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WHAT COULD BE GREATER THAN SEEING A GATOR?

September 28, 2010

An alligator farm in Florida.  HUGS, the old man who runs it is watching over the pool.  TOURIST enters.

TOURIST

You have gators?

HUGS

(Gestures to a sign.)

What’s the sign say?

Sign reads, “We have Gators.”

TOURIST

We have gators.

HUGS

Yup.

TOURIST

Where are they?

HUGS

There.

TOURIST

There?  In the—

HUGS

Yup.

TOURIST

Can I see?

HUGS

You buy a ticket?

TOURIST

I have a credit card.

HUGS

Cash.  Only.

TOURIST

But—

HUGS

Cash.  Only.

TOURIST

Hmmm.  How much?

HUGS

Ten.

TOURIST

Dollars?

HUGS

Euro.

TOUIST

Huh?  Oh.  You’re kidding.

HUGS

Am I?

TOURIST

Huh.  Fine.

(Gets out wallet, pays.)

Here.

HUGS

Thanks.

TOURIST

Now what?

HUGS

Take a look see.

TOURIST goes over and looks in the pool.  A moment, then he makes a noise.

HUGS

What?

TOURIST

It’s just . . .

HUGS

What?

TOURIST

I just don’t like being scammed.

HUGS

Scammed?

TOURIST

Yeah.  That’s not an alligator.

HUGS

Oh?  You think it’s a crocodile?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

A caiman?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

A gharial?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

A false gharial?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

A gila monster?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

A komodo dragon?

TOURIST

No.

HUGS

What is it, then?

TOURIST

Abraham Lincoln.

HUGS

What?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN gets out of the pool, he’s dressed in his suit with stove-pipe hat but has a fake alligator snout tied on with string.

LINCOLN

I’m afraid he’s on to us Hugs.

HUGS

Yup.

LINCOLN

What now?

HUGS

The usual.

LINCOLN

Yes . . .

LINCOLN pulls out a samurai sword and stabs the TOURIST, he dies.

LINCOLN (cont.)

(Sheathing the sword.)

It is done.

HUGS

Yup.

LINCOLN

But now I must go, once samurai Lincoln has killed he must move on.

HUGS

You want your half of that fellow’s ten bucks?

LINCOLN

No.  For I eat only hummingbird beaks and drink the sweet sweat of virgins.  Samurai Lincoln is not of this earth, but through the dark magic of the Western Witch, Al’Beyau, I have—-Hugs are you listening?

No in fact he’s not, he’s fallen asleep.

LINCOLN (cont.)

Fine.  My journey begins anew.

LINCOLN takes the ten dollars.

LINCOLN (cont.)

Worry world that my next stop will be you!

LINCOLN takes off the gator nose and throws it down.  Makes some flashy samurai moves and then leaps away.  HUGS begins to snore.

END OF PLAY

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The Burn of Victory

September 28, 2010

A woman sits in a coffee shop.  He has a mug in front of her.  She reaches into a pocket takes out a bottle of hot sauce pours some in the coffee.  She puts the bottle away.  Her name is LUCY BLATT, and she has a problem.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.  The SELLER enters, he’s in a nice suit, a bit nervous, maybe a little sweaty.  He carries a briefcase and speaks with a vague accent.

SELLER

Ms. Blatt?

LUCY

Lucy, please.

SELLER

Is it safe?

LUCY

My brother owns the place, coffee isn’t very good, so.

SELLER

So.

LUCY

I’ve never done this before.

SELLER

I have.  Many times.

LUCY

Are you nervous?

SELLER

My blood is thick.  I’m not used to the temperatures here.

LUCY

I see.

SELLER

You know what I am giving you is classified as a biological weapon.  Did Big Bruno brief you on the—

LUCY

He did, thank you, dear.

SELLER

I’ve never sold one to a woman before.

LUCY

Oh?

SELLER

Most of the people who get into this thing are—

LUCY

I understand.  In the contest circuit I’ve gone up against most of them.  But.  It’s got to end.  Give me the pepper.

SELLER puts on a pair of rubber gloves, then opens the suitcase and takes out a small glass case inside is a hot pepper.

LUCY

It’s so . . . beautiful.

SELLER

The gulan baal.  The hottest pepper in the world.  Grown high in the mountains tended by blind monks.  Once in their life they will taste one seed of the pepper.  That’s what blinds them and gives them a vision quest for six days.  It’s not games—

LUCY takes the pepper, smells it through the case.

