Saturday, February 28, 2009

Week Six, Day Forty-One - “This Is My Art”

“This Is My Art”
Written by Joe Janes
2/28/09
41 of 365

CAST
Yahnkin, 50s, Australian

(We hear slow building light classical music, sort of like the theme from 2001, but, please God, not that! As the music builds, light comes up center stage revealing Yahnkin. He is playing the music on a keyboard with his right hand. He wears a hands free microphone on his head. He is naked except for a pair of tight black spandex shorts and a cape. His left arm is shrouded under the cape. When the music reaches its peak it stops cold and he dramatically raises his left arm revealing a fish fin.)

YAHNKIN
The evolution of man – and woo-man. When man first crawled from the ocean he did so on all four fins. The further he moved from the surf, the more his fins became obsolete. They fell from his – and her – body and were replaced by fleshy hands and feet. Feet, which are just long hands with nubby fingers. But was evolution the right choice? If man – and woo-man – had to do it all over again, would they make the same choice? I am Yahnkin. I am an artist. I call this performance piece “First Hand.” Last year in Helsinki, a top team of well-paid surgeons removed my left arm and replaced it with the ventral fin of a whale. It cost millions of dollars. The expense was underwritten by three major universities, one not as major university and Pepsi. I did this so I could experience, first hand, what it was like for our ancestors when they were finned.

(Yahnkin steps over to a small table with various props on it.)

What was it like for the first man – or woo-man – to drink for refreshment?

(He tries to grab a can of Pepsi with his fin. He is unable to and ends up knocking the can on the ground. He mewls like an animal in frustration.)

What was it like to groom one’s self?

(He reaches for a hairbrush and tries to pick it up. He is unable to. He tries to comb his hair with his fin and cries while doing so.)

My biggest question was how did man – or woo-man – move beyond the daily needs of function and learn to express love through touch.

(He approaches a woman in the audience.)

Please stand. (Whether she stands or not, he sincerely says…) Thank you. What was it like for a finned being to caress the cheek of a lover? (He does so while sighing.) …What was it like to playfully tickle? (He does so while saying “Goochie-coo.”)... What was it like to strike another in a fit of rage (He rears his fin over his head as if about to hit her. He regains control and calms himself down.) I promised the doctors that I would never use my fin in anger.

(He walks back to his original position at the keyboard and strikes a sustaining note.)

We lost our fins to evolution. We should reclaim them. Reclaim them in the name of revolution! I am Yahnkin.

(He takes a deep bow, regardless of the response. He then looks at the watch on his human arm.)

I still have another 45 minutes left in my performance. I will spend the rest of the time standing here and you may come up and touch my fin.

(He stands and waits in silence. If someone does, great. If no one does, even better. After a long, painful lull...)

I will now retire to my dressing room, which is the men’s bathroom on the third floor. Please knock before entering if you need to use it. I am Yahnkin!

(He exits with a flourish. Lights out.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Week Six, Day Forty - "The Wretched Refuse"

“The Wretched Refuse ”
Written by Joe Janes
2/27/09
40 out of 365

Cast:
Cheryl, mid-20s
Gabe, mid-20s
Phil the Friendly Tour Guide, 20s
Souvenir Lady, 70s
A small gaggle of tourists

(Cheryl is standing next to Gabe downstage of a small group of tourists at the base of the Statue of Liberty.)

PHIL
The Statue of Liberty, or, as the French say, Statue de la Libert√©, was presented to the United States by the people of France in 1886. It commemorates the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was given to the United States to represent the friendship established during the American Revolution…

GABE
This is pretty cool. I’m usually not into touristy things.

CHERYL
What would you be doing if I weren’t here?

GABE
Hell, I probably wouldn’t even be here. I’d spend my vacation in Ohio just getting stuff done around the apartment, you know. Last time I went on a vacation vacation was in high school with my family. This is my first grown-up vacation.

CHERYL
Pretty exciting.

GABE
And I get to go to New York City, of all places, with my gal. This was a great idea, Cheryl.

CHERYL
Yep. Pretty great. Look, Gabe, I think we should break up.

