~A fun-packed play in 30 skits~
Edward Crosby Wells

Represented by Paul Thain

Contact for licensing rights:

SYNOPSIS: (Ensemble, Minimum 3/M and 3/W, One Set, Full Length.)
WAIT A MINUTE!! is a fun-packed play of 30 witty, smart, laugh-out-loud skits—and all with twists and surprising endings.  Skits range from 1 to 5 minutes each.
WAIT A MINUTE! is intended to be presented as a complete play.  Individual skits are not to be performed separately without written permission from the author or the author’s representative. 





BASIL and NIGEL, two men of flamboyant character, are leaning over the railing of the Titanic and sipping champagne. It is night.

BASIL: (Raises glass to make a toast.) Happy anniversary, love.

NIGEL: Chin-chin, darling. (They drink.) I say, who ever would have imagined we’d be celebrating our first anniversary on this really big boat, the Titanic?  I feel like the queen of the world!

BASIL: Careful, love.  Somebody will hear you.

NIGEL: Oh, bother! As a member of the Oscar Wilde Society, I am coming out of the armoire!  Hear me, world!  Hear me roar!  Grrrr . . .

BASIL: Oh, dear!  That champagne is going directly to your head, Nigel.

NIGEL: Out of the armoire, boys, and into the streets!

BASIL: (Spots something off in the distance.) Oh, I say, what is that, dear chap?

NIGEL: What is what, Basil?

BASIL: (Pointing.) That.  Out there, darling.  It looks like . . .  Oh, Zeus on Olympus!  It looks like a giant penis!

NIGEL: Oh, I say!  It is a giant penis, what?  Pray tell, however do you suppose a giant penis floated out into the middle of the north Atlantic?

BASIL: And whose penis do you suppose it is?   I mean, that ought to be the really huge question.

NIGEL: No one I know, darling.  It must be fifty feet tall.  Quick, Basil!  Get those really big oars out of that really big lifeboat over there.

BASIL: (Retrieving oars.) Whatever do you plan to do with these?

NIGEL: We’re going to row, darling.  We’re going to row this really big boat over to where we can get a really good look at that really big penis.

(They put the oars in water and row.)

BASIL: Oh, Mary Queen of Scots, this is exhausting!

NIGEL: We’re almost there.  Row, darling, row!  Row your little, round, firm tushy off!  Look at that!  (They stop rowing.)  It . . . it’s . . . it’s an iceberg.

BASIL: Still . . . it looks like a penis.

NIGEL: Kind of . . . I mean, if you squint.


NIGEL: Really big.

BASIL: Nigel.

NIGEL: Basil?

BASIL: I think it is going to hit this boat, what?

NIGEL: I think you’re right.

(The SOUND of the iceberg hitting the Ship.  BOTH  hold onto the railing for dear life.)

BOTH: OOPS . . .

NIGEL: Quick!  Get rid of the evidence.  Throw the oars overboard.

BASIL: NO.  We’ll need them for the lifeboat.  (Spots someone he recognizes on the deck.)  I say, there’s that busybody American woman over there.


BASIL: Molly somebody.  Ah yes!  Brown . . . Molly Brown from Denver, Colorado.  Very rich.  Loves the royals.

NIGEL: Then she'll love us! 

BASIL: (Calling out to her.) Hello, Molly!  Over here!  Care to share a lifeboat?

NIGEL: Wait a minute!  Don’t run!  We’ll save you, Miss Brown!  You’ll be safe with us!



EDDIE and SUSIE are at a bus stop.

EDDIE: Howdy, Susie.

SUSIE: Howdy right back atcha, Eddie.

EDDIE: So where ya’ll headed?

SUSIE: Yonder.

EDDIE: I 'spects I ain't never been to Yonder.

SUSIE: Gots me a cousin up in Yonder.

EDDIE: Really?  I gots me one down Nowhere.

SUSIE: I've been to Nowhere.  Couldn’t wait to get out and get to Somewhere.

EDDIE: That's where most o’ my folks live.  Nice place. 

SUSIE: Some say.

EDDIE: Some disagree.


EDDIE: Yup.  I was born and raised in Somewhere.  Were you always from Here?

SUSIE: Nope. I moved to Here from Yonder.

EDDIE: Yonder’s nice.

SUSIE: Yup.  Some say it is.

EDDIE: Yup.  That’s what some say.

SUSIE: I like Hither better.  Got an uncle in Hither.

EDDIE: I gots me an aunt in Hither.  Here it is.  There’s m’ bus.

SUSIE: Yup.  There it is.


SUSIE: Mine too.

