawberry-rhubarb pie and ice cream. (she holds up another pill in her other hand)

P: Mom... uhhh...

M: Sit. Eat, Peter.

P: (doing so, he examines the pill, and finally tosses it into his mouth, a few beats, then) Holy crap, Mom! This tastes like pot roast.... and sweet potatoes... and buns... and (a little shiver) asparagus!

M: Well, duuhh, sweetheart! That's what it is! I told you that already. Did you want something to drink?

P: Uhhh... yeah... some milk'd be good.

M: (puts pill in a glass) Here ya go, honey.

P: ("drinks" the pill) Wow... this is... amazing, Mom! Where did you get this stuff?

M: What? It's what I always make... sorry for the repetition...

P: No it isn't, Mom... we always eat nomal food... not pills that taste like food.

M: Yes, I just printed the food off this morning when I did the online shopping.

P: Printed?

M: Yes... like always, Peter.... what's wrong, honey, are you not feeling well?

P: Like the food came with the printer?

M: No.... I bought it and printed it out; it doesn't just automatically come with the printer. You have to work for the groceries... the EssenceNet was kind of slow this morning, took about five seconds to get the whole meal... I'll have to cellpath the Telesense Company later... I can't belive they advertise such fast connection speeds and then fail to deliver...

P: Mom?

M: Like I said, your father should be home any moment. I'm sure he'd love to eat his meal with you. He's been so busy with his new job these last few days.

P: Dad has a new job!?

M: Oh yes! He's been talking about it all the time? Don't you even listen to your father?

P: He's not a theoretical physicist any more?

M: No, he told me that it just wasn't practical enough; that he wanted a job he could apply himself to more physically.

P: But he loves... loved... physics.

M: I don't know, Peter. I'm sure he had very good reasons for doing it, and he's certainly seemed happier this week.

(Door opening and closing offstage)

M: (calling out) Honey, is that you?

Dad: (stomping onto the stage, he is dressed in old farmer clothing, as in 1840s gear) Darnedit, Ma! Have ya seen the big scythe? I got two acres o' grain left, and it looks like it might hail!

P: Dad?!

M: It's under the old hover shed, dear.

D: Thank ye kindly, Ma! Peter, best get your work breeches on meet me outside when you finish up here.

(Dad exits)

M: You heard your father, Peter. Why don't you get outside right now... (she picks up his cup) ...you can help me with the dish when you're done with the reaping.

(Mom exits, lights start fading, Peter shakes his head hard, rubs his eyes, can't figure out what's going on)

P: Breeches?

(lights out)


October 16, 2006

A Play A Day #186

Infernal Monologue


Setting: A bar.

Gina: (coming to the bar to order a drink, to invisible bartender) Vodka martini... yes... thank you (turning around, seeing Ben seated a couple stools away, Ben notices her noticing him)

Ben: (loudly) Hey! (more quietly) "Hello" would work too, "hey" seems a little too desperately familiar.

Gina: Hello, then...

Ben: (relieved that he gets another chance) Yes, hello. (more quietly) Now that seemed a little bit like I was trying to overcompensate for the desperate familiarity thing.

Gina: What? No... no... heavens, no... either "hey" or "hello" is fine with me.

Ben: Are you alone? (pause while Gina thinks about how to respond, then more quietly) Shit! What a stupid question! You can't ask a hot girl that in a bar; now she probably thinks I'm a rapist or something.

Gina: Ummm... are you okay?

Ben: Yes! Yes, yes... I'm fine... thanks for asking. (more quietly) Still, I hope she is alone; you can never get a woman to leave with you when she's got her whiney, protective friends along.

Gina: Uhhh... you sure? You seem a little... confused?

Ben: No! Not me. I've never seen you here before. (more quietly) I've never seen her here before; she's totally gorgeous.

Gina: (flattered, creeped out) No... I've never been... here before.