GABE
What? This is – what? Are you serious?

PHIL
…Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbor, it is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' wish to be free from oppression and tyranny…

CHERYL
Yeah. I don’t think this is working out. I’m feeling too tied down. I was going to tell you before we left, and then on the plane, and then this morning at Starbucks, I just can’t wait any longer.

GABE
This is really out of the blue.

CHERYL
Really? Really, Gabe? You should have seen this coming. We barely have anything in common. You like to get up early and I like to sleep in. I hate cats.

GABE
I don’t have a cat.

CHERYL
But you like them.

GABE
It’s more like I don’t dislike them.

CHERYL
And you’re just way too sensitive. It’s hard to talk to you. I had to find the right time to tell you.

GABE
This is the right time to tell me? In another state? At the base of a national landmark? In front of a group of strangers?

CHERYL
I didn’t think you’d make a scene this way.

GABE
But – we still have another week here. Our plane doesn’t leave for seven more days.

PHIL
…The seven spikes on the crown epitomize the Seven Seas and seven continents. Her torch signifies enlightenment. The tablet in her hand represents knowledge and shows the date of the United States Declaration of Independence, in roman numerals, July IV, MDCCLXXVI…

CHERYL
Yeah. I figure you’d just go do your thing and I’d go do mine.

GABE
For the whole week?

CHERYL
Kind of awkward hanging out after we just broke up.

GABE
It’s done already? You just mentioned it and now it’s a done deal?

PHIL (from where he’s standing)
Well, yeah. Whenever someone says, “we should break up” it means, “I already broke up with you and this is me telling you. I actually broke up with you weeks ago.” Am I right? (Various nods and verbal agreements from group)

GABE
Oh, my God!

(Phil comes over)

PHIL
Is there a problem over here?

GABE
Yes, there is, officer. Arrest this woman.

PHIL
I’m just a tour guide.

GABE
She just broke up with me.

PHIL
Can’t really do anything about that, Big Fella. You’re disturbing the flow of my tour. Maybe you can settle your dispute off the island.

CHERYL
I’m sorry –

GABE
She just broke up with me.

PHIL
You’ve made that painfully clear. Maybe you can just be friends, like France and America.

GABE
What do we do about the hotel room? I can’t afford to get another room.

CHERYL
Me, neither. It’s okay with me if we sleep in the same bed. Just don’t touch me.

GABE
I was going to say the same thing to you.

CHERYL
You didn’t have to.

PHIL (to Cheryl)
You can stay with me.

CHERYL
I can?

PHIL
Sure. It’s a tiny studio, but I have a futon that folds down.

CHERYL
Okay.

GABE
You can’t do that, Cheryl. You don’t know this guy.

CHERYL
I know how to take care of myself, Gabe.

GABE
He’s a stranger (whispers)…in New York.

PHIL
I’m Phil, the tour guide.

CHERYL
He’s Phil the tour guide. (To Gabe) Where have you been?

GABE
This is crazy. My first vacation vacation and my girlfriend breaks up with me on the first day and spends the rest of the week with a stranger.

CHERYL
This is why we broke up, Gabe. You make too big a deal out of everything I do. It’s oppressive. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to finish the tour. You can go do whatever you want. You’re free.

PHIL (taking her arm)
Right this way. …It was agreed that in a joint effort, the American people were to build the base, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly in the United States. Benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prizefights assisted in providing needed funds…

(Phil leads the group off. Gabe is left alone. Souvenir Lady walks up selling trinkets.)

SOUVENIR LADY (she has old lady smoker’s voice)
Miniature Statue of Liberty? Ten bucks.

GABE
Will you sleep with me?

SOUVENIR LADY
Will you buy a souvenir?

GABE
Sure.

SOUVENIR LADY
Okay, then.

GABE
Take that, Cheryl.

(Souvenir Lady holds out hand for the money. Gabe reaches into his wallet. Lights fade.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week Six, Day Thirty-Nine - "The Third One"

“The Third One”
Written by Joe Janes
2/26/09
39 out of 365

CAST:
Archie
Sidney

(Archie and Sidney are playing rock, paper, scissors.)

