December 17, 2006

A Play A Day #248

Beers, Steers, And...


Setting: Campsite, sitting at a picnic table, drinking beer

Chad: Another one?

Jimmy: Yeah, hit me up.

C: Drake?

Drake: Not done with this one, but no harm in being prepared.

(Chad leaves to get three more beers)

J: This is your first time out here?

D: Yep.

J: That's what Chad was saying.

D: Yeah, it's nice.

J: It's a weird sort of place, there's the woods and the lake, but then there are all these beef farms sort of surrounding the place.

D: But that might be why not a lot of people come here... the farming?

J: Yeah, that's why Chad likes it... told me he's never been in the campsite and had to deal with anyone else.

D: You and Chad have been friends for a while now?

J: 'Bout twenty years, there abouts.

D: Wow... twenty years.

J: Yeah, we meet in high school, we shared a love of fishing and 1980s glam pop bands.

D: Fishing and glam pop? That's an interesting combo.

J: We we're sort of half nature boys and half wanna-be new romantics.

D: Yeah, that doesn't happen that often in nature.

J: Early MTV days, had a powerful influence on our music preferences... turned us from the classic rock radio stations to that sleek pop world.

D: Video really did kill the radio star.

J: More of an assassination, no charges were ever brought. I think, growing up around here, we were glad to hear something other than Zep, the Who and Queen. We wanted that sleek cosmoplitan lifestyle.

D: I can see that.

J: Still like those bands, of course, but we got into Simple Minds, Human League, 'Til Tuesday, Duran Duran, Berlin, and eventually, of course, Depeche Mode.

D: Ewww.

J: Yeah, once we hit Depeche Mode, we realized that we probably had to pull back, I mean, we loved the synth pop and the elaborately feathered hair, but Depeche Mode simultaneously enthralled and repulsed us.

D: Yeah, like what-had-you-become thinking?

J: We realized that we needed some more nature to spelunk us free of the oncoming cave of goth; so we headed back to fishing. We had to rebalance the scales.

D: Good plan.

J: You ain't kidding: the first day we came out here to fish, I opened my tackle box and found a can of Final Net and black nail polish.

D: Yeah, sounds like you made it out just in time.

J: It was... creepy.

D: I mean, Jesus, you guys would probably be enjoying Evanescence right now.

J: A little fishing saved us all those other peoples's pain.

(loud scream from offstage, getting closer, closer, Chad stumbles back on, tripping and terrified, he is blathering, in a different world, Jimmy and Drake help him to the picnic table while talking)

J: Chad! Chad... what the hell... what's going on?

D: Is he injured?

J: No, no... let's just get him sitting down...

(Chad sits, he's still breathing heavily and rapidly, panicked)

D: Chad, Chad, Chad, Chad? What's going on?

J: Something out there, man?

C: (trying to calm down, not succeeding at it) A lot of them, on the road...

J: Yeah, what?

C: I was getting the beer from the cooler, in the truck cab, and I looked up... I looked... I looked up... I...

D: Relax... relax... bigfoot or something?

C: No... worse! They were all over the place. I shut the doors, looked 'em and laid down... they kept coming... and they were... uhh... it was awful... they were actually... lowing!!

J: Shit... I knew this would happen one of these times.

D: What?

J: Cattle.

(Chad freaks)

J: Whoa whoa... you're alright... it's okay, man, it's gonna be just fine.

D: (quietly to Jimmy) Cattle?

J: Yeah, especially male cattle... bulls, steers...

D: Steers?

C: Stop saying that word!

J: Sorry, man... Drake's just trying to figure it all out.

C: Fine, alright, I'm terrified of steers. Okay!? Fine, yes, I know I fish out here where there are beef farms, but they are always penned or in the fields. These cattle, they broke free and they came after me!

J: Chad, no, they didn't come after you man... they just wanted to walk down the road, that's all...

D: Yeah, like a hole in the fence, just wandered through, cows do that.

C: Yeah?! That's what you guys think! I was lying there, I look up, one steer's got its nose right on the driver's side window, slobbering, licking, let out this huge mooo, sounded like he was saying (in cow mooing voice) "Fuuuuck Yooooouuu", it was horrible. Then one of them, maybe the same cow, starts to try to pick the lock with his horn, I knew I had to get out or become just another victim...

D: I don't think that cows...

J: (shushing Drake emphatically, pulls Drake aside) Dude, ixnay on the ictimvay. Okay...

D: But cows...

J: Listen I know that, you know that, but Chad's... diffferent.

D: But how...

J: Chad's dad left when he was six... his mom told him that he was carried off by steers when his truck ran out of gas on a country road. She couldn't tell little Chad the real reason.

D: (beat) What was the real reason?

J: No idea. She never told anyone.

D: So Chad thinks...?

J: Sadly, yes. He does.

(They turn back to Chad, who quivers at the table)

D: Chad, I'm really sorry... I wasn't trying to say you were a wuss or anything. I know that cattle can...

C: Go ahead and say it! I'm sure Jimmy's told you all about me! Well listen, it's not true!

J: Chad, don't worry...

C: You just have to blab all over the place, don't you Jimmy?! Can't just let it rest!?

J: Chad...

C: Fine! Fine! I'll tell you what it is, Drake! I'll tell you (starts crying) I love Spandau Ballet, always have, always will! Yes, I used a lot of mousse in my hair for many years, but I'm over that now, and contrary to Jimmy's lies, I AM NOT GAY!

J: Chad...

C: Go ahead ask him! (pointing at Jimmy) He's the the one who loaned me "True" in the first place! HA! Who's gay now, Jimmy!

J: Chad. I told Drake that we both liked synth pop, that's all.

D: I have an autographed poster of a-ha somewhere in my attic. It's okay. I understand.

C: But, I'm not gay.

D: Hey, I'm not either, don't worry.

J: Chad, I didn't say enything that wasn't true.

C: I mean I like fishing.

D: Chad, it's alright.

C: I'm sorry, I'm sorry... The cattle... picking the lock... my dad... (crying more)

J: Hey now... (sits and put arm around him) It's all good, Chad... I know it's scary... I know, man...

C: They never found him, Jimmy... they never found him... the cattle came and... (anguished bellow)

J: That's it, that's it... what would Rolan and Curt say, man?

C: Ahhh....

J: C'mon... what would Roland and Curt say, man? Out with it!

C: (quietly) Shout.

J: That's it, louder! Louder! Sing it!

C: You start, please?

J: Alright, Drake join in... (singing loudly with no sense of irony) Shout! Shout!

(Drake starts tentatively, then Chad, until they are all belting it out very loudly, very defiantly, as the lights fade)

J, D, C: Let it all out! These are the things I can do without! Come on! I'm talking to you! Come on! Shout! Shout! (fade with lights)


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