Written by Joe Janes
155 of 365
(Lights up on Hansel and Gretel, lost, wandering through the forest, which is probably the audience.)
GRETELHansel. We are hopelessly lost. If only those squirrels hadn’t eaten those breadcrumbs.
HANSEL (mouth full of bread crumbs)Yeth! Thtupid squirrels. (Gulp) I’m thirsty.
GRETELMe, too. Hansel. If we don’t find any food or shelter, we will surely starve.
HANSELLost in the forest, surrounded by nothing but vegetation and animals. We will certainly die.
(On stage, Phil, comes out and begins hammering tiles onto a wall.)
GRETELLook, Hansel, look! It’s a house.
HANSELYay! A house.
(They run to the stage.)
GRETELNot just any house. This house is made out of candy and gingerbread!
HANSELI have died and gone to heaven. Look at this window shutter. It’s a peppermint candy. (He tears it off the house.)
PHILHey, what the hell do you think you’re doing?
PHILJust because you’re hungry doesn’t mean you can bite into somebody’s house. Peppermint shutters cost a fortune and are a bitch to hang.
GRETELBut we’re hungry.
PHILFine. Go ahead and knock yourselves out.
(Hansel and Gretel take big bites out of the shutter and begin chewing. It dawns on them that something tastes odd about the candy and they spit it out.)
HANSELThis candy is bad.
GRETELIt tastes like chemicals.
PHILOf course, you jackasses. It’s been weatherproofed. You can’t just have a house made of candy and not weather proof it. Wish that fucking witch had thought about that.
GRETELThere’s a witch in the woods?
PHILNot anymore. She used to live here. I bought it from her and I’m trying to flip it.
GRETELWhat happened to the witch?
PHILFuck if I know. I think she took a room at the “Y” in town. She went into foreclosure. Kept taking out mortgages to repair the damn thing. Hail has turned the roof into a sieve. Raccoons ate through the back porch steps. The whole second story is unsafe since last summer’s heat wave. Damn near melted the lollipop staircase. She’s lucky they just didn’t condemn the place. I’m trying to get it into shape to sell it.
HANSELWe can’t have any of it?
GRETELWhat about the gingerbread? It smells so good in the sun.
(Hansel takes a bite of the house and screams in pain.)
PHILStop eating the house! Last week you could have eaten it. I’ve since reinforced it with chicken wire and steel piping.
HANSELI think I broke a tooth.
PHILLook. You want to eat something? Grab a ladder and lick the marzipan off the eaves. I haven’t gotten to those yet.
GRETELThank you, kind sir.
(They grab a small ladder and start doing just that.)
PHILCall me Phil.
GRETELEw, this doesn’t taste good, either, Phil.
PHILThat’s probably from all the bird crap. They kept making nests up there.
HANSELEat around it, Gretel.
PHILWho the hell makes a house out of candy? I guess just because you’re a witch doesn’t mean you’ve got a brain. One light rain and you already got a ton of damage. Not like my truck, which is made out of Slim Jims. That’s sturdy material. Waterproof. Doesn’t rot. Slim Jims will last a million years. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t run out of gas now and then.
GRETELYour truck is edible?
PHILYep. Except the tires. You need real tires for tires with these roads. Is there anybody I can call for you guys? Your parents, maybe?
GRETELOur parents abandoned us out here.
HANSELThey said they could no longer afford to feed us.
PHILYeah. I get that. Tell you what. I’ll feed you kids if you help me. There’s a frozen pizza in the fridge. Cool?
(They climb down the ladder.)
GRETELWhat can we do?
PHILCome inside and help me with the oven, first. Let’s get you fed.
(They all three exit off to the kitchen.)
PHIL (off)It’s a little tricky. Can’t always tell if it’s on.
GRETEL (off)I’ll crawl inside of it to see if it’s on.
PHIL (off)Good idea. Let me get the door.
(We hear Hansel yell as if he just shoved someone. Gretel screams. Phil yells “Hey!” We hear scuffling and the oven door slam. The witch comes out onto stage from behind the house with a saw. She is whistling a happy tune.)
(Phil comes out from the house.)
WITCHI’m done sawing off all the moldy licorice on the back porch.
PHILOh, good. I’ll reinforce the railings with a mix of high fructose corn syrup and epoxy after lunch. Then we’re almost done.
WITCHI've really worked up an appetite. What do I smell cooking?
PHILSome fat German kids wandered by. I threw them in the oven. Give it about 45 minutes.
WITCHThanks for helping me get the house in shape.
PHILThanks for not eating me when I got lost. Glad I found a way to be useful to you.
(She smacks him on the head with the flat side of the saw. He falls to the ground and is about to pass out.)
PHILWhy do you do that?
WITCHI’m a witch.
(He passes out. She takes salt out of her pocket and sprinkles it on him and starts nibbling on his hand. Blackout)