SELLER

Wait—

LUCY

What?

SELLER

Most people can’t even smell it, or—

LUCY

What’s the Scorville heat unit for this?

SELLER

Eighteen million.

LUCY

That’s impossible.  That would make it–

SELLER

Yes.  As stronger than pure capsaicin.

LUCY

People think the jalapeño is hot, that’s only a two-thousand on the index.  Nothing.  The naga jolokia the “official hottest pepper” rates only one million.  But . . . eighteen million.

SELLER

When you paid Big Bruno he said that—

LUCY

I know.  I’m not stupid when it comes to peppers.  I started young.  My family had this Italian salad with those peppercinis.  My uncle thought it’d be funny to give one to me.  I must have been four or five.  I hated my uncle he was always playing tricks.  So when I bit it, I felt that rush of heat and vinegar, but I played it cool.  Soon it became a family joke.  At the Mexican restaurant they’d order me a bowl of jalapeños.  For my birthday my mom would make stuffed peppers or chili rellenos.  Somewhere along the line I got the taste.  People in the hot sauce circuit talk about it.  You go from just trying to impress people, to show them you can handle that burn in your mouth, to where you start craving it.  You’re wandering the streets at night looking for blistering hot Buffalo wings or just sitting in the super market with a can of habaneras popping them into your mouth.  It’s an addiction.  When I found the hot sauce circuit . . . before then I felt like a freak.  Like no one understood what it was like to crave that heat.  Hot Sauce completion is easy.  You and your competitor pick a number.  Sauces are ranked one to ten.  Then they place a bottle of the sauce in front of each of you; on the word go you chug, first one done wins.  I only lost once.  But even the tens don’t do it for me anymore.  Nothing does.  The crave just burns brighter, hotter.

(Beat.  Look at the pepper.)

But this is special.

SELLER

What are you going to do with it?

LUCY

One seed sends you on a vision quest for a week.  What do you think one bite will—

SELLER

That’s—

LUCY

It’s what it has to be.  I can’t do it anymore the cravings, the blisters.

SELLER

Miss, you’re a beautiful—

LUCY

Kiss me.

SELLER

What?

LUCY

Watch.

LUCY leans across the table and kisses the SELLER.  It lingers.  They part.  A moment, then the SELLER starts to cough, he rubs his lips—

LUCY (cont.)

Burns right?

SELLER

Hurts, yeah.  Hold on.

SELLER Gets a zip lock bag with some bread in it, he eats it.

LUCY

You see, I’m a monster, I have Satan’s kiss.

SELLER

Still if you infuse with—

LUCY

I don’t want to let go of the heat, that’s why I’ll eat this pepper and then drift off into it.  It will be glorious.

SELLER

All right then.

LUCY

Thank you.

SELLER

Sorry if I don’t say “your welcome.”

LUCY

If I weren’t a woman, would you feel so bad?

SELLER

I can’t say.  But—

LUCY

Don’t let your dick get in the way of a pepper.  It’ll burn it off.

SELLER

Fair enough.

SELLER exits.  LUCY looks at the pepper.

END OF PLAY

HARK, HARK, WHERE THE LEMONS GROW

September 27, 2010

A small frontier cabin in the Ohio Territory.  An old woman who has lost several husbands and most of her teeth sweeps the floor.  This is VIRGINIA DARE.  VIRGINIA DARE looks at the floor she’s been sweeping tosses down the broom.

VIRGINIA DARE

What’s the use?  Fool on me fo’ thinking I can sweep up a dirt floor.

There’s a knock at the door.  VIRGINIA DARE sits down.

VIRGINIA DARE

I’m coming!

A beat.  Then another knock.

VIRGINIA DARE

I said I’m coming.

(Considers.)

Oh wait.  Sorry!  Sorry!  Thought I was walking just then.  Just come in!

LEMONSEED LARRY opens the door.

LEMONSEED LARRY

I can’t hear you through the door.  Can I just come in?

VIRGINIA DARE

You don’t enter a lady’s house without permission!  I could be doing the deplorable with a dontsaysit in my unmentionables!  My meat hole could be whistling in the breeze!  You don’t just come in!

LEMONSEED LARRY

So?

VIRGINIA DARE

Close the door, wait a moment, then come in again.

LEMONSEED LARRY

That’d be amenable?

