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All For A Tongue

January 3, 2011

KYLE sits at a table, a few different cups with powders in front of him. He also has a pencil and paper.  REGGIE stands nearby holding a stop watch.

 

REGGIE

And go.

REGGIE clicks on the stopwatch. KYLE quickly goes and tastes the different powders. After a few moments . . .

 

KYLE

Done.

 

REGGIE

Done?

 

KYLE

Click the watch.

 

REGGIE

(Clicks it.)

Fine, but no one has ever completed a pepper profile in—

 

KYLE

They never met Kyle Styloid. Super taster.

 

REGGIE

You super tasters think you’re the shit, but . . .

(Reads over Kyle’s notes.)

Hmm.

 

KYLE

Nailed it. I have the PRC and antifores down to a point thirty. I know, I know, most super tasters can only do a point sixty, but as I said they ain’t me.

 

REGGIE

You’re good, but you’re arrogant.

 

KYLE

I could have lent my tasting talents Flavco or Slurps but I came here to Taste Dome. In 6 months I’ll have raised your flavor profile by a factor of 10. You know what that means? Triple profits for all those food snobs. All thanks to this guy.

(Sticks his tongue out.)

Only 3% of the population can taste things as well as a super tasters and of that 3% there has never been anyone-—

 

REGGIE

I read the Yale studies. But you act like it’s a skill. You were just born lucky with an increased number of fungiform papillae.

 

KYLE

So why don’t you take the pepper test?

(Beat.)

That’s what I thought.

 

REGGIE

You’re a punk! Don’t you realize with great taste buds comes great responsibility?

 

KYLE

You still talking? Either way, stop. I must prepare. I got a hot date with this internet hottie. She’s going to be a total sea lion.

 

REGGIE

Sea lion?

 

KYLE

Wet and balancing some balls on her face. Booya!

 

Scene changes to a downtown bar. KYLE sits at a table. UMAMI, a hot young woman comes over with two drinks. Some dance music plays in the background.

 

KYLE

Ooh, yeah . . . listen my enhanced taste makes me . . . alcohol doesn’t–

 

UMAMI

Oh, yes I know, this isn’t—-just taste it.

 

KYLE

OK. Just a sip . . .

(Takes a sip. Impressed.)

Subtle, but . . . some star anis. Some. Oh, this is nice.

 

UMAMI

So does everything have a unique taste to a super taster?

 

KYLE

Maybe not for your average tongue stud, but me . . . yeah, pretty much . . .

 

UMAMI

What about . . .

 

UMAMI whispers into his ear.

 

KYLE

You are nasty!

 

UMAMI

Finish that drink and I’ll show you–

 

KYLE downs his drink.

 

KYLE

Let’s go . . .

 

 

UMAMI takes KYLE by the hand leads him off. Music comes up louder. Lights out for a moment. The music cross-fades with the sounds of KYLE moaning.

Lights up to reveal KYLE sitting in a chair his head thrown back, covered by a large icepack.

Sitting in a chair nearby is FBI Agent, EDITH LAMINA. She watches him with her arms folded. There’s a small cooler next to her.  KYLE moans again, starts to wake up.

 

KYLE

(Talking strangely.)

Uh zuh—-

 

KYLE bolts upright touches his face. He realizes that his tongue has been cut out.

 

KYLE

Oh muh guh, oh muh guh.

 

LAMINA

Tongue’s gone.

 

KYLE

Huh! Huh uh–

 

LAMINA

Relax. I’m FBI agent Edith Lamina, I’m here to help you. You are the victim of grand theft organ.

 

KYLE

Fuh! Fuh.

 

LAMINA

Easy, don’t panic.

 

KYLE

Duh pahuh, muh tuh is guh!

 

LAMINA

I know your tongue is gone, but hysterics won’t bring it back. You have to trust me.

 

KYLE

Duh uh nu whu Uh um!

 

LAMINA

Of course, you’re Kyle Styloid. The super taster. And as a super taster you should’ve know better than to just follow a strange women home.

 

KYLE

Yuh uh stuhguh wuhmuh.

 

LAMINA

Nothing about me is strange. Now listen I’m only going to explain this once.

 

KYLE

Guh—

 

LAMINA

Shh. You’re tongue was stolen by a cult. The Society of the 5th Sense. They are run by a mysterious woman, Umami. We figure she’s the one who took your tongue. Is this the woman who seduced you last night?

 

LAMINA shows KYLE a photograph.

 

KYLE

Uh! Uh! Tuhsuh huh.

 

LAMINA

Many centuries ago an Incan Emperor had his greatest smiths create a potato of solid gold. The Golden Potato of Pachamama. Encoded in this golden tater was all the knowledge of the world. How the Inca got all the world’s knowledge, well—anyway, the secrets can only be licked out of out the potato. But not just anyone can can taste the secrets of the Inca . . .

 

KYLE

Muh tuh suh nuh muh tuh tuh geh uh puhtuhtuh–

 

LAMINA

Exactly. Only seven people every generation are born who can taste the secrets of the potatoes. The other six all died under mysterious circumstances.

 

KYLE

Wuh uh duh putuhuh?

 

LAMINA

By what some would say is coincidence The Golden Potato of Pachamama is being shown at the City Art Museum’s “Thinkin’ Incan” show on view now until March 8th. You and I have to go to that museum stop her from licking the potato and get back your tongue.

 

KYLE

Huh uh suh huh?

 

LAMINA

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

(Picks up the cooler.)

And here a gift courtesy of the FBI.

 

LAMINA opens the cooler, KYLE looks inside.