EDDIE: Really?

SUSIE: Yup.  Only I’m goin’ in the opposite direction.

EDDIE: Wait a minute!  Then you best be gettin’ on first.



MUFFY and DARLING are standing and looking through the fourth wall.

DARLING: Stand back, Muffy.  It’s all covered in oil.  Look at that poor bird.  Don’t stand so close.  It’ll give you nightmares.  Some things should not be seen by polite society.

MUFFY: It’s really dreadful, Darling—that wretched bird in all that oil.  The man on the boat seems to be cleaning one of them—a pelican, I think. One can assume that eventually he’ll get round to the big one.  Oh wait!  It’s a child.  Why isn’t he helping that darling child first?

DARLING: You need glasses, sweetie.  It’s a seal.  It looks to be dying, however. Probably can’t breathe in all that oil.

DARLING: It’s downright irresponsible.

MUFFY: Felonious.  We should get a closer look.

DARLING: No, stand back.  Everything appears less frightening from a distance. Living a good life is all a matter of perspective.  One must always keep her distance from society’s dregs.  That’s why we’re here and they’re there.  It’s a matter of finding ones place and sticking to it.

MUFFY: I remember a time when no one saw anything like this.  It didn’t exist.  None would have it.  When the establishment tended to the environment and we in the Junior League were patrons of the Arts.  We are no longer the cultural beacons we once were.  Now we are reduced to cookbooks and silent auctions.

DARLING: We need to put our collective foot down and make a difference.  Restore culture to its former heights.  Civilizations have come and gone for far less.

MUFFY: Those poor birds—and, of course, the seal.  Drowned in all that oil.  A catastrophe.

DARLING: Stop looking.  It’ll haunt you forever.

MUFFY: Those poor innocent animals.  But, the frame’s nice.

DARLING: Yes, the frame’s nice. Wait a minute!  I’ll have a word with the curator.  What a colossal waste of perfectly good oils. 



Two women, GLORIA and BETTY, are seated at a table tallying the check from their luncheon.

GLORIA: Did you watch the moon landing the other day, Betty?

BETTY: No, Gloria.  I didn’t care to see a man lay claim to yet one more piece of real estate.  You had the fruit salad.  Men already think they own the world . . . and now they’ve got to have the moon, too.  I had the three-bean soup.  “One small step for man; one giant leap for Mankind.”  Give me a break!  I wonder who wrote that bit of misogyny?  Sixty cents for the soup.  That’s mine.  Do you know why they didn’t send a woman to the moon?  Seventy-five cents for the fruit salad.  That’s yours.

GLORIA: No, why is that?

BETTY: Imagine how those men in Washington would react to hearing, “One small step for woman . . .?”

GLORIA: They’d freak.

BETTY: You bet they’d freak.  Egg salad sandwich, ninety-cents.  That’s mine. One day it will be our turn.  Fried bologna on rye, seventy-five cents.  That’s yours.  One day there will be a woman on the moon.  That will be a day to celebrate!

GLORIA: I’d be happy to get to Las Vegas one day.  Too many seeds in the rye and he never did bring the horseradish.  My bra is killing me.  I think I’m going to buy one of those living bras.

BETTY: What?

GLORIA: Yeah, it’s called a living bra and it’s supposed to hold your breasts gently, but firmly – like it had a mind of its own.

BETTY: Now, isn’t that just what I need—something with a mind of its own holding up my . . . euphemisms.  The side order of slaw was forty cents.  That’s yours.

GLORIA: But you ate it.

BETTY: Okay, we’ll split it.  Twenty cents you owe and twenty cents I owe. One hot tea with lemon, a quarter.  That’s mine.  One day I’d like to burn mine.

GLORIA: Burn your what, your tea?

BETTY: My bra, Betty.  One day I’d like to burn my bra.


BETTY: Gloria, do men wear bras?

GLORIA: No, not even when they obviously need them.

BETTY: Well, that’s my point!  One coffee, black.  That’s yours.  Twenty-five cents.  So, what’s in Las Vegas?


BETTY: You said you wanted to go to Las Vegas.  You do know that women are enslaved in Las Vegas, don’t you?  The fruit cup was mine—forty cents.  Haven’t you ever heard of showgirls?

GLORIA: Sure.  I wanted to be a showgirl when I was a little girl.

BETTY: That’s like wanting to be a performing dog!

GLORIA: It’s not the same thing!

BETTY: It certainly is!  Miss Gloria Steinem, the show dog!

GLORIA: Don’t call me that!  I hate it!  Miss implies that there is a man lacking in my life.  How much was the rice pudding, Miss Friedan?