VIRGINIA DARE

Rightly.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Fine then.  Wait.  How long should I wait?

VIRGINIA DARE

Standard etiquette . . . two pony farts.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Gotcha.

LEMONSEED LARRY closes the door.  In two pony farts times LEMONSEED LARRY opens the door, enters.

LEMONSEED LARRY

It is I—

VIRGINIA DARE

Hello, Larry.

LEMONSEED LARRY

You ruined my introduction.  Can’t I at least do my song?

VIRGINIA DARE

If you gotta.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Well . . . uh, um, ah, er—-

(Sings.)

O!  I am Lemonseed Larry,

On my back seeds of lemons I carry!

I hand them to my fellow man

For some cash and a lemon plan.

Lemonseed Larry is my name!

VIRGINIA DARE

You done?

LEMONSEED LARRY

For now.  But know woman that I may burst into songs detailing my great quest to sell lemon seeds to all the Americas at an inflated cost so that I can retire and live in a lemon castle in the swamps of Florida at a moments notice.

VIRGINIA

That sentence was poorly constructed and I feel asleep halfway through.

LEMONSEED LARRY

You’re awake now though—

VIRGINIA wakes up.

VIRGINIA

What?  Help!  No.  Huh?  Was I just talking in my sleep?

LEMONSEED LARRY

I don’t have time for this, I can’t sell seeds sitting sweetly softly saying something to you.

VIRGINIA

Yes about that, you may not want to go into town . . .

LEMONSEED LARRY

Oh I already went.  They pelted me with garbage and called me names like Lemonass Larry and Yellowbellied sapsucker, or twatface.  Which isn’t clever at all . . . rather hurtful.  I have feelings after all—they may be segmented and citrus but I have them.  I cried lemon-scented tears—

(Singing.)

What’s with all the hate?

Lemonseed Larry will not debate

That he ain’t filled with wit

He may look like–

VIRGINIA DARE

Is it drafty, I’m a bit cold.

VIRGINIA DARE opens a drawer takes out a bunch of terrible animal skins.  She drapes a ratty skunk pelt on her shoulder.

VIRGINIA DARE (cont.)

You cold?  I have some weasel socks or a rabbit muff?

LEMONSEED LARRY

Stop stalling Virginia, why do they hate me.

VIGINIA DARE

Larry—

LEMONSEED LARRY

Please, call me Lemonseed Larry, I’m trying to build the brand.

VIGINIA DARE

Well, Lemonseed Larry first you sell lemon seeds for ten silver dollars per three seeds.  Or three colonial bronzes for a lemon fruit.

LEMONSEED LARRY

A small price to pay for a tree that will give you a power packed sour package for the rest of your life.  Such goes my creedo:

(Nobly.)

Give a man a lemon and he’ll smile.  Sell a man a lemon tree and he’ll give you money.

LEMONSEED LARRY takes out a lemon and holds it aloft.

VIRGINIA DARE

That’s all fines to dandy but you forgot to take in a few notes about the Ohio Territory.  One: your lemon trees don’t grow here, so we just end up with dead seeds.  Two: your advice to just eat the lemons . . . they are a bit sour.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Sour!  There is no better taste than the refreshing bite of a lemon!

VIRGINIA

At least you should have told them to remove the peel!

LEMONSEED LARRY

The peel is the filet mignon of the lemon!  Packed in that pith and peel are angel kisses.  Why a lemon is such a great fruit taste it even improves your diction.  Listen—

LEMONSEED LARRY takes a big bite of his lemon peel and all.  His face contorts horribly.  He puckers.

LEMONSEED LARRY

(Through the pucker.)

She sells sea whores down at her shell store.

VIRGINIA DARE

Look, Larry you don’t even like it!  Furthers the more you advise people to squeeze the juice into their eyes to improve vision!

LEMONSEED LARRY

(Still recovering from his bite of lemon.)

It does.  Makes you see like a bat.

VIRGINIA DARE

Worse off you know who came to town not three weeks after your first visit—

LEMONSEED LARRY

No!  Don’t say his name!

VIRGINIA DARE

And he planted for free and gave out his apples on credit—

LEMONSEED LARRY

Don’t!  Don’t—

VIRGINIA DARE

Johnny Appleseed!