Ben: It's a good place, not a lot of shady characters, you know? (more quietly) Man, I wonder if she'll fuck me on a first date? Money... I'll turn the conversation toward money.

Gina: No, I haven't seen a lot of shady characters, I guess... (starts playing with him now) Do you want to talk about money?

Ben: (suprised) Hey! Yeah! Sounds good! (more quietly) Shit, gotta come up with a good one this time?

Gina: You look like a neurosurgeon.

Ben: A what? (more quietly) Neuro, neuro? What one is that? Heart surgeon? No...

Gina: Brain.

Ben: Yes! I am! The brain, and the whole head really. Any type of head sorta surgery. That's what I do. (more quietly) Right! She totally thinks I'm a neuro surgeon doctor! Big score... she's mine now.

Gina: Wow! The whole head? That's amazing! You must earn a lot of money!

Ben: Well, I don't like to brag... you know... money's not the important thing. I'm sorry... I'm Ben (moves right next to her) And you are? (more quietly) Not that I'll even remember her name in a few hours!

Gina: I'm Gina. (they shake hands, Ben holds on uncomfortably long and pulls in closer)

Ben: Beautiful name... Gina... as I was saying, money isn't the important thing. In fact, I was just telling my chauffeur this morning that I would give up the penthouse suite overlooking the beach, the wine cellar, the Italian vacation home, and the personal chef in exchange for finding that special someone. (more quietly) Wine cellar? Nice one, Ben! Good work... it's romantic and rich, without being too flashy.

Gina: (pretending to be very aroused) Ohhh... Ben. It sounds like you have a very nice life. I'm sorry that you haven't found that special someone yet. Maybe I can help out in that regard.

Ben: Well... hey, I don't like to go fast... so many women, you know, are attracted to the enomous personal wealth, but I really need to know that any woman I might decide to see is in love with me, not my stockpiles of money. (more quietly) Very sincere, Ben... she'll probably want to assure me that she's interested in me as a person.

Gina: (rubbing up against him) I bet you get a lot of gold diggers, but, Ben, I want to assure you that I am interested in you as a person.

Ben: Women never say that to me, Gina... I can tell you're a special gal. (more quietly) Okay, time to get her out of here... I'll pretend I have to go to work to force her hand.

Gina: We should get going, huh?

Ben: (already pulling out his cell phone to pretend that he is going to talk to work, stops) What? (more quietly) What? That was easy. Just like her.

Gina: Yeah; I'd love to talk to you some place more quiet; you know, see what else we might have in common. Why don't we go to your penthouse? (she mimics his audible internal monologue mannerisms, more quietly) Maybe, he won't notice my penis until we're really getting hot and heavy.

Ben: (pulls away sharply, but tries to remain calm) Uhhh... yeah... we should definitely... (not even looking at his cell phone) Hey, the hospital's calling, it's about Mrs. O'Reilly's head surgery. (slams cell phone to his ear without even opening it) Hello! Yes? Mrs. O'Reilly?! Damnit! I'll be right there! Yes, use the strong tape until I get there! (more quietly) Stay calm, Ben, calm, calm... back away from the freak.

Gina: (scribbling out a phone number on a napkin) But, Ben... here, take my phone number! (Ben grabs it, turns quickly, starts leaving)

Ben: Nice to meet you... (more quietly, as he exits) Don't look back, don't look back, don't look back.

(lights fade)

Gina: (laughing to herelf) Head surgeon? Unbelievable... (more laughter)

(lights out)


October 15, 2006

A Play A Day #185

Little Bother

Older Teen
Little Boy

Setting: A wooden arm chair, center stage, Older Teen sits in it, hands on arm rests, feet flat on the floor.

(Lights up, Little Boy enters running and screaming with a large pillow, he just starts whacking away at Older Teen, as fast as he can. Older Teen remains calm, addresses audience, his words stopping with each hit to his head, chest or wherever.)