 

KYLE

Uh duh uh . . .

 

LAMINA

Yup, open wide.

 

KYLE opens his mouth, LAMINA takes a tongue out of the cooler and attaches it into Kyle’s mouth.

 

LAMINA (cont.)

Let me just get the temporary clamps. There.

 

KYLE

(Weird voice.)

Hey it works! Wait, what’s with this ridiculous voice?

 

LAMINA

Artificial tongue tech has only progressed so far. You’ll be stuck with that voice for the time being.

 

KYLE

Well this is ridiculous.

 

Scene changes to the museum. UMAMI is on one side and the golden potato is on the other.

 

UMAMI

At last! His tongue is so—the fool could never know what power waggled between his lips. Oh to taste the sculpted secrets and then conquer.

 

LAMINA and KYLE run in.

 

LAMINA

Not so fast.

 

KYLE

Yeah, hands up.

 

LAMINA

Let me.

 

UMAMI

Agent Edith Lamina of the FBI. I was hoping you’d be here to witness my victorious tasting.

 

LAMINA

Yeah well, taste this!

 

LAMINA lunges at UMAMI. UMAMI and LAMINA fight. They struggle, but UMAMI gets the upper hand and licks LAMINA across the face. This zaps her strength for some reason and UMAMI throws her to the ground.

KYLE runs over to LAMINA and cradles her.

 

LAMINA

I’m sorry . . .

 

KYLE

Are you–?

 

LAMINA

Her powers, when she uses it her tongue is a deadly weapon, and now that she has yours—

(Coughs.)

I don’t have much time.

 

KYLE

You’re dying? This is messed up.

 

LAMINA

You have to stop her.

 

KYLE

She has my tongue. My awesome, awesome tongue.

 

LAMINA

It’s not just having your tongue. It’s knowing how to use it.

 

LAMINA dies.

 

KYLE

No . . . no . . .

 

UMAMI

How sad. How pathetic But all too soon none of it will matter.

 

UMAMI moves to the golden potato.

 

KYLE

You’re not Frenching that magic tater on my watch.

 

UMAMI

Fine, I shall taste your death upon my papillae.

 

They battle with their tongues. Using them like weapons.

 

UMAMI (cont.)

I will not lose to an insolent no taster.

 

They continue to battle.

 

UMAMI (cont.)

You’re tiring.

 

KYLE

Hardly, in high school I pleasured the entire girl’s softball team . . . in one night.

 

They battle.

 

KYLE

Feeling licked, yet?

 

UMAMI

No puns!

 

They battle more, KYLE starts to get the upper hand, he flings UMAMI away with his tongue.

 

KYLE

Call me a cat.

 

UMAMI

What?

 

In one quick move KYLE lunges and pulls his tongue out of UMAMI’S mouth, she falls to the ground.

 

KYLE

Cause I got your tongue . . . bitch.

 

UMAMI

Nuh. Buh wuh uh uh duh nuh? Wuh yuh tuhtuh duh puhtuhtuh?

 

KYLE

No. I realize that I took this tongue too frivolously. I know that you and your minions may be bested today but you’ll continue to salivate over the knowledge in that golden potato. I know because the desire to lick the golden potato is . . . there’s too much at risk. This is a heroes tongue and let’s face it, I’m kind of a douche bag.

 

UMAMI

Wuh uh yuh guhuh duh?

 

KYLE drops the tongue to the floor and stomps on it. Stamps it to pieces with his foot.

 

UMAMI (cont.)

nuuuuuh! Yuh fuhuh!

 

KYLE

I may be a fuhuh. But it’s my choice. You and your people have lost. The world or whatever is safe now. You were trying to take over the world, right?

 

UMAMI

Yuh.

 

KYLE

Good.

 

INCAN WARRIOR GHOST appears.

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

You have done well Kyle Styloid.

 

KYLE

You’re the ghost of the Incan Priest who carved the potato.

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

Actually I’m a warrior who was charged to look after the golden potato when—-it’s a pretty long story so yeah I’m the guy who carved it or whatever. Anyway never has anyone given up their taste buds to save the world. You’re a true hero.

 

KYLE

So what are you going to do her?

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

Umami? Drag her into a level of hell where the great Puma Spirit will do nothing but force upon her the worst foods in the creation.

 

UMAMI

Nuuuh! Nuuuuh!

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

And as a reward for your bravery I will restore your voice!

 

INCAN WARRIOR GHOST makes a magical gesture.

 

KYLE

(Irish Brogue.)

Sure in begore, I—

(Beat.)

I think you missed the mark by a wee bit, boy-o.

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

Yeah well you White Men shouldn’t have gone around and slaughtered my people and razed our cities to the ground.

 

UMAMI

Guhuhsuh and cuhluhluhuhuhm—

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

Exaclty. Now off to Hell with you.

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST hurls UMAMI off stage.

 

UMAMI

(Exiting.)

Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh!

 

INCAN WARRIOR GHOST

What about you Kyle now that you are just an average taster?

 

KYLE

(Irish brogue.)

I figure I’d travel the world solving taste related crimes and—nah, I’m just kidding. Probably hang on the beach, maybe bum around Europe. My contract with Flavor Dome has a nice golden parachute. But first I’d do something no super taste can . . . eat at McDonalds.

 

ICAN WARRIOR GHOST

Godspeed, Kyle Styloid, Godspeed.

 

KYLE

Later.

 

KYLE exits, the INCAN WARRIOR watches him. He nods, and then wipes away a tear.

 

END OF PLAY

 

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