ARCHIE & SIDNEY
One-Two-Three!

ARCHIE
Paper covers rock.

ARCHIE & SIDNEY
One-Two-Three!

ARCHIE
Rock breaks scissors.

ARCHIE & SIDNEY
One-Two-Three!

(Archie plays “rock.” Sidney has made a gun with his or her hand. Archie looks puzzled. He “shoots” and we hear a gunshot sound. Archie falls to the ground.)

SIDNEY
Gun shoots rock.

(Sidney blows off the tip of his/her gun. Lights out.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Week Six, Day Thirty-Eight - "That's Just Jay"

“That’s Just Jay”
Written by Joe Janes

CAST:
Amelia, 30s
Jay, 30s
Dick, 30s
Blaine, 30s
Roger, 50s

(Lights up on Dick walking up to Blaine sitting at his desk.)

DICK
So, you’ve met everyone, right, Blaine?

BLAINE
Yeah, Dick. Everyone except Jay. Everybody talks about him. Sounds like quite a character.

DICK
Boy is he ever. That guy gets away with murder. We all love him though, that’s just Jay!

(Jay enters.)

JAY
My ears are burning!

DICK
Jay!

JAY
Somebody must have been talking about me! Was it you, Dick Smoker? (Dick laughs) Was it you, New Guy?

BLAINE
We were just-

JAY
You know you sure do have a pretty mouth. (Dick laughs.)

BLAINE
Well, uh –

JAY
Squeal like a piggy for me! (Dick is doubled up in laughter, now)

BLAINE
My…pig…sounds…aren’t…good…

(Jay and Dick both crack up now.)


JAY
Did you hear him, Dick Smoker! New Guy’s golden! (Rubs Blaine’s head) Golden!

(Roger enters.)

ROGER
I hear laughter. Jay must have escaped his cubicle.

JAY
Hey, Boss Man! How’s it hanging, asshole? Still driving this company like a senior citizen into a crowded sidewalk?

(Dick and Roger crack up as Jay takes fake jabs at Roger’s stomach.)

BLAINE
You call the boss “asshole”?

ROGER (laughing)
That’s just Jay, Blaine. Oh, my. Oh, my sides…

(Amelia enters.)

JAY
Wowsy-wowsy-wowser! Amelia! Who needs little blue pills when those boobies of yours can cause instant boners? Ba-boom! That tight little blouse makes your rack look like Iraq!

(Amelia, Jay and Dick all laugh.)

BLAINE
That didn’t even make sense.

JAY
Hey, Amelia, have you met New Guy?

AMELIA
I have. Hi, Blaine.

BLAINE
That blouse looks nice on you, Amelia.

(Dead silence.)

AMELIA
Creep.

(She exits.)

JAY
Sure do have a way with the ladies, New Guy.

(He exits.)

BLAINE
But, he –

ROGER
I’m afraid I’ll have to write you up.

(Roger exits, shaking his head disapprovingly.)

DICK
You disgust me.

(He exits. Blackout.)

Week Six, Day Thirty-Seven - "The C-E-Yo's (a rap song)"

(This is Tuesday's piece. I posted it after midnight.)

The C-E-Yo’s (a rap song)

Written by Joe Janes
2/24/09
37 of 365

CAST:
Holmes, 50s
Yo-Yo, 50s
Senator, 60s

(Lights up on two businessmen begging for money on a street corner. At their feet is a champagne bucket for catching change. Holmes holds a sign that says “Need Money for Gas for Jet.” Yo-Yo holds a sign that says “Will Relinquish Bonuses For Expense Acc’t.”)

HOLMES
Man, Yo-Yo, ain’t nobody giving it up today.

YO-YO
Never thought I’d be out on the street like this, Holmes, begging for change (kicks bucket).

HOLMES
Man, it’s hard out here for a CEO.

YO-YO
People just don’t appreciate.

HOLMES
Just yesterday, we were CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations.

YO-YO
You know what we are today?

HOLMES & YO-YO
We be the C-E-Yo’s!