BETTY: Sixty cents!  Don’t change the subject!

GLORIA: How about Mizz?  Not Miss or Missus.  That way you’re not being defined as being manned or manless.  You ate some of my rice pudding.

BETTY: Ten cents!  I didn’t eat more than ten cents worth!  Mizz: M-I-Z-Z. I like the sound of that.  All right.  Rice pudding—you—sixty cents.  Rice pudding—me—ten cents.  Let’s see.  That comes to one dollar and fifty-five cents each.

GLORIA: Wait a minute!  That’s not right.  You charged me more somewhere.  Give me that check.  (Grabbing check.)  Now, let’s see.  You had the three-bean soup—sixty cents. We split the slaw fifty-fifty, which means you owe twenty cents and I owe twenty cents, right?

BETTY: Right . . .  .



TRAVIS and JW are sitting on a bench, a rock, something.  Late afternoon.  West Texas.

TRAVIS: (Gulping beer.)  Seven months and I ain’t touched ‘er in three.  Know what I mean?

JW: Yep.  They’re kind of scary when they start to show like that.  (Finishes his beer, smashes the empty can on his head, collapsing it, then reaches for another.)

TRAVIS: It don’t feel right doin’ it with her in that condition and all.  Liable to damage the baby or somethin’.

JW: You think that’s possible?

TRAVIS: Of course it’s possible.  Shows you how little you know me.  (Smashes beer can, belches and opens another.) Last night I was fixin’ to slap her good.  All I wanted was a steak and a baked potato.  Is that too much to ask for?

JW: Ain’t nothin’ like a juicy steak and a baked potato—unless it’s mashed, or whipped.  Whipped.  I like the sound of that.

TRAVIS: Since she got herself all swelled up with the kid and all, she’s gone on some kind of health kick.  I guess that’s all well and good for her, but I ain’t gonna be turned into some kind of New York food sissy.  So she says somethin’ about bad starch and, “Potatoes are delicious, but are they really necessary?”  Damn straight they’re necessary!  There’s always a meat, a vegetable and a potato.  Though sometimes you can do away with the vegetable.  That’s what God intended.  Know what I mean?

JW: Yep.  Unless you’re havin’ spaghetti.

TRAVIS: Spaghetti’s different, JW.  You’re still gettin’ your meat with your spaghetti—unless it’s canned.  Mamaw (Pronounced: Ma’am ah.) used to make canned spaghetti and fried hot dogs.  That’s good eats.

JW: The wife wants to eat out every other night—Taco Bell, Billy’s B-B-Q, McDonald’s—she’s got no idea what us roustabouts do for our money.  Put her out in the oil field for a day, then she’d change her tune.

TRAVIS: You got that right!

JW: Are you gonna marry her, Travis?

TRAVIS: Wait a minute!  I don’t rightly know, JW.  What with the baby on the way, and her cookin’ and all—I’m not so sure it’ll work out.  She might do better elsewhere.  Women are funny things.  You give them all you got, you try to be nice to them, and what do they do?  Next thing you know you’ll be eating steak with rice.  Can you imagine that?  Nope.  Marriage wouldn’t be fair to her.  ‘Sides, what do I look like to you, huh?  Know what I mean?



BUDDY: (Reading newspaper.) “How’d that gun end up in my pocket?”  Can you imagine that? 

MARGE: What?

BUDDY: The fool said that to the arresting officer after he shot his wife.

MARGE: (Reading letter.)  Some people, Buddy—some people.  Cousin Harriet and that woman she said was her “roommate” exchanged vows in Amarillo, Texas the week before last.  I can’t imagine.

BUDDY: Another scandal rocks Washington after lobbyist agrees to murder wife of Senator in exchange of vote on oil drilling in Alaska.  I can imagine that.

MARGE: The house next door to Dolly—she’s the one made my wedding dress—burned to the ground killing a family of five.  All Dolly’s orders for prom dresses got smoke-damaged and now she doesn’t know who to sue.

BUDDY: SWAT team assassinates Postal worker eating gun made of licorice.  That’s hard to swallow.

MARGE: Was that a joke, Buddy?

BUDDY: (After a pause.)  I think it was, Marge.  It just came out without thinking about it.  It took a awhile to get it, but I got it. I believe I finally found some humor in the world.  It feels . . . it feels miraculous.

MARGE: Aunt Opal’s best friend’s grandson was so badly eaten by bedbugs they had to send him home from school.  Always thought that kid was buggy. (She bursts out in laughter.)

