#31plays31days Y5 #31. The Goddamn Door


“The Goddamn Door” by Paul Hagen

 

We are in the living room of an upper-middle class home. On five beautifully-upholstered chairs sit LOUISE, FRED, DOM, BRENDA and PAT in bathrobes. LOUISE has her legs crossed and is bouncing one over the other impatiently. Finally, she jumps to her feet.

 

LOUISE

Well, they’re going to be here any minute and we still haven’t agreed who’s going to answer the goddamn door.

 

FRED

I think we should just show each other what we’ve got on and have everybody vote and whoever is wearing the most shocking thing should get to open the door.

 

LOUISE

But that will ruin the surprise!

 

DOM

It sounds like a good plan to me, sir.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

 

PAT says nothing.

 

LOUISE

Fine, then. If nobody else cares about surprising each other, I’ll go first.

 

LOUISE stands and drops her robe to reveal she is wearing lacy black lingerie and a gigantic purple strap-on penis.

 

FRED

I don’t think that’s so shocking.

 

LOUISE

What do you mean? It’s so in-your face sexual and yet transgressive in its appropriation of the phallus.

 

DOM

I agree with you, sir.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

PAT says nothing. LOUISE closes her robe and flops back down into her chair.

 

LOUISE

Well, let’s see you do better.

 

FRED

Fine.

 

FRED stands and isrobes to reveal that he is wearing a fairly realistic-looking faun costume — which makes him appear to be half man, half goat — that fully exposes his penis.

 

LOUISE

Please. That’s nothing. You could do Shakespeare in that and no one would bat an eye!

 

FRED

Well, I think it’s erotic. It’s discomfittingly bestial. And it looks even better when I have an erection.

 

LOUISE

I’ll be the judge of that.

 

DOM

Well I agree with you, sir.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

 

PAT says nothing. FRED closes his robe and delicately perches back down on his chair like a graceful woodland creature.

 

FRED

And, anyway, Dom’s outfit is still better than yours.

 

LOUISE

Oh yeah?

 

FRED

Show her.

 

DOM

Yes, sir.

 

DOM stands and disrobes, revealing an impressive array of sadist gear, including nipple clamps, a ball-stretcher, clothespins and fresh, homemade piercings arrayed around his flesh and an angry-looking chastity device clamped on his penis. FRED looks at him admiringly.

 

FRED

Sometimes it hurts just to look at you.

 

DOM

Sometimes I look in the mirror to enjoy that very same sensation, sir.

 

LOUISE

Oh, come on! I mean, you’re wearing a chastity device! That’s, by definition, anti-sexual. And we’re trying to shock people who live for pain and deprivation. Your outfit is practically the definition of who they are.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

 

PAT says nothing. DOM closes his robe and kneels on the floor.

 

LOUISE

Well, what have you got on, Mrs. Whatever?

 

BRENDA stands and disrobes, revealing that she is “wearing” a DWARF who seems to be in the midst of performing a variety of sex acts upon her while also clinging to her.

 

LOUISE

I don’t know if that counts as “wearing” something shocking. I mean can you really “wear” another person?

 

FRED

If you could wear another person, though, that’s probably what it would look like.

 

DOM

I agree, sir.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

 

PAT says nothing. BRENDA relaxes back into her chair and the DWARF continues to give her the business.

 

LOUISE

Well, Pat. You’ve been quiet. Do you want to show us what you’ve got on?

 

PAT deliberately steps to the center of the stage and, with his back to the audience, opens his robe to the others. They gasp in unison.

 

LOUISE

Well, I guess you should answer the door.

 

FRED

And maybe go to a hospital.

 

DOM

Don’t. They’ll just try and undo the damage.

 

BRENDA

Whatever.

 

PAT closes his robe and sits down in the chair. The others exchange a few nervous glances.

 

FRED

Maybe they’re not coming.

 

DOM

I agree, sir.

 

LOUISE

No! That can’t be! They always come.

 

BRENDA

What—

 

The doorbell rings. PAT unhurriedly proceeds to the door, which he opens to reveal FIRST TIMOTHY and SECOND TIMOTHY, two well-scrubbed young men holding bibles.