LEMONSEED LARRY

That no good, good for nothing.  He thinks he’s the badger’s breakfast just because he has such a crisp and refreshing fruit that makes great pies and improve lives—

VIRGINIA DARE

Yeah people love him and so do animals.  Why he was whistling and a blue bird landed on his fingers while raccoons were doing his laundry in a stream.

LEMONSEED LARRY

That’s not such a big deal.  I once got a blowjob from a slug.

VIRGINIA DARE

You can’t really compare apples to lemons I guess.

(Beat.)

No wait, you can, apples is better.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Yeah, yeah.  It’s bad enough down in Florida I have to compete with Orangeseed Oren and then there’s that Cherrypit Charlie, Spiderplant-Clipping Clive—-but I started it.  Don’t get me started on that sissy Truffle Terrance and Potsbelly his pig.  A bit swishy that one.  Not like Lavender-flower Lance he’s so manly with his chaps and mustache and love of opera and collection of miniature houses, he also works out a lot.  Oh Lance . . . what am I saying I hate him!  All of them!  Botanical buffoons every one!  It’s what happens when everyone just finds a plant that starts with the same letter as his name and goes off planting.

VIRGINIA DARE

Johnny Appleseed doesn’t have an alliterative name.

LEMONSEED LARRY

I bet he shits rainbows too.  This is why I always say: When Life Gives You Lemons, SHUT UP AND EAT THEM!

VIRGINIA DARE

About that.  I was working with some of the lemons you gave me and I made a drink out of them—

LEMONSEED LARRY

I know Lemon juice.  Straight up!

VIRGINIA DARE

No, I added some water, some sugar, and . . . just look.

VIRGINIA DARE takes out a pitcher of lemonade.  She pours him a glass, he drinks it.

LEMONSEED LARRY

Why this is delicious!

VIRGINIA DARE

I call it lemonade.  I’m glad that—

LEMONSEED LARRY

Truly a refreshing beverage.  WHICH IS WHY IT’S TERRIBLE!  Lemons aren’t meant for such sweetness!  Oh yes let’s just take things that taste bad and make them good!

VIRGINIA DARE

Well why not?

LEMONSEED LARRY

Why?  Because the lord gave us mud and he gave us bacon!  How can you enjoy the taste of bacon if someone doesn’t shove mud down your throat once in a while!  Why to make food better is a slap in the face of the All-mighty!  If he wanted lemons to be sweet he’d have done it himself!  No!  Lemonseed Larry exists in this world to sell lemon seeds at a high cost and to force sour fruit into people’s faces and trick them into rubbing lemon juice in their wounds.  Some men are called by God for greatness, some are called to kill, I am called to lemonize!  To sour this world!

LEMONSEED LARRY throws open the door.

LEMONSEED LARRY (cont.)

You hear that world!  You hear that people of the Ohio Territory!  None shall stop Lemonseed Larry until I’ve puckered you all!  There’s nothing you can do about it!  Noth—

A giant arm of a bear grabs LEMONSEED LARRY and pulls him off to the side starts tearing him to pieces.

LEMONSEED LARRY (O.S.)

Help a bear is eating me!  Oooh!  The pain!  Why must my flesh taste so good!  Oooh! I’m dying!  It’s dragging my body into woods!  I’m doomed!  OOOOWWW.  It’s chomping me.  Dragging me awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay . . .

A beat.

VIRGINA DARE

Well that’s that.

VIRGINIA DARE goes to close the door but before she can a man in green bursts in—

SKUNKONION SAM

Madame I’m Skunkonion Sam and I have a stink that will change your life!

VIRGINIA DARE

(Sighs.)

You better be a good lay.  Come in, come in.

END OF PLAY.

I SAW THIS PAINTED ON A BRIDGE

September 27, 2010

A bus station depot.  ANA enters.  Goes to her desk.  She looks a small globe on her desk it’s been shot with a bullet.

She angrily goes to a PA system microphone.  Speaks into it.


ANA

Which one of you bastards shot my globe?  You fucking dicks!

The ghost of LINCOLN in chains walks by.

LINCOLN

I ate the last

Of the coleslaw

It had started to

Turn.  Now it’s

Turning me.

The ghost of LINCOLN exits.  ANA collapses at her desk.

ANA

Fuckers.

THE GUNMAN enters.

GUNMAN

I shot the globe where we were and where it comes out that’s where we’ll live.

ANA

Stu?  What did I tell you about—

GUNMAN

Ana we are getting old and we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence.

ANA

We work a bus depot in Queens.  I’ve lost my looks down the sink years ago.