Older Teen: I will (whack)

OT: I'll (whack)

OT: I'll say (whack)

OT: I'll say this (whack)

(Little Boy leaves, comes back with an empty two liter bottle of soda, again starts whacking away)

OT: (has been looking over his shoulder as LB left) I'll say this about my little brother (whack)

OT: He's (whack)

OT: He's really (whack)

OT: methodical (whack)

OT: and (whack)

OT: persistent. (whack)

(LB leaves quickly, OT looking over his shoulder, a pause)

OT: But, I don't...

(LB sprints back on stage with a large book, immediately starts hitting OT hard again)

OT: I don't have (whack)

OT: the slightest idea (whack)

OT: the slightest idea (whack)

OT: who (whack)

OT: who this kid is! (whack, whack, whack)

(LB runs off stage, OT is getting a little woozy from the whacks to his head, looks over his shoulder)

OT: C'mon, kid, untie me! Please!

(Lights fade quickly as we catch a glimpse of LB running back on stage with an aluminum bat in his hands, ready to whack away, OT starts desperately straining at his bonds, panicing)


October 14, 2006

A Play A Day #184



Setting: Two small piles of dirt.

(Doug and Douglas are shoveling. Doug digs one shovel's worth of dirt and tosses it onto Douglas's pile; then Douglas does the same to Doug. They are quite happy with the situation. This continues without stop throughout the play.)

Doug: Beautiful day, huh, Douglas?

Douglas: Yep, very nice, Doug.

Doug: Not too hot, so you can work hard with out dropping from heat exhaustion.

Douglas: Not too cold so you have to have heavy layers on, which just makes you warm; so you take 'em off... then you get too cold again; so you put 'em back on...

Doug: Vicious circle that is.

Douglas: I don't mind it so much, there is comfort in repetition, but it takes time away from the important work we're doing here.

Doug: Yep... I agree, we must never waver from our assigned task.

Douglas: Doing the hard work on the ground; the work that people will only thank us for in the future.

Doug: They will be most grateful.

Douglas: Just look at the progress being made.

Doug: It's tough work, a long battle.

Douglas: But it is a fight we must win.

Doug: Exactly, we must win it; then it will have been worth fighting.

Douglas: The ends justify the means.

Doug: And it is truly a winnable task, with a well-defined end.

(enter Doop)

Doop: Hey guys; what's up?

Douglas: Hello, Doop!

Doug: Nice to see you out here today.

Doop: What are you two doing?

Doug: Fighting.

Douglas: For you.

Doop: Wow! Great! Thanks!

Doug: You're welcome.

Doop: What are ya fighting?

Douglas: Dirt.

Doop: This dirt here?

Doug: Yes, and dirt everywhere!

Douglas: We are fighting against dirt and the very idea of dirt!

Doop: Man, big job!

Douglas: Yes, it is.

Doop: When are you going to be done?

Doug: When dirt and the idea of dirt has disappeared!

Douglas: Wipe clean of the Earth!

Doop: (pause) Ummm... isn't the Earth dirt?

Doug: Only in a manner of speaking.

Douglas: For instance, you just spoke about it in some manner; therefore, it's true.

Doop: So, you're fighting the whole Earth?

Doug: No, just the dirt part.

Douglas: And the idea of dirt.

Doug: Annnndd... all the ideas behind the idea of dirt.

Douglas: Including the idea of ideas.

Doop: Are you making any progress?

Doug: That's not for us to decide.

Douglas: We just keep digging.

Doop: Why?

Doug: Because we're supposed to.

Douglas: Because we're making it possible to help other create the idea of progress.

Doop: Oh, but you don't know if you're actually defeating dirt?

Doug: It's not that important that we do.

Douglas: We've been given a job; and we're going to do it.

Doop: But why do you keep doing it?

Doug: Because one day, we might win.

Douglas: Even if we never knew it.

Doop: So you fight all day?

Doug: Yes, and all night.