 

FIRST TIMOTHY

Hi there.

 

SECOND TIMOTHY

With all the terrible things going on in the world today, we know that many people are wondering if God really cares what happens to humanity anymore.

 

FIRST TIMOTHY

Or if He even exists at all.

 

SECOND TIMOTHY

But we’re here to tell you about the good news about our Lord and Savior—

 

PAT has been slowly undoing his robe. He opens it.

 

FIRST TIMOTHY and SECOND TIMOTHY

Jesus Christ!!!

 

LOUISE, FRED, DOM and BRENDA all stand, hurling their robes to the floor and staring lasciviously at FIRST TIMOTHY and SECOND TIMOTHY who are shaking in shock, unsure of where to look. FIRST TIMOTHY wets his pants.SECOND TIMOTHY drops his bible. Finally, they turn and run away screaming.

 

PAT slowly closes his robe, then closes the door and returns to his chair. The others also put their robes back on and sit down. They wait for a bit.

 

FRED

Well – what are we going to do now?

 

There is a moment of silence.

 

LOUISE

Can I try on the dwarf?

 

The DWARF gives a thumbs up from inside BRENDA’s robe.

 

BLACKOUT

 

END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #30. Not Where Babies Come From

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“Not Where Babies Come From” by Paul Hagen

 

MOMMY, about eight months pregnant, is in the kitchen sorting through hand-me-downs for the baby-to-be. MADISON enters the kitchen and approaches MOMMY.

 

MADISON

Mommy, is it time to meet the new baby now?

She’s been on her way so long; I want to know how

Much more time? Oh and until the baby does come,

I wanted to ask: where do babies come from?

 

MOMMY

Oh, Maddie, I’m proud how you’ve patiently waited

For baby, but that question’s quite complicated.

Try picturing this: somewhere up on a star

There’s a place where the babies who aren’t born yet are

‘Til it’s time for one to slide a moonbeam to earth

Where at last she’ll arrive on the day of her birth

Where she’ll laugh and she’ll cry and she’ll suck on her thumb.

 

MADISON

Well, that’s nice, Mommy. But not where babies come from.

 

MOMMY

Ah… Well… Maybe you mean how a mom and a dad

Fall in love with each other and it makes them glad

So that love, it grows too big ,at last, for just two,

‘Til it starts to become a new person: like you!

Yes, you’re made out of love — just like baby will be,

Made of love that grew between your daddy and me,

Made of love when you’re happy and love when you’re glum.

 

MADISON

Maybe, Mommy, but that’s not where babies come from.

 

MOMMY

Oh… Gee… I see… Do you mean they come from inside?

How here in Mommy’s tummy your sister will hide,

And be grown from my body, just like mommy’s hair,

Babies are little parts of Moms who put them there,

Like the way from a pizza, you can get a slice,

Or pull one little grain from a bowl full of rice.

From a pie, a fresh piece. From a cookie, a crumb.

 

MADISON

That sounds yummy but that’s not where babies come from.

 

MOMMY

Alright, I give up, Maddie, if you don’t agree

With my answers, I guess, why don’t you just tell me?

 

MADISON

Duh. I saw on the TV — they come from a date.

When you tried to be good and but just couldn’t wait.

And forgot to wear something that’s called a condom.

On the TV they said that’s where babies come from.

 

MOMMY

Maddie, you know the rule about watching TV.

 

MADISON

That I only can watch if you’re watching with me?

 

MOMMY

Did you watch this while mommy and daddy were gone?

 

MADISON

Uh-uh, Mommy. It was a show daddy put on!

 

MOMMY

I’ll explain what that all meant when you’re older, Maddie.

 

MADISON

Uh-oh, you look mad, Mommy. Are you mad at Daddy?

 

MOMMY

Let’s just say: it will be some time ’til Dad has some

Of the thing that he knows is where babies come from.

 

MADDIE looks confused as lights fade to black.
END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #29. Finding Mate

 

 

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From a dense fog, a BARD enters and addresses the audience.

 

BARD

When the King with no Name meets the Queen with No Face.

 

Lights up on the faceless KING and the QUEEN.