GUNMAN

Haven’t you ever—

ANA

Once when I was still a driver I was doing the DC to Penn Station run and I saw painted on a bridge . . .

GHOST LINCOLN enters eating a hotdog.

LINCOLN

“I don’t want the world.  I just want your half.”

GHOST LINCOLN exits.

ANA

And I thought it was everything but then as soon as I understood it . . . it was gone.

GUNMAN

I keep having dreams about the World’s Fair.  And then I’d dream I was sitting next to you, but as soon as I’d turn you’d be gone. But the seat would still be warm.  And I’d try to move but it’d keep happening–

GHOST LINCOLN enters with ice cream sandwiches.

GHOST LINCOLN

And it sticks like a broken record.  Everything sticks like a broken record

GHOST LINCOLN walks over and hands an ice cream sandwich to GUNMAN and then to ANA.

ANA

How long would it last, Stu?  Isn’t unrequited love more fun?  Because it’s always impossible, always imagined.  We’d get together and I’d say stupid things, I’d fart in bed and be fat and sad.  The ghost of Lincoln takes all the food out of my fridge.

LINCOLN

For your own good.

GUNMAN

Warts and all, Ana Ng.  Is the only way I see you.

Long beat.

ANA

You have the 8:50 to Boston tonight.

GUMAN

Maybe I’ll see those words on the bridge—

GHOST LINCOLN

“I don’t want the world I just want your hat.”

ANA

I saw that in Maryland.

GUNMAN

There are a lot of bridges.  Lots of things on them.

GHOST LINCOLN

“I don’t want the world I just want . . .”

ANA

Get going, Stu.  Don’t make me mark you tardy.

GUNMAN

I’m sorry I shot your globe.  It was nice.

ANA

It’s fine.  Just an exit wound in a foreign nation.  Nothing that can’t be fixed.

GUNMAN goes to leave but then quickly turns around heads to the desk he grabs the globe and holds it up.  He looks through one end of the bullet hole.  Just a few inches from ANA.  ANA unsure looks toward LINCOLN he shrugs eats ice cream sandwiches.  ANA puts her hand on GUNMAN’S hand holding the globe and looks in from the other side.  They look at each other through the world.  And see.

END OF SCENE

*inspired by the song Ana Ng by They Might Be Giants

GLASS INDIANS, IRON COWBOYS

September 27, 2010

A Carnival somewhere.

BARKER

Here in this glass coffin is the greatest gunslinger ever to live. He was entombed alive in this crystal sarcophagus after being shot 47 times by the great Pinkerton Morton P. Morton Jr. Legend states when a women whose mouth is sour but her delicates are pure kisses this stank rot of a corpse the desperado will awaken. Only one dollar a try!

Two GIRLS enter

GIRL 1

You should totally kiss him.

GIRL 2

Gross.

GIRL 1

Come on . ..

GIRL 2

Why?

GIRL 1

Cause it’s all like magic and stuff.

GIRL 2

What if it works will you have to marry him?

BARKER

Dreams of another world. One kiss and the dragon will arise! Rise up and wonder. Take the year and sell it back to the Indians for a buffalo nickel!  Step right here!

GIRL 2

What?

GIRL 1

Paramus . . . New Jersey.

BARKER

You want to try your luck?

GIRL 1

I saw you in Paramus, New Jersey. You were selling–

BARKER

I think you are mistaken, I am the pork that smokes itself. I’m older than older–

GIRL 1

You sold vacuum cleaners.

BARKER

I sold soul cleaners, bagless twin upright, soul cleaners.

GIRL 1

We made out at the Sabarro’s. You had a pepperoni slice. I was working at the bookstore. I sold you a copy of Leaves of Ass. We only sold parody porno books.

BARKER

It was The Good Cunt by Pearl S. Fuck.

GIRL 2

That’s inappropriate.

GIRL 1 & BARKER

The world is inappropriate . . .

GIRL 2

Lame.

GIRL 1

So is this guy in the glass box real?

BARKER

No it’s just straw and plaster and six dead rats for color.

GIRL 1

I still love you, you know. All this time . . .

BARKER

It’d never work, my heart is a hat blowing in the wind–

GIRL 1

I’ll be the branch that snags it out of the air.

BARKER

For how long?

GIRL 1

Long enough.

GIRL 2

Bored. I’m going to get a funnel cake.