(A fresh rap beat kicks in)

HOLMES
This economy is driving me crazy.

YO-YO
It means I have to work and I’m so lazy.

HOLMES
I’m making changes all over my damn life.

YO-YO
Staying married, can’t pay to divorce my wife.

HOLMES
My mistress expects diamonds or thinks I’m a bum.
Try to fool her with cubic zirconium.

YO-YO
Guess I’ll sell my private jet and fly first class.

HOLMES
I’ll fire my valet; have my wife dress my ass.

YO-YO
Send for my tailor, have him tighten my belt.

HOLMES
Never thought my golden parachute might melt.

CHORUS
We’re the C-E-Yo’s (yo)
Hard times are all about
We’re the C-E-Yo’s (yo)
You’ve got to bail us out!

YO-YO
Big parties with ice sculptures won’t be the same.

HOLMES
Less coke and hookers, Obama is to blame.

YO-YO
C’mon bail us out

HOLMES
Empty all your pockets (Can’t you see I’m crying)

YO-YO
C’mon bail us out

HOLMES
Sell some ammo and rockets (Iraq is buying)

YO-YO
I live in a mansion behind gated walls.
I need bucks or live in a box by the falls.

HOLMES (speaking)
Yo-Yo, it’s that bad?

YO-YO (speaking)
No, Holmes, that was for dramatic effect.
(Back to rapping)
Give me more moo-la or I’ll let some peeps go.

HOLMES
Kick his gardener on the street.

YO-YO
Hoeing with ho’s!

(They laugh and high five each other. A U.S. senator walks by and the rap goes on hold.)

YO-YO
Senator! Senator! C’mon, help us out.

HOLMES
Can’t you see we’ve fallen on tough times?

YO-YO
Tough times that aren’t our fault.

(The senator looks at them disapprovingly. They give him big puppy dog eyes. The senator sighs, pulls out his wallet, and drops a bill into the champagne bucket. He walks off. Holmes and Yo-Yo dive for the bill and bring it up together.)

HOLMES
A lousy billion-dollar bill! Cheapskate!

YO-YO
What are we supposed to do with a measly billion? Buy Starbucks?


(The rap kicks back in for a big finish.)

CHORUS
We’re the C-E-Yo’s (yo)
Hard times are all about
We’re the C-E-Yo’s (yo)
You’ve got to bail us out!


(They pose at the finish of the song. Blackout.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week Six, Day Thirty-Six - "Zombie Space Aliens"

“Zombie Space Aliens”
Written by Joe Janes
2/23/09
36 of 365

CAST:
Sergei, 30s
Glenn, 20s
Topol, 50s
Midge, 50s

(Lights up on the International Space Station. Glenn and Sergei are “floating” downstage working on some control panels. In the background, Midge and Topol work on a hydroponics project.)

SERGEI
Glenn. Nice to have a new face on the space station.

GLENN
Thanks, Sergei. It’s a dream come true for me. I don’t care how many books you read or how many TV shows or movies you see, nothing captures the experience of actually being blasted into space and then, well, being here. The beauty out there. So, clear and it goes on forever. It’s awe-inspiring.

SERGEI
Yeah, that gets old fast. So, what did you bring?

GLENN
What did I bring? The usual stuff, I guess.

SERGEI
No bullshitting. We’re up here together for a year. If you brought something you weren’t supposed to, tell me. Or I’ll find out later when I go through your things.

GLENN
Hey, what are you saying? You’re not allowed to go through my personal things.

SERGEI
There are a lot of things I’m not allowed to do. Doesn’t stop me from doing them. There are only four of us up here. You want to call mission control and have them send your mommy to come pick you up?

GLENN
I’m just saying that in the interest of peaceful international relations, we’re not getting off to a good start.

SERGEI
Okay, Glenn. But if you’re really interested in peaceful relations, you’ll tell me what you brought.

GLENN
I told you what I brought.

SERGEI
Glenn, it’s okay. Everybody brings something they’re not supposed to. Everybody.

GLENN
Everybody?

SERGEI
Topol, back there. Brought a stack of pornography magazines. Didn’t you, Topol?