 

BARD

Flanked by Priests who don’t Pray, standing paired in their place.

 

Lights up on the BISHOPS, who at first stand to the right and left of the queen but then begin moving around them  in diagonal lines.

 

BARD

While the Knights Who Must Waltz travel in three-four time.

 

Lights up on the KNIGHTS, who begin waltzing about the stage.

 

BARD

Near the Towers that Move such that no one can climb.

 

Lights up on the ROOKS, who begin moving about the stage in straight lines.

 

BARD

And as they circulate in their strange diagrams

All around them, the pawns fall like sacrificed lambs.

 

Lights rise on the PAWNS, who are immediately each murdered by a BISHOP, KNIGHT or ROOK.

 

BARD

And by these gambits, royalty soon are divided.

 

The BISHOPS, KNIGHTS and ROOKS come between the King and Queen.

 

BARD

Queen is driven from King, ne’er to be reunited.

 

The BISHOPS, KNIGHTS and ROOKS isolate the Queen and drive her from the stage.

 

BARD

Then comes check… And comes check…. And before it’s too late.

 

The BISHOPS, KNIGHTS and ROOKS advance on the KING, moving him about the stage.

 

BARD

The King is made lonely and soon finds his mate.

 

The BISHOPS, KNIGHTS and ROOKS surround the KING and knock him to the checkerboard floor.

 

LIGHTS OUT

 

END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #28. Fall of the Rising Star

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“Fall of the Rising Star” by Paul Hagen

 

Two men sit at a bar. It looks like they were strangers until they started talking a few minutes ago. RISING STAR has just launched into his story. OLD PRO is listening encouragingly.

 

RISING STAR

I mean, I was doing really well.

 

OLD PRO

How well?

 

RISING STAR

Among the top brass, really one of the big guy’s right hand men.

 

OLD PRO

Sounds like a power position.

 

RISING STAR

But with a few problems. First, the man on top was going nowhere. I’m talking a real no-opportunity-for-advancement situation.

 

OLD PRO

Sometimes you gotta ride those situations out.

 

RISING STAR

I was trying but there were a few of the others at my level who also really had the big guy’s ear — and didn’t necessarily, shall we say, share my interests?

 

OLD PRO

Competition…

 

RISING STAR

Then I start hearing rumors that the real plan was to bring the boss’s son in under him — effectively giving him authority over us.

 

OLD PRO

Nepotism…

 

RISING STAR

So — only as an act of self defense, really — I end edup rallying support among some of my colleagues. I wasn’t even making a move, really. I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page, you know, in terms of authority. And to know I had some back-up to call on — in case my own authority were ever questioned.

 

OLD PRO

A man needs a back-up plan.

 

RISING STAR

Of course, someone got sloppy and word got around; the big guy finds out about this — let’s say — network of mine. And all of a sudden there’s this massive reorganization, layoffs disproportionately affecting my people, and finally comes the day I get called in… and cast out.

 

OLD PRO

There’s no loyalty anymore.

 

RISING STAR

But, you know, I’m actually grateful for the whole situation. Being on my own, creating a new organization and having a singular goal again has been a real motivator.

 

OLD PRO

Nothing like being master of your own destiny.

 

RISING STAR

Right. Like you said. I’m the master. I could have never hoped for that while I was toiling under that other guy.

 

OLD PRO

And what’s that singular goal you mentioned?

 

RISING STAR

Destroying all the best work my old organization can manage.

 

OLD PRO

Ah. Revenge. There’s nothing like it.

 

They clink glasses.

 

OLD PRO

What did you say your name was again?

 

RISING STAR

Lucifer.

 

RISING STAR smiles and laughs as he takes another swig of his drink, watching OLD PRO for some reaction.

 

RISING STAR

How about you. What’s your name?

 

OLD PRO

Oh, I don’t do names.

 

OLD PRO sips his drink as RISING STAR stares suspiciously and lights fade back.

 

END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #27. Real Bowling Shoes

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“Real Bowling Shoes” by Paul Hagen

 

At the rear of the stage is a counter stocked with bowling shoes of various sizes and balls of every color and weight. Toward the front of the stage, we see a banquette of chairs and a scoring station at the front of the bowling lanes. The entire bowling alley appears empty.