GIRL 2 exits.

BARKER

I know you’re a con-woman. I know that other girl is heading to my car to sneak in the backseat so when I take you to my car, when I open the door–when I open your door first, and you slide in easier than a piece of toast in a GE toaster and the I come around the front and catch you barely a shadow from the glare of the sun, then I slip in the seat. I sit for a moment, and that moment is forever; it’s perfect. Then she pops up with a black plastic bag and puts it over my head and I suffocate. I die and you take my organs to some witch doctor who pays in cash. You can’t fool me I have dice for eyes and reindeer for teeth.

GIRL 1

But I can give you that moment. That small forever perfect moment. I can give you that and you give me your organs and that’s how it goes.

BARKER

It’s a white Buick with a bumper sticker for Fairytale Forest on the back. An old one. It’s not ironic I really loved that place.

GIRL 1

I know. She’s already slipped into it, hunkered down against the leather of the back seat, it’s warm as a father’s slap on her check.  Her heart beats, waiting desperate as a warm bagel for a schmear of cream cheese. Come now.

GIRL 1 exits. BARKER watches. Then he decides  what to do.


END OF SCENE

The Octopus

September 27, 2010

An octopus rests on the stage.  Perhaps alive,  most likely real.  MAN enters with a stick.  He pokes at the octopus.

MAN

I must say you are persistent.

WOMAN enters.


WOMAN

What is it, dear?

MAN

That octopus is back.

WOMAN

Did you poke it?

MAN

Of course.

WOMAN

Not much else to do then.

MAN

Do we just leave it?

WOMAN

Hmmm.  Maybe it wants something.

MAN

Like understanding and compassion?

WOMAN

I was thinking more like shrimp.  Do they eat shrimp?

MAN

Crabs, I think.  They have a beak.

WOMAN

A beak?  Like a bird?

MAN

Yeah.

WOMAN

That’s no good.  Poke it again.

MAN

I already poked it.

WOMAN

Still.

MAN

Still.

WOMAN

Why don’t you show it compassion and love while I get a shrimp.  See if it’ll leave.

MAN

It’s a bit . . .

WOMAN

Be back in a sec.

WOMAN exits.  Man bends down to get close to the octopus, but not too close.


MAN

I respect you as a person and acknowledge your right to exist and I . . . I care for you.  Deeply.

Long beat, MAN watches octopus, octopus does not seem interested.


MAN

Look I understand being alone.  I understand the need to be here, but this is my house.  I have problems too!  I never told anyone but . . . everyday I jerk off into my briefcase!  I don’t know why, I just do . . . it’s disgusting, but.  I can’t stop myself.

Long beat, MAN watches octopus, octopus does not seem interested.  WOMAN enters.

WOMAN

Well?

MAN

I bared my soul.  It doesn’t care.

WOMAN

Well I couldn’t find a shrimp, but I got a carrot.

MAN

That’s hardly the same.

WOMAN

They both have a satisfying crunch.

MAN

I bared my soul . . . and he—it didn’t care.

WOMAN

Well it is an octopus.  Where do they come from?  Europe or Russia or somewhere?  You know those kind of people don’t show emotions.

MAN

Still.

WOMAN

Here goes nothing.

WOMAN tosses the carrot to the octopus it lands on his soft flesh.  They watch.  Nothing seems to be happening.

WOMAN

I think he likes it . . .

MAN

I wish he’d just go away.

The octopus moves.  The couple jump back.

WOMAN

He’s not going to leave is he?

MAN

No . . . and I . . . bared my soul to it.

WOMAN

It’ll be OK.

MAN

No.  It won’t.

END PLAY

ME, YOU, AND AGNEW

September 27, 2010

TIM in a small pin spot sitting in a chair.

TIM

I used to dream that I shot Andrew Jackson.

JACKSON’S face appears it’s angry.


TIM

Jackson was the first president to have an attempt on his life.  A deranged house painter thinking he was the King of England fired two pistols at Jackson, they both misfired.

JACKSON

He was a fucking pansy.  I’ve taken shits with more gumption!  I beat him raw with my cane! Democracy forever!

Lights out on JACKSON.

TIM

I actually do it, my gun works.

Sound of a gunshot.

TIM (cont.)

Other times I dreamt about getting to third base with Missy Jerome at the Cloisters.  Sometimes the wires got crossed.

Lights up on JACKSON in a chair next to TIM.  TIM’S hand is down JACKSON’S pants.