(Topol waves)

SERGEI (continuing)
God bless him.

GLENN
Does he share?

SERGEI
Unfortunately, yes. He’s in to fatties with bad skin and hair. But, you know…in a pinch…

GLENN
Did Midge bring porn?

SERGEI
Midge brought pot.

GLENN
She brought marijuana.

SERGEI
Seeds, too. Check out hydroponics specimen 420.

GLENN
This is sensitive equipment. You can’t smoke in here.

SERGEI
We don’t. We step outside. Remember that astronaut that lost a tool bag on a space walk?

GLENN
Yeah.

(Sergei mimes hitting on a joint.)

GLENN
But, you’d have to smoke inside your space suit helmet.

SERGEI
Best high in your life.

GLENN
What did you bring, Sergei? Vodka?

SERGEI (angry)
That’s a pretty racist comment, American… Just kidding! You want some?

(He sips on a straw coming out of the shoulder of his work suit.)

GLENN
Sure, why not. (He takes a small sip.) Wow –

SERGEI
Makes the paste-food we eat a lot more palatable.

GLENN
You guys sure know how to party. Sorry I was so cagey about “bringing stuff.” When you said, “everybody does it” I didn’t think you meant everybody.

SERGEI
I knew you brought something.

GLENN
I did. A gun.

(He pulls a small handgun out of his pocket)

SERGEI
A gun?

MIDGE
He has a gun!!!

TOPOL
Everybody get down!

(The three continue hovering and cover their heads with their arms.)

GLENN
No, no, no, no. It’s okay. I have the safety on.

SERGEI
A gun! You bring a fucking gun onto a space station?

MIDGE
What the hell were you thinking, Glenn?

GLENN
Hey, you brought pot.

TOPOL
If you can’t smoke it, eat it or tug to it, it’s worthless.

SERGEI
And dangerous. You accidentally shoot through the hull and we’ll all get sucked out of a hole the size of my belly button. And my belly button is petite.

GLENN
I thought it might come in handy.

MIDGE
Handy how?

TOPOL
Does my pornography threaten you?

GLENN
A little. But I would never use my gun for that. Look, it’s space. The final frontier. We don’t know what’s out here. We’re just sitting ducks waiting for some zombie space aliens to come along and eat our brains.

SERGEI
Zombie space aliens. You’ve seen too many movies.

MIDGE
Bad movies.

TOPOL
Good thing you’re here to protect us. I don’t want a zombie space alien eating my porn.

MIDGE
I think one already ate Glenn’s brain.

GLENN
All right. All right. It was dumb. You’ll never see this thing, again. (He puts it in his pocket.) Sorry I didn’t bring any good contraband to share.

(He goes back to work. The others do not.)

SERGEI
It’s okay, American. We’re glad you are here.

GLENN
Thanks. Why are you all staring at me?

(They all three grab him and start eating him. Lights fade.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week Five, Day Thirty-Five - "LOUD SUNSHINE"

“LOUD SUNSHINE”
Written by Joe Janes
2/22/09
35 of 365

CAST:
Old Man
Young Man
Beautiful Woman
Old-Timey Swimmer

(Lights up on a lone man sitting on a chair center stage. He is an older man, slightly unkempt. He wears dark glasses. Stage right, there are two more chairs. Stage left is a single chair. A very well dressed young man enters SR with a briefcase. Soft violin music begins to play offstage. He sits and sets the case next to him. He opens it. Inside the case is standard fare for a packed lunch and a small thermos of milk. It is lunchtime. The young man opens a bag of chips. He then unwraps a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He opens the sandwich and carefully places chips on it. He smashes the sandwich and begins to nibble on it.)


OLD MAN
How many minutes in yellow?

OLD MAN
How many minutes in yellow?

YOUNG MAN
I don’t understand what you’re asking.

OLD MAN
I was told the sun is yellow.

YOUNG MAN
I guess. You could say it’s orange, too.

OLD MAN
In that case, how many oranges does it take to make yellow?

YOUNG MAN
Well, if you’re talking about the sun, the sun is huge. It would take at least 48 oranges.