 

BRICK, a chubby, unassuming guy in a bowling shirtcomes walking in, carrying a ball bag and a gym bag. VIOLET comes teetering in behind him looking very Peggy Bundy — big hair, breast-accentuating shirt, tight leggings and high heels designed to look like bowling shoes.

 

VIOLET

But, Brick, they’re just like bowling shoes!

 

BRICK

They are not just like bowling shoes.

 

BRICK settles into a lane, takes a pair of proper bowling shoes out of his gym bag and begins changing into them from his street shoes.

 

VIOLET

But they’re so cute! They’re designed to look just like bowling shoes. And I bought them special — to make bowling night sexy.

 

BRICK

Bowling night isn’t supposed to be sexy.

 

VIOLET

But it could be!

 

She struts around a bit, but he shakes his head and returns his attention to changing his shoes.

 

BRICK

Even if they were bowling shoes, you wore them in from the outside; so they’re tracking street dirt into the bowling area.

 

VIOLET

Oh, please. Like this place is some sort of, like, temple of hygiene. Besides, no one else is even here.

 

BRICK

Rules are rules for a reason, whether or not someone else is around to notice, Violet.

 

BRICK

Did it ever occur to you that the rules are there for your own safety, Vi?

 

VIOLET

Well I feel plenty safe, thank you very much.

 

BRICK heads over to the counter and rings the bell. NED pops his head up from behind the counter, balding and gawky.

 

NED

How can I help you, sir?

 

BRICK

I’d like to roll a few balls down Lane Five, please.

 

NED

No problem sir. Will you be needing shoes?

 

BRICK

Brought my own.

 

NED

Will the lady be playing as well?

 

BRICK

She doesn’t bowl.

 

NED

I hate to be a stickler, sir, but if she’ll be joining you in the bowling area, we will ask that she wear bowling shoes.

 

VIOLET

Oh, come on! These are PRACTICALLY bowling shoes.

 

NED

With all due respect, ma’am, while I appreciate that your shoes are designed remind one of bowling shoes, but they are not serving the essential function of bowling shoes.

 

BRICK

See?

 

VIOLET

And what essential function is that?

 

NED

In part to protect the lanes from outside contaminants, which — if you wore those shoes in from the outside — those shoes are not doing.

 

BRICK

See?

 

VIOLET

Now come on, buddy — what did you say your name was again?

 

NED

It’s Ned, ma’am.

 

VIOLET

Well, my good buddy Ned, since nobody else is around, would you mind doing me a little favor and overlooking the fact that I am wearing these filthy, not-quite-essential shoes?

 

NED

I wish I could, ma’am, but the rules are there to protect you as much as us.

 

BRICK

See?

 

VIOLET

What? Are you worried about somebody slipping on the high gloss of your well=waxed lanes. It was my understanding that you’re not supposed to go on the lanes anyway.

 

NED

That is true, ma’am. However, the shoes are also designed to provide the proper amount of friction on the hardwood area where one makes the approach.

 

VIOLET

All right, Ned. I’ll wear your shoes. Gimme a pair in five and a half. And if I’m going to be forced to do that, then I guess I might as well bowl, too. And I’ll take the brightest, pinkest ball you got.

 

NED

Yes, ma’am.

 

NED places a pair of shoes and a bright pink bowling ball on the counter. VIOLET picks up the pink ball and heads back down to the lane area.

 

NED

I’m sorry, ma’am you’re going to need to actually put on the shoes before you bowl.

 

VIOLET

I said I’d wear ‘em, and I’m gonna wear ‘em. But first I’m gonna show you that there’s absolutely nothing unsafe about bowling in these beautiful, sexy shoes.

 

NED

Please, ma’am. Don’t—

 

VIOLET awkwardly stumbles toward the lane, but as she is about to release the ball, she rolls her ankle and ends up hurling herself face-first down the lane. There is a brief, awkward silence.

 

BRICK

See?