JACKSON

That’s it, spank it like it was the Bank of the United States.  Haven’t been this aroused since the Trail of Tears.

Lights out on JACKSON

TIM

I’m Tim Elbert the historian. who died trying to obtain one of the twelve black-opal rings of the Republican Party.

Lights shift to the cemetery, TIM goes over to a fresh open grave.

TIM

The year is 1996.  The Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Timonium Maryland.  I had bribed the grounds keepers not to fill the grave until the next day.

(Getting into the scene.)

At last, after so many attempts—

MISSY JEROME appears, she’s dressed in a typical safari outfit including pith helmet.

TIM (cont.)

Missy Jerome my lost teenage love and current rival for the position of Historian Cum Regna at the University!

Musical sting.

MISSY

Yes.  Now is the part where we’d rehash our past, but let’s skip to the bitter but impassioned kiss where after we finish you call me a bitch and I slap you.

They kiss, it’s angry and passionate.

TIM

Bitch.

MISSY slaps him.

MISSY

Now.  That ring is mine.  Born in the forge of Ripon, Wisconsin, cast from the iron of Union pistols and the opals mined from land that’s now the Panama Canal!  Their diameter exactly one-half the girth of U.S. Grant’s member.  Handed down to the Holy 12 of the Greatest Generation of Republicans.

TIM

Spiro Agnew’s ring is mine.  There’s nothing that will stop me!

MISSY draws a pistol.

MISSY

What about this?

TIM

That?  Sure.  Guns.

MISSY

This is no mere peashooter, this is one of the pistols the Puerto Rican nationalists shot up the House of Representatives with.

TIM

From the ladies gallery?

MISSY

The same.

TIM

That’s so hot.

MISSY

I’m moist myself, just being here.  But that’s neither nor nither.  Get me the ring!

TIM goes into the grave.  Sounds of struggling.

TIM

Oh shit.

TIM comes out of the grave holding a finger with a ring attacked.  TIM pulls off the finger, tosses it away.

TIM

It was—-he must have bloated up with the whole—

MISSY

Give me the ring.

TIM

What if instead–while I was pulling the finger off our 39th Vice President, I thought about this!

(Gets down on one knee.)

I’ll give you this ring if you will take my hand . . . in marriage!  Let’s live like we talked about in high school.  We’ll take over the caretaker-ship of the Grover Cleveland House in Camden, raise children and goats, and write alternate history novels about The Articles of Confederation.

MISSY

I’m over alternative historical fiction.

MISSY fires the pistol, it hits TIM.  He collapses.  MISSY pries the ring from his hand.

MISSY

Killed him with one shot; I’m talented.  Gloat.  Gloat.

TIM

I’m not dead, I’m just paralyzed with sadness.

MISSY

Oh please.  You know what an anagram of Spiro Agnew is?

TIM

“Go wear pins?”

MISSY

Yes, but I was thinking of “grow a penis!”  Which is what you need to do you fat, clingy, Jacksonite.  Besides I’m already engaged to Dynamo, the former Yugoslavian Strongman turned Rhodes Scholar.  Whenever I read his thesis on the Defenestration of Prague I ovulate.

MISSY kicks TIM into the open grave.

MISSY

(To Audience.)

He fell into the grave right on top of Agnew.  The lid of the coffin shutting right behind him.

TIM (O.S.)

Hey only I can use direct address!

MISSY

(Putting on the ring.)

You don’t deserve it.

Lights shift from MISSY to inside the coffin.  TIM lies on top of the corpse of Spiro Agnew.

TIM

The only sound is dirt covering the lid burring me alive I’m resigned to my fate with this resigned vice-president.  I still love her: the taste of her lips, our prom, the Halloween we dressed up as Sacco and Vanzetti.  She was Sacco of course.  She’s the Sacco type.

As TIM Laments slowly and subtly Agnew’s arm that’s behind him slowly rises behind him.

TIM

We met at the public library both trying to check out a book on Button Gwinnett an obscure signer of the Declaration.  She let me feel her up in the stacks, her back pressed against the 935’s.  That’s the Dewey code for books about Ancient Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau.  And I Dewey-ed her decimals and she microfiched me in all the right places.  I’m getting an erection.  I LOVE YOU!  Well, at least it can’t get worse.

Agnew’s hand grabs TIM.  Immediate blackout.

END OF SCENE