Written by Joe Janes
275 of 365
Officer Noble, 30s
(Officer Noble walks out stage left.)
Some neighborhoods in Chicago are tired of gangs of youths taking over their communities. With the encouragement of local police and aldermen, good citizens are taking to the streets in a program called Positive Loitering. By standing their ground on street corners once occupied by drug dealers, prostitutes and hooligans, they are sending a message. They are taking back their neighborhood.
(Lights up on five people standing around on a street corner.)
This is great.
I saw some punks walking down the street and when they saw us, they turned the other way.
I want to make sure this neighborhood is safe for my children.
Where are your children?
At home, I guess.
(Nods and a long pause.)
JONNA (taking out a thermos)
I brought some warm apple cider.
(They are all excited about this and gather around her.)
Positive Loitering is successful, but it must be maintained. Week Four.
(Lights up on our crew and they look very bored.)
I brought cider.
Warm apple cider?
Nope. Hard cider.
(She winks. They all gather around Jonna to get some cider.)
(They are all standing around. Looking bored. Jonna drinks straight from her thermos by herself.)
Buzz off. It’s mine.
(They all stand around, sipping from flasks, smoking cigarettes. Jonna enters with a boom box. She sets it down and presses the play button. We hear Miami Sound Machine’s “C’mon Everybody and Do The Conga.” Everyone starts to dance.)
After three months of Positive Loitering, the program is considered successful and a staple for the community.
(Lights up on Reggie, a young man, standing alone. Mark and Oswald approach.)
Back off, motherfuckers.
Who are you?
This used to be my neighborhood and you old fucks ruined it with your drinking, cigarette smoking and your loud 80s pop music. If you can call that music.
(Jonna, Lizzie and Nancy enter.)
Who’s this little pipsqueak?
He thinks this is his neighborhood.
(The commence to posturing and coming close to starting a fight when Bubba bursts out of his storefront with a gun.)
Hey, you grown-ups! Get away from my store. You’re scaring away customers! Get! Before I call the police!
(The grown-ups sulk away.)
Thanks, old man.
This place used to be a good neighborhood till they started hanging out. Don’t you people have widescreen TVs or meetings to go to!?! You look like a good kid. Why don’t you come into my store and try to shoplift something?
(They walk into his store. The OFFICER NOBLE comes back out. He’s about to say something, but stops himself. He takes out a flask and drinks from it as he walks off. Lights fade.)