 

BLACKOUT

 

END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #26. The PlastiCrap Party

 

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“The PlastiCrap Party” by Paul Hagen

 

PAUL, a smartly-coiffed homosexual is standing on the steps of a McMansion and is shortly joined by BONNIE, an immaculately dressed woman who calls to mind a domestic goddess of the 1960s.

 

PAUL

Aunt Bonnie! I just got here. I’m just so glad you could come.

 

BONNIE

Anything for you, Paul.

 

PAUL

Kitty is just going to be thrilled. I don’t think she’s ever hosted a PlastiCrap party before and having such an accomplished PlastiCrap saleswoman here — I mean, it’s like Patti Lupone coming to your community theater production of Evita.

 

BONNIE

Without all the scratching and biting, I’m sure.

 

KITTY throw  open the front door, wearing a too-tight dress and too-high heels. Her hairdo is shellacked like it has been reinforced to withstand an airstrike.

 

KITTY

Paul, you’re here! And Aunt Bonnie, I am SO excited to meet you! You are a real role model for me.

 

BONNIE

Well, here’s hoping that’s still seems like a compliment once I get to know you.

 

PAUL

Aunt Bonnie, this is my cousin Kitty, our hostess for the evening.

 

BONNIE

A pleasure, Kitty. Don’t you look… uh… winning?

 

KITTY

In this little outfit? Aw, thanks! Let me take your coats, and I’m just gonna give you a quick little rundown of how the evening is gonna go before we head in to join the others.

 

PAUL and BONNIE remove their coats and hand them to KITTY.

 

PAUL

I hardly think you need to tell Aunt Bonnie how a PlastiCrap party is going to go, Kitty. That’s like telling Elizabeth Taylor how to get married.

 

BONNIE

May she rest.

 

PAUL and BONNIE take a moment of silence for Liz.

 

BONNIE

That said, every woman throws her PlastiCrap party in her own way, Paul, darling. I’m happy to hear what — Kitty, was it? — what Kitty has in store.

 

KITTY

Thank you! Well, everyone else is already waiting in the living room.

 

PAUL

Oh, are we late?

 

KITTY

No, they were just excited; so they got here early.

 

BONNIE

Nothing like an enthusiastic crowd!

 

KITTY

I’ve already made it clear to everyone that they don’t have to buy anything, but I went ahead and bought enough so that everyone can take something home.

 

PAUL

You pre-ordered enough for a whole party of people? Don’t you usually just need one of everything to show off and then let the people order what they want?

 

BONNIE

Now, now, Paul. Maybe there’s a strategy to it.

 

KITTY

Well, yes. Especially since I’m only selling one thing.

 

PAUL

One thing?

 

BONNIE

What one thing?

 

KITTY proudly produces a homemade dildo.

 

BONNIE

Now, how can I put this?

 

PAUL

I’m pretty sure PlastiCrap doesn’t make those!

 

BONNIE

That’s how to put it.

 

KITTY

I’m not sure about PlastiCrap but PlastiCorp does!

 

BONNIE

So the this isn’t a PlastiCrap party?

 

PAUL

I could have sworn I specifically heard her say PlastiCrap. But then again she did always have a speech impediment.

 

BONNIE

And what exactly goes on at a PlastiCorp party? You don’t… uh… demonstrate your… uh… product, do you?

 

KITTY

Of course not!

 

PAUL

Well thank the universe for small favors.

 

KITTY

Why demonstrate them when we can make new ones?!

 

PAUL

That sounds like a very different kind of favor.

 

BONNIE

Can you be a little more specific?

 

KITTY

Well, that’s why everyone was asked to come in pairs of two. You need a lady to get you excited.

 

PAUL

Bite your tongue!

 

KITTY

And to help you insert your Willy into the patented PlastiCorp Willy Cloning Kit.

 

BONNIE

Who couldn’t use a little extra help with… uh… willy-handling?

 

PAUL

So let me get this, and you’ll excuse the expression, straight: You invited us to a party where a bunch of straight women are going to get their lovers hard in order to make plastic replicas of their penises?

 

KITTY

Well, they can also insert the optional vibrator to put a little extra moan and groan in your clone.

 

PAUL

Ugh. You just put a little extra moan and groan in my life.