OLD MAN
And how many carrots?

YOUNG MAN
Add five.

OLD MAN
I smelled green, today.

YOUNG MAN
What does green smell like?

OLD MAN
Like grass. I heard someone mowing a lawn and I smelled green.

YOUNG MAN
Green can also smell like limes.

OLD MAN
I can feel green, too.

(The young man opens his thermos and pours small curd cottage cheese into the cup.)

YOUNG MAN
Me, too.

(A beautiful woman enters and sits down SL. She is dressed as though she’s about to go to a fancy charity ball. She wears an iPod. She begins to knit. Her yarn is blood red. Both the old man and the young man turn and look at her and then return to looking out.)

OLD MAN
How long is black?

YOUNG MAN
Black as night? About ten hours.

OLD MAN
I mean height.

YOUNG MAN
Oh, very tall. About 5’ 8”.

(The young man begins to eat a very large dill pickle. Unsliced. A man dressed in 1920’s swimwear with a bathing cap, goggles and the number 44 painted on his back enters and walks into the house. He slowly swims laps through the rows of the audience.)

OLD MAN
What about the color purple?

YOUNG MAN (snootily)
What about it?

OLD MAN
I have no idea what it is. Is it like jazz?

YOUNG MAN
No. It’s certainly not jazz.

OLD MAN
Is it fuzzy?

YOUNG MAN
No.

OLD MAN
Is it like dew on bare feet?

YOUNG MAN
Positively no.

OLD MAN
Then what is it?

YOUNG MAN
I’m not sure what it is. Only what it isn’t. I’m quite certain it’s not wet fuzzy jazz on bare feet.

OLD MAN
What kind of sound does purple make?

(The young man makes three urgent bleating sounds. The beautiful woman sets down her knitting. Takes off her iPod. Looks at the two men. They look at her. Disgusted, she leaves. The young man has finished his lunch. He closes his briefcase and stands. He looks at the sun.)

YOUNG MAN
It’s more golden than orange or yellow.

OLD MAN
What color is golden?

YOUNG MAN
Yellow.

(He exits. The Old Man rises. As he exits, he sneezes, blows his nose, and looks at his handkerchief.)

OLD MAN
Golden.

(He exits. The swimmer makes gurgling sounds and drowns. Blackout.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Week Five, Day Thirty-Four - "Once Upon A Time in the Church Basement "

“Once Upon A Time in the Church Basement”
Written by Joe Janes
2/21/09
34 of 365

CAST:
Edna, 70s
Doris, 70s
Mart, 70s

(Lights up on a prim and proper Edna counting money from a cash box. Her hair is held up with chopsticks. Doris is packing boxes while Mart is folding chairs and stacking them. Mart is keeping an eye on Edna.)

DORIS
I am so glad that my handmade knitted wool potholders were the first thing to sell at this year’s rummage sale. The whole set. I put so much time into them.

MART
Don’t they sell every year?

DORIS
I bring them every year. This was the first year I sold any. But, who knows? Maybe it will be the start of something.

MART
You might want to try something different next year.

DORIS
If it works, don’t fix it.

MART
Wool may not be the best choice for a potholder. (Doris clearly doesn’t get it) If you had to pick up a hot pot off your stove and you happened to be out of potholders and you reached into your closet, would you grab a wool sweater or heavy cotton sweatshirt?

DORIS
I’d use my potholders. Which have pigs on them.

MART
Of course.

(Edna finishes counting and looks concerned. She quickly recounts and checks it against a clipboard.)

EDNA
Mart. Count this.

MART (taking money)
Something wrong?

EDNA
Probably just my tired eyes.

(Mart counts)

DORIS
If my potholders didn’t sell, I was going to just give them to St. Jehoshaphat’s. They’re doing their rummage sale next week. Maybe they could sell them. I’m glad I didn’t have to do that. They’re Catholic. Not that that’s a big deal, but they’re just too Catholic for me. Who goes to church on a Wednesday night? Sunday morning’s all you need.

MART
187.

DORIS
That’s good, right? Sounds better than last year.

