Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 40, Day 280 - "Mr. Jones"

“Mr. Jones”

Written by Joe Janes


280 of 365


MR. JONES, 40s


(Lights up on a young woman with a big, bushy beard sitting in a chair. Next to her is an empty chair. Mr. Jones enters stage right. He is a modest, middle-aged man who carries a metal clipboard. He wears a light gray suit with a dark blue tie. He tries to speak, but the box office woman holds up her hand to silence him each time. In the distance, from off stage left, we hear a burst of applause from an audience made up of thousands of people. Mr. Jones exits and then re-enters. He looks puzzled.)


I need to see the theater. The actual space. I need- (The bearded woman gives him a devastating glare that silences him. We hear a Mexican horn and another burst of applause.) Now, see here. The capacity of this theater is, officially, at 38 people. That sounds like much more than 38 people. (Offstage, we hear a gunshot and then a moving, loving, smitten soft chorus of “awwwwww” from the audience. Mr. Jones moves towards the door. Bearded Lady blocks him as a bouncer would.)

MR. JONES (whispering)

Ah. I see. I will wait for the performance to be over. Do you have you a chair?

(She shakes her head no. She slowly sits back down being sure to take up both chairs.)


You must be a volunteer. I’m from the city. I’m here to inspect the establishment. Exactly how much longer is the show?

(The box office woman indicates she does not know.)


It’s just that, most shows have already let out. If this is longer than shows at real theaters, how much longer?

(The box office woman indicates she does not know. We hear wood creak and break as if under a great weight and then we hear an angry Hitler quacking. Mr. Jones listens, as does the box office woman, and they now hear absolutely nothing.)


I’m going to go in. If the show is still going on-

(The box office woman holds out her hand for money.)

MR. JONES (continuing)

I told you, I’m here to-

(The box office woman holds out her hand for money.)

MR. JONES (continuing)

If the show’s still going on, I’ll just look at the ceiling and wait for it to be finished.

(He exits. The box office woman begins to produce, to her surprise, an egg from her mouth. As the egg protrudes and pops out, the sound of a manual typewriter becomes louder. She removes her beard and sets the egg on the beard on the chair next to her. The typewriter dings, an elephant trumpets, a loud splash is heard, and a crowd erupts in applause. Mr. Jones re-enters.)


I just saw the most amazing thing. I just saw an elephant type a political manifesto for Equatorial Guinea on a mechanical typewriter with no less than three sets of carbon paper and never using the letter “e.” He then dove 60-feet into a bucket of water. Water that was on fire. And his typing was flawless!

(The box office woman holds out her hand for money. Mr. Jones defies her and runs back into the theater. If it is possible for more eggs to be produced from her mouth, this is where they are produced and added to the beard nest. As many as possible. If not from her mouth, she finds them in various nooks and crannies on her body. Mr. Jones runs back in. He has been bound with scarves and has wads of used typing paper in his mouth. He also now wears high heels and has a bone through his nose. His fly is undone and his shirttail sticks out through it. He manages to spit out the paper.)


I walked into the room and I saw somebody naked and I asked who he was. I try so hard, but sometimes, I just don’t understand. Something is happening here, but I don’t know what it is. Oh my God, I feel so all alone. I saw a geek and he asked me how does it feel to be such a freak? Impossible! He handed me a bone. I have many contacts among the lumberjacks to get facts when someone attacks my imagination. Nobody has any respect! I have been with professors and with great lawyers with whom I discussed lepers and crooks. I’m very well read. Everyone knows that! The sword swallower also asked me how it felt. He borrowed my throat! There ought to be a law!

(He kneels. Exhausted.)


A one-eyed midget yelled at me.

(He struggles back to his feet and starts to go back into the theater, but hesitates.)


A naked man stole my clipboard. I didn’t get his name. He can keep it.

(Dejected, beaten, whipped, he heads to the exit, still attached to the chair.)

MR. JONES (upset, choking back tears)

I give to charitable organizations!

(He exits. The box office woman produces Mr. Jones’ clipboard from under her dress and smashes the eggs with one grand smack. Off stage we hear a cow moo and a tiger roar and then swords clanking as they battle and then the cow falls and we hear a death moo. The box office lady sheds a tear as lights fade and the offstage audience builds from a single clap to full applause.)

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