Douglas: We must never stop.

Doop: But won't that constant fighting kill you?

Doug: It will be for the common good.

Doop: But won't your dead bodies decompose and become dirt?

Douglas: (pause) Yes. (long pause, they both stop digging) Ummmmm...

Doug: Well....

Doop: In fighting dirt, you become dirt; in fighting an idea, you become just an idea. (long pause, they're all staring at the dirt piles) Well, see you around... good luck with the fight.

(Doop leaves, Doug and Douglas stand for a long time, then look at each other, then drop their shovels and start walking off stage)

Douglas: I need to shower.

Doug: Yeah; I feel dirty.

(they're off, lights out)


October 13, 2006

A Play A Day #183

Club Status


Setting: Hospital room, postnatal. Angela is lying in her hospital bed, exhausted.

(Enter Norton)

Norton: Hey... hey.... sweetheart... (big hug and long kiss) You did it! You were great!

Angela: Ohhh... Norton... I don't remember... tell me what happened...

N: Just seeing you like this... you're going to make me cry... soooo beautiful right now.

A: Norton... what happened... they gave me so many drugs... I don't remember how it all went...

N: You couldn't tell, Angela, but, I mean, you were firing on all cylinders, and a couple I don't think the Doc even knew you had!

A: (more seriously) Seriously, Norton. What happened!?

N: You should have seen you! Really going to town!

A: Norton! No more positive feedback! Tell me what happened.

N: Well, the doctor said push, and you pushed, and plop! There she was!

A: (pause) And....?

N: They pumped some more pain killers into you and you've been asleep the past three hours.

A: What else?

N: Well, you're mom and dad are on their way... should be here in about an hour or so...

A: Norton. That's not what I mean.

N: I... I'm... I'm sorry, dear... ummm, what do you mean?

A: The baby... she's fine?

N: Oh yeah, a perfect 10 on the test.

A: Nothing wrong with her?

N: No, no, she's doing great.

A: Internal hemorrhaging?

N: No... like I said...

A: Deformities? Seizures?

N: No dear, she's absolutely fine!

A: Damnit!

N: Seven pounds, eight ounces; twenty inches long exactly.

A: What?! That's it?

N: Ummm... she's... asleep right now, and uhhh...

A: (not listening) That's so average!

N: Ohh, yes, and she looks so peaceful, I got to hold her for a while... (reenacts holding her, making little soothing noises into his arms)

A: Would you stop that!

N: (stopping abruptly) Ummm... sorry... did you want to sleep some more, sweetie?

A: No, no time for that! We have to come up with a story!

N: A... a, a story?

A: Your story and my story have to click! We can't have two of them floating around out there! Now, first thing... my labor was eighteen hours long...

N: Angelcakes... it lasted about two hours...

A: Bullshit! It was eighteen, Norton. Accept it!

N: But, honey...

A: Eighteen!

N: I don't think...

A: You don't need to! Eighteen!

N: I don't get why...

A: Repeat after me! Eighteen hours of labor!

N: But...

A: So help me God, Norton, don't flake on me now! Say it!

N: Uhhh...

A: Say it!!

N: Eighteen?

A: Eighteen Hours Of Labor!

N: Eighteen hours... of... labor.

A: Again!

N: Eighteen hours of labor.

A: Now! Open your eyes real wide and say it while you shake your head slowly from side to side...

N: Dear, I...

A: Do it!

N: (starts holding his eyes open, he pulls back and complies, opens eyes wide, shakes head slowly) Eighteen hours of labor.

A: Better, better... now, that means labor started five o'clock last night...

N: Honey, really... I...

A: So we were... rock climbing! That's it! We were free climbing in the foothills, forty... fifty... eighty miles from home...

N: What?

A: Climbing, you idiot... cliffs?! My water broke... we completed the climb, since we only had fifty feet to go...

N: Angela, dear, I don't climb cliffs...