EDNA
Should be 202. We’re fifteen dollars short.

DORIS
Oh, my heavens.

EDNA
I checked the dollars against the sales sheet. Fifteen dollars is missing.

MART (looking at clip board)
Maybe the sales sheet is wrong. Maybe something got checked off that shouldn’t have.

EDNA
I have been running the St. Bart Rummage Sale for fifteen years in a row.

DORIS
Except for that one year.

EDNA
Except for that one year.

DORIS
When you had your eyes worked on.

EDNA
They needed it. The doctor recommended it.

MART
Carrying a lot of baggage, were you?

EDNA
The point being, in all my years in charge of the rummage sale, the books have always balanced to a penny. To a penny.

MART
Well, I don’t know what to tell you. It’ll probably turn up. (She puts on her coat) I have to go home and put dinner on for Ned. If I don’t, he’ll eat all the ribbon candy and then fuss with his dentures all night.

(Edna blocks her from exiting)

EDNA
You’re not leaving. No one is leaving. Not until find the culprit.

MART
The culprit?

EDNA
Fifteen dollars doesn’t just get up on its own and do a jig out the door.

(Mart sighs.)

MART
Okay. Fifteen minutes and then I’m out of here.

DORIS
She said fifteen.

EDNA
Interesting number of minutes you happened to pick, Mart. Is that number on your mind? Are you feeling guilty about anything?

MART
Yeah, it’s on my mind because we keep talking about it and it sounded like a decent number of minutes. But if it makes you feel better, okay, 12 and a half minutes and I’m out the door. Do you want my help or not?

EDNA
Sure. Help away.

MART
Well, did you do anything different this year from all the other years?

EDNA
The only thing different this year is that Althea Kuzman got a gopher-sized goiter and passed away and you replaced her.

DORIS
Poor Althea. Poor goiter.

MART
Edna, do you really want to accuse me of stealing money? Fifteen dollars? From a church rummage sale?

EDNA
I’m just saying you are the only thing different this year. You said all the rest. Hadn’t really considered it, but now I certainly am.

DORIS
I saw you put money in your purse!

MART
You did not!

DORIS
Yes. I did. When you were talking to Rod Libben about the rooster toaster cozy, you took money from him and out it in your purse.

MART
I was making him change. The cash box was all $20s. He gave me a twenty and I gave him a ten and two fives back. If I hadn’t, we’d have lost the sale.

EDNA
Good answer, Mart. Too good. Sounds like you may have committed the perfect crime.

MART
I volunteered because you needed help, Edna. And you’re repaying me by treating me like a criminal.

EDNA
Oh, I forgot to mention one thing that is definitely different this year, There’s a new policy. To help thwart thievery. No one leaves without me checking their purse.

(Edna grabs at Mart’s purse. They have a low-key no-win tug of war.)

MART
You will do no such thing.

DORIS
Sounds like something a guilty person would say. You can check my purse, Edna.

EDNA
One purse at a time, Doris. I’m interested in finding out what Mart here has to hide.

MART
You want to check, fine.

(She lets go and Edna stumbles back a bit. She starts going through the purse.)


EDNA
Used Kleenex…Several balls of wadded up used Kleenex…several loose cough drops…A wallet!...with a twenty dollar bill in it…

MART
Satisfied?

DORIS
If I were a crook, the last place I would hide the money is in my purse. That’s the first place anyone would look.

EDNA
Sometimes, Doris, you say the most brilliant things.

DORIS
I do?

EDNA
You do. Mart…strip.

MART
I have had enough of this. (Mart grabs back the purse; Edna retains her hold on it.)

EDNA
If the money’s not in the cashbox and not in your purse, then where is it?

MART
How should I know?

DORIS
She has an accomplice.

MART
You watch way too much TV, Doris.

DORIS
I only watch Cops!

(She also grabs the purse)

EDNA
What do you mean she had an accomplice?

DORIS
Rod Libben! I saw them giving each other the googlie eyes. There was something going on there. Bet Ned would be interested to know. He’s probably down at the Piggly-Wiggly throwing that fifteen dollars around like a drunk sailor on shore leave…in a grocery store. Buying meat. Good meat. Not “on sale” meat. For shame, Mart. For shame!