 

PAUL grabs back both of their coats back from Kitty and hands BONNIE hers. They both begin putting their coats back on.

 

KITTY

No! You can’t leave!

 

PAUL

We certainly can.

 

KITTY

Everyone’s got their hearts set on meeting you.

 

BONNIE

Well, they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

 

PAUL

Seriously, Kitty: What would ever make you think I’d be interested in seeing a bunch of guys jerked off at a sex toy party? Well, put that way, it starts to make more sense.

 

KITTY

Did I mention the Willy Clones come in Brown, Neon Purple, Glow-in-the-Dark Green and Flesh colored?

 

BONNIE

Last time I checked, sweetheart, Brown was also a flesh color.

 

PAUL

What I’m really shocked by is that you would invite such a premium person as Aunt Bonnie to your tawdry little fake penis fest?

 

KITTY

But she has an interest in plastics! And parties! And I just thought— I never realized— I wanted everything to be— Oh God—

 

BONNIE

Hush, now, honey. You haven’t done anything wrong by getting together a group of open-minded men and women to sell them something plastic. I’ve made a career out of it.

 

KITTY

Does that mean you’ll stay?

 

BONNIE

How can I put this? I’d rather help Kirstie Alley pry herself out of a pair of Spanx with a crowbar and a can of Crisco.

 

KITTY hangs her head in shame.

 

 

BONNIE

Now you go look after your guests, and make sure no one makes a mess on the sofa. That can happen even at parties where people aren’t administering manual stimulation in a group setting.

 

KITTY

I really am sorry, Paul.

 

PAUL

Well, you should be.

 

KITTY closes the door and heads back into the party.

 

BONNIE

Don’t be too hard on her, Paul. 

 

PAUL sighs.

 

PAUL

Maybe I shouldn’t have held her head underwater so long when we were playing as children. Or maybe I should have held her under longer.

 

BONNIE

No comment.

 

PAUL

Well, I’m sorry to — and you’ll excuse the expression — drag you all the way out here for nothing.

 

BONNIE

Oh, it wasn’t for nothing, darling. It’ll make a hilarious story: the night we showed up to see plastic hawked and almost ended up with plastic cocks. And, hey, if you ever decide to preserve your penis for posterity, you know exactly who to call.

 

PAUL

If someone wants to use my penis after I’m gone, they can climb on top of my cold dead corpse and have at it.

 

BONNIE

Darling, if you go on keeping your opinions all bottled up like that, you’re going to give yourself an ulcer.

 

BONNIE walks down the path away from the front door with a flourish. PAUL leans toward a window near the door.

 

PAUL

Good night, perverts!

 

From within we hear the entire party answer in unison.

 

KITTY and COMPANY

Goodnight, Paul!

 

PAUL seems intrigued. He pauses for a moment and then sneaks back in the front door.

 

BLACKOUT
END OF PLAY

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#31plays31days Y5 #25. Action News

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“Action News” by Paul Hagen

JOHNSON is an anchorman at his news desk, live on the air.

 

JOHNSON

And thanks to you, Bruce, for that special edition of Action Sports live from FirstEnergy stadium. After a quick commercial break we’ll be back with a very special guest you’re not going to want to miss.

 

We hear MELISSA, a no-nonsense producer in JOHNSON’s earpiece.

 

MELISSA

That’s commercial but it’s a quick one, Johnson.

 

JOHNSON

How quick?

 

MELISSA

Like one minute-thirty quick.

 

JOHNSON

That’s quick.

 

MELISSA

What’s wrong?

 

JOHNSON

Nothing. I was just hoping I’d have time to run to the rest room.

 

MELISSA

Is it something you can get done in a minute-fifteen?

 

JOHNSON

I honestly do not think so.

 

MELISSA

Then is it something that can wait until you finish the last five minutes of a live news broadcast?

 

JOHNSON

I’m not— I think— Sure. I— Sure. Five minutes.

 

MELISSA

Can someone please get the basket with the puppy placed? Who has the basket with the puppy? Asian Intern with Weird Hair, is it you?

 

An Asian INTERN with an asymmetrical haircut with chunks of pink and purple in it enters and places a basket with an adorable kitten in it on the desk.