A: Neither do I, but we just recently picked up the sport... buy some climbing gear on the way home, stomp on it in the grass for a while, make it look used, got it?

N: But...

A: Shut up, Norton, and listen... this is far more important to both of us than you could ever know... Now, here's where you come in... You, you... were so exhausted by the climb that you passed out.

N: What?!

A: Fashioning a quick stretcher from saplings, animal fur, birch bark and pitch, I dragged your unconscious body fourteen miles down the trail to our car, and drove over ninety miles an hour to the hospital.

N: Dear, we can't...

A: We HAVE to! Now, you keeping up with me so far?

N: I... I... guess so...

A: Having regained consciousness, you help me into the hospital. The sweat and grime from the trail having left me looking like a wild woman... security at the hospital, thinking they were under attack from a two-headed feral she-beast, drew their weapons... a tense three-hour standoff ensued, during which you.... you...

N: Helped you focus on you breathing?

A: Fainted.

N: But...

A: And I was able to convince the forces that I was indeed a pregnant, human female...

N: You did?

A: You lay helpless on the floor...

N: I wouldn't do that...

A: We had to get to the maternity ward... the elevator was broken... I scampered up four stories...

N: We're on the sixth story, dear.

A: Five stories, better, up the stairs, ahead of the security guards, to my room where my... my... Holistic Birth Interpreter was reworking the room's chi to prepare for the wonder within...

N: It was Doctor Lepin and two nurses.

A: Having established the proper mood, the birth meditation procedure begins...

N: For how long?

A: What did I say? Eighteen? No... I said sixteen...

N: Oh no you don't! It was definitely eighteen! I remember that part quite clearly!

A: (small smile to herself) Of course, it was eighteen hours... just being modest... now, candles lit, fountains on, Zen stones laid just so on the window sill, mirrors in place... meditating for ... uhhh... five hours of incredibly, insufferably painful labor... grueling labor...

N: Okay... but it...

A: But... and you must remember this part, Norton... if you forget it, you will find yourself in a free-fall, my love, a long, long, free fall.... Remember this, Norton! NO DRUGS!

N: No drugs?

A: No drugs!

N: They had you pumped pretty...

A: (grabbing him violently) NO DRUGS! NORTON! (methodically) I, took, no, drugs!

N: I... guess.. if...

A: The regular doctors tried to interrupt my gut-wrenchingly, painfully wonderful, personal birth journey with their crude, cruel Western "medicine", but I refused... I held on, Norton!! I rode that pain! I transcended the rending of my insides by a baby that we soon discovered - but, alas, too late - was breech! And weighed ELEVEN-AND-A-HALF POUNDS!!

N: (has been caught up in the story, somewhat, long pause as he unwraps it in his head) What?

A: Yes, she tore me from asshole to naval, but I took it, Norton... I took it all! No drugs!

N: Dear, she... ummm... she's... she... doesn't weigh that much...

A: (starts low, ends passage screaming) I want to tell you something, Norton... I'm that little girl's mother... if I say she weighs eleven-and-a-half pounds, then she weighs eleven-and-a-half pounds... I didn't endure eighteen hours of labor, dragging your body through a forest fire for fourteen miles, and ejecting a flesh bowling ball from my womb without the use of any drugs to have you question the truth and the social necessity of my story! Do you understand, Norton!!?

N: Well...

A: Do you!!?

N: I don't remember the forest fire...

A: (grabbing him by the hair, screaming again) DO YOU!!!??

N: Yes... yes, yes dear... I understand.

A: Damn right, you do... now, you get out there, and you figure out a way to add four pounds to that child before my mother gets here, or I'll have to get angry.

(Norton scampers out of the room, Angela pounds on the nurse's call button until there is an unintelligble metallic squawk of a reply on the other end)

A: (lights start fading) Can I get some more narcotics in here? (unintelligble squawk again, then, to herself) My throat is killing me...

(lights fade out)