October 6, 2006

A Play A Day #176



Setting: Where else? A bare stage.

Dad: But the truth of the matter, son, is that we never can understand why people do these insane things. You know, perfectly normal people. Friends, neighbors, humanitarians, political leaders, priests, coaches, teachers, candlestick makers and the list goes on and on. People with children. Good children; not those scumbag children that you might know in school, but the good ones, son. Do you know what I mean, son?

Son: (eager to please, a really loyal, upbeat kid, maybe 15 or 16 years old) I think I do, dad.

Dad: Good, good. I'd hate to think you were one of those stupid children I hear so much about. The ones whose test scores are bringing down the averages.

Son: No, dad, my scores are way above average!

Dad: Excellent! That's all any dad can ask for, son. I'm nearly proud of you.

Son: Thanks, dad!

Dad: Of course, son. I want you to grow up with a good feeling about yourself. They say that a positive self-image can greatly increase your chances of success in this life and the next. I hope you have that kind of positive feeling about yourself, son. I hope you're not one of those mopey whiners that I read about in the newspapers, black dye, black clothes, black make-up.

Son: No, dad! I would never wear make-up, especially black make-up!

Dad: That's just great! That's all any dad can ask for, son. (pause) So you're not gay?

Son: No! No, Dad! I hate gays! Remember?

Dad: That's right, that's right, just like I taught you! Way to go! Glad you were listening to all the evidence I had against them! There's nothing more that any dad can ask for, but to hear his son say "I'm not gay!" In a loud clear voice. (long pause) So... (pause)

Son: (catching on) Ohh! I'm not gay!

Dad: And... you hate them, right?

Son: Oh yeah! I hate them gay...... people.

Dad: Well, there can be no greater assurance that a boy isn't gay than for that boy to really, really hate gays! Clearly, you are not gay, son! I'm nearly proud of you! (pause) You do really, really hate them, don't you, son?

Son: Yes, yes, I do.

Dad: (pause) Then why don't you say it?

Son: I did; I said I hate gays just a moment ago.

Dad: But you didn't say that you really, really hate gays; did you, son?

Son: Well, no, I guess...

Dad: Is there something you're hiding from your old man, son?

Son: No, I...

Dad: 'Cause you can tell me anything, you know that, don't you, son? You wouldn't hide the fact that you don't really, really hate gays from me would you, son?

Son: Uhhh... no... I mean, yes... wait...

Dad: Son? What are you trying to say, son?

Son: I... I don't know, dad!

Dad: Would you or would you not hide the fact that you don't really, really hate gays from me, son?!

Son: I would not, dad!

Dad: (long pause) So then it's true, son?

Son: Ehhhh... what?

Dad: You don't really, really hate gays.

Son: No, I do!

Dad: Then why don't you say so?

Son: I just did!

Dad: No, son, sadly you were only able to muster a weak "I hate gays", not a more-convincing "I really, really hate gays", which, if you truly really, really hated gays, you should be able to say with conviction and the courage that comes from knowing that you really, really hate gays!

Son: I really, really, really hate gays!

Dad: Whoa there, son; no point in being too strenuous about it. People might suspect that you're protesting a bit too much, and then they start talking. No, I've found that it's best to hate gays a lot, in the natural way that all men must hate gays, but not too much so as to stand out in the crowd. There really is a danger in saying "We're here, we hate queers" too loudly.

Son: Got it, dad.

Dad: Good for you, son. That's really all that a dad can ask for in a son, that he understand the necessity of really, really hating gays.

Son: I do, dad; I really, really do.

Dad: I'm so nearly proud of you, son! (pause) Your coach called today.

Son: (very nervous, quiet) Oh. Did he?

Dad: Yes. He did. Is there something you want to tell me, son?

Son: No... not really, dad.

Dad: Well, let me help you out by telling you a little story. It's about a kid about your age, with an exact copy of half of your DNA, he lead his football team to championship after championship... game... never won the big one, we called him 4th-and-goal-fumble. I always dreamed I'd have a son who would be that quarterback, the one who finally won the championship.

Son: I'm only a sophomore, dad. I'll be able to play some this year, and start varsity next season! I will, dad; I will! I won't let you down!

Dad: I appreciate that, son; I do. It's all any dad can ask of their son. But, in your case, it turns out I'll never get that chance.

Son: No, dad! I'll do it! I will! I will!

Dad: So, Coach Tompkins called today. Pretty upset. The man even cried on the phone.

Son: I wasn't that bad, dad. I don't know why...

Dad: We teased him, but he was a great quaterback. We were best friends, captains of the team for two years. I was his wing man. We did everything together, everything.

Son: I know that, dad.

Dad: Your mother felt it necessary at this point in her life to call Coach Tompkins last night. Turns out the Coach and I really did do everything together.

Son: What do you mean, dad?

Dad: Well... you are pretty stupid, aren't you, son?

Son: No, I just...

Dad: Your mother and I have already resolved the issue, son. And we both agreed that we didn't want to see you go through this kind of pain.

Son: What did Coach Tompkins say, dad?

Dad: It's not important?

Son: Well, would mom tell me?

Dad: (hearty laugh) Well, she would if she could, son.

Son: What's wrong with her, dad?

Dad: Nothing.... anymore, son.

Son: Dad? Why are we on the roof?

Dad: Because, son, because I'm so very nearly proud of you.

(Dad stands up, Son follows suit, Dad puts his arm around Son's shoulders and leads him to the extreme front lip of the stage)

Son: I know; you've said that before, dad.

Dad: But, it was fourth down and goal, and you fumbled, kid. You fumbled.

(lights out immediately)



Brendon Etter said...

Dark? Comedy? The gay thing is just a diversion. A misdirection play, if you will. Very dark? Comedy? Let me know... Is anyone out there?


ShOI said...

Does he kill Coach Tompkins next?