 

JOHNSON

Oh no.

 

MELISSA

What?

 

JOHNSON

I’m highly allergic to cats.

 

MELISSA

Then why, when we asked if we could have a pet on set for the segment, did you say, “Sure! No Problem!”

 

JOHNSON

I just assumed it would be a dog.

 

MELISSA

Why would you assume that?

 

JOHNSON

I don’t know.

 

MELISSA

I mean it could have been a bird or a snake.

 

JOHNSON

A snake?!

 

MELISSA

Whatever. It’s a cat. Alright — how allergic?

 

JOHNSON

I itch. I sneeze.

 

MELISSA

So you itch and sneeze for five minutes and then we take the thing far away from you.

 

JOHNSON

But if I sneeze, I might—

 

MELISSA

And we’re back in 5… 4…

 

JOHNSON

Welcome back to Action News. For our final segment, I promised you a very special guest. Well here he is.

 

JOHNSON motions to the kitten in the basket as he also begins to itch, tugging at his collar as though it’s suddenly tight.

 

JOHNSON

This adorable little guy is Maxwell and he is one of thousands of pets in need of a good home. Ah… Ah… Ah…

 

JOHNSON stifles a sneeze. He is looking more uncomfortable by the moment.

 

JOHNSON

Tomorrow, April 30, is National Adopt a Shelter Pet day. What better time to bring a little extra love into your— Ah… Ah… Ah….

 

JOHNSON stifles another sneeze. He’s falling apart.

 

JOHNSON

Now I know this might seem, literally, like a puff piece because our friend here is so fluffy and adorable, but the very real truth is that over seven and a half million pets are euthanized in this nation every— Ah… Ah… Ah… CHOO!!!

 

JOHNSON sneezes and the sneeze is shortly followed by a series of resonant flatulent noises. We hear MELISSA in JOHNSON’s earpiece.

 

MELISSA

Jesus Christ, John. Did you just shit yourself live on TV? Nod if the answer is yes.

 

JOHNSON nods.

 

MELISSA

Well, I don’t have anything on standby and it’s too early to go to closing credits. Just push through. You’re almost there.

 

JOHNSON

These beautiful creatures are in local shelters just waiting for someone like you to keep them from being— Ah… Ah… Ah.. CHOO!!!

 

JOHNSON sneezes again, followed by more farting noises.

 

MELISSA

Jesus Christ. Somebody do something. Asian Intern with the weird hair! Get that cat away from him.

 

The INTERN runs onto the set and grabs the basket by the handle, but JOHNSON holds onto it. he INTERN tries to pull it away from him but they begin to wrestle with it.

 

JOHNSON

Ah… Ah… Ah… CHOO!!!

 

JOHNSON sneezes and there are still more expulsive noises from his rear. He pulls the cat out of the basket and practically throws it at the INTERN, then places the basket under the desk, squats over it and attempts to nonchalantly undo his pants. INTERN backs away with the kitten.

 

MELISSA

No, Johnson. You can’t.

 

JOHNSON

If you’ve ever thought that you might want to share your life with a pet, I urge you to act now. Because for a lot of these guys. Ah… Ah… Ah… CHOO!!! Oh… God…

 

JOHNSON is now clearly full-on crapping into the basket behind the news desk.

 

MELISSA

Jesus Christ, he is literally shitting all over the end of my newscast. Does anyone have anything— You! Asian Intern with the Weird Hair! Just get in front of that desk, look straight into the camera, and read to the end of the teleprompter

 

JOHNSON (whimpering)

It’s like a demon’s escaping from inside me!!!

 

The INTERN rushes to the desk, still holding the kitten.

 

INTERN

Because for a lot of these guys, time is running out.

 

JOHNSON

Mommy. I want my Mommy.

 

INTERN

I’m J— I’m Katie Wong and this is Your Action News!

 

Lights begin to fade.

 

MELISSA

Roll credits. We’re out. Somebody get a hose.

 

The INTERN pets the kitten while smiling triumphantly into camera, as JOHNSON writhes in agony behind her. Lights fade to black.

 

END OF PLAY

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