MART
Let go of my purse!

DORIS
Citizen’s arrest!

(Doris jumps on Mart and all three get tangled up and end up on the floor. They all three jump back up as quickly as they can brandishing weapons. Edna holds her chopsticks like a dagger, Mart has her purse, holding the straps like she might strangle someone, and Doris makes karate chop hands and says “Hi-Ya!” She realizes her hand are ineffective against their weapons. She looks around for something else and pulls off one of her shoes and says “Hi-Ya!” As Doris holds out the shoe, fifteen dollars falls out. )

MART
The money.

EDNA
Doris, how could you?

DORIS
What? That? That’s for emergencies.

EDNA (picks it up)
Exactly fifteen dollars. For emergencies?

DORIS
Very small emergencies?

MART
You were setting me up, Doris?

DORIS
I’m sorry, Mart. I was just trying to keep the heat off of me. Go ahead. Make a citizen’s arrest. (She goes down to her knees and puts her hands behind her head.) I’ll go quietly.

EDNA (going down to Doris)
Why, Doris? Why did you do it? If you needed fifteen dollars, I would have probably given it to you.

DORIS
I just wanted to finally sell my potholders. Every year I bring them, I even make new ones, every year, they just go back home and I end up using them coasters and little towels.

EDNA
Your potholders sold this year. It’s checked off the sales sheet.

DORIS
Nobody bought them. I bought them. I checked them off. (She pulls them out of her bra). If I was just going to end up taking them home with me, at least I could do it knowing you all thought they sold. Nobody wants wool potholders with smiling pigs on them.

EDNA (looking)
Oh, those are pigs.

MART
I thought it was Charles Durning.

EDNA
But why steal the fifteen dollars?

DORIS
I was going to give them to St. Jehoshaphat’s for their rummage sale next week and if they didn’t sell, I needed the money to buy them back.

MART
Too bad for St. Jehoshaphat’s.

EDNA
You’re not going to be able to give them the potholders.

DORIS
You mean, because they’re evidence?

MART
No, because I want to buy one.

EDNA
Me, too. I think Charles Durning is sexy.

MART
I can use them to set my candy dishes on. Ned’s ribbon candy denture drool tends to leave a ring.

DORIS
You’re both very sweet.

EDNA (helping her up)
Just trying to be a Good Samaritan. I’m sorry I got rough with you, Mart.

MART
I didn’t appreciate the accusations, but you found the fifteen dollars.

DORIS
Edna always gets her man.

(Doris hands them the potholders. Edna puts the fifteen dollars back in the cash box and adds five bucks. Mart puts in her twenty and Edna hands her change.)

DORIS (continuing)
I’m sorry I caused so much trouble. Good night. And God bless you. Both of you.

(She exits. Edna and Mart put on their jackets.)

MART
You were right. Something was fishy when her potholders sold.

(Edna hands her a black ski mask. They both put masks on.)


EDNA
Let’s go teach that bitch a lesson.

(They pound their fists and exit. Blackout.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Week Five, Day Thirty-Three - "Seuss Club"

“Seuss Club”
Written by Joe Janes
2/20/09
33 of 365

CAST:
Ed Norton
Brad Pitt
Helena Bonham Carter

(Lights up on Ed Norton wearing a disheveled suit and tie. He sits in a chair center stage and has a black eye. Stage left is a flamboyantly dressed Brad Pitt and a punky looking Helena Bonham Carter making out. Ed Norton holds a handgun. On the end of the gun is a small pink puff.)

ED NORTON
The first rule of Seuss Club is - you do not talk about Whoville. The second rule of Seuss Club is - you DO NOT talk about Whoville.

(He sticks the puffy pink end of the gun in his mouth. Lights fade. If there is a video screen, the following graphic should appear, very simply, white lettering on black background, “Ed Norton Hears a Who” then underneath “coming this summer”. If there is no video screen, revealing a title card is fine. This should be silent. THERE SHOULD BE NO VOICE-OVER.)