BUDDY: Harvard professor develops cure for flatulence.  Now he is working on cure for an alarming rise in halitosis.  (BOTH explode in laughter.)

MARGE: Sister wants to know if we’re coming home for Butch’s graduation from beauty school.  (She cannot control her laughter.)

BUDDY: Terrorists steal thirty pounds of plutonium and hold grammar school children hostage.  Governor demands proof that they are really weapons of mass destruction.  President appoints commission to look into the matter.  (BOTH laughing uncontrollably.)

MARGE: Uncle George may have chicken flu.  That would be the first time a chicken flew!

BUDDY: America invades third world country where everybody is starving and there is no oil.  (Stops laughing. Seriously.)  Huh?  That doesn’t make any sense.

MARGE: (Equally serious.) Wait a minute!  Who’d believe that?



GEORGE: (In chair, reading newspaper.)  Gracie, it says that marijuana may soon be legal.

GRACIE: (Feather dusting.)  Thank goodness!  I never thought I’d live to see the day.

GEORGE: But you don’t smoke marijuana.

GRACIE: That’s right, George, but poor old Aunt Pansy does.

GEORGE: I didn’t know you had an Aunt Pansy.

GRACIE: We don’t like to talk about her.  She’s been smoking the stuff since her hippy days.  Maybe now she’ll be able to get back on the apple cart.

GEORGE: You mean, back on the wagon?

GRACIE: Nope, back on the apple cart.  The evil weed ruined Uncle Arnold’s cider business.  She went astray with quite a few of Arnold’s apple pickers.  Get stoned and get loose.

GEORGE: She was a bad apple, huh?

GRACIE: You shouldn’t make jokes about the weakness of others.  Besides, if she hadn’t been such a good church-going Christian, she may never have fallen by the wayside. 

GEORGE: Off the apple cart.

GRACIE: And right into the gutter.

GEORGE: But what has the church got to do with her falling by the wayside?

GRACIE: She fell right in with the preacher’s wife. 

GEORGE: One would think that falling in with a preacher’s wife would be a good thing.

GRACIE: Oh no, George. There’s nothing more tempting to the Christian soul than prohibiting something.  She fell off the apple cart when she fell in with the preacher’s wife who ran off to Chicago.  Then she got a tattoo and ended up behind bars and all because marijuana was illegal.  Once it becomes legal people will lose interest.  If they don’t make it legal, I don’t believe the poor thing will ever be born again—especially since she took up stripping right after getting out of jail. 

GEORGE:  Wait a minute!  Stripping in a sleazy strip bar?  

GRACIE: Nope—in a parking lot.

GEORGE: Poor thing.  We shouldn’t want her stumbling in the dark, waiting to be born again.  Won’t do Uncle Arnold or the apple pickers any good.

GRACIE: I wouldn’t worry about that, George.  Uncle Arnold is dead.  Dead as a doornail.


GRACIE: He went to Chicago looking for Aunt Pansy and fell in with the wrong crowd—her friends.  Seems they were connected with the Colombian drug cartel and he must have said something they didn’t like.

GEORGE: So they . . . I see your point.  Say goodnight, Gracie.
GRACIE: Good night, Gracie.  It all goes to show. 

GEORGE: It all goes to show what?

GRACIE: That sometimes the righteous are more dangerous than the sinner.  Say goodnight, George.



Olivia, Tish and Zoe are three middle-aged women having afternoon tea.

OLIVIA: Wait a minute!  Not really?

ZOE: True.  Really.

TISH: Hard to believe, but true.

OLIVIA: It is difficult to imagine, don’t you think?

ZOE: However difficult to imagine, I’m not making this up.

TISH: I’m sure you’re not, dear.  Wouldn’t you all agree?

OLIVIA: Let’s move on, shall we?

ZOE: Let’s.  We’ve lots of business to discuss.

TISH: Indeed we do.  Where should we begin?

OLIVIA: How about the euphemism?

ZOE: The euphemism?  You mean that son of—

OLIVIA: Our waiter might be listening, mightn’t he?

ZOE: He might. But . . . the euphemism . . . had it coming!

OLIVIA: I’m sure it did, but the question at the moment is how to get rid of—it, isn’t it?

TISH: It certainly is the question—getting rid of the euphemism.

ZOE: Where should we start?

OLIVIA: How about what are we going to do with it?

TISH: We could put it in the trunk and drive it to the garbage dump, or maybe the lake.

ZOE: Three hundred pounds—dead weight. A perfectly good shower curtain, wasn’t it?

TISH: Perfectly good—Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I needn’t remind you ladies that we’re doing my euphemism next month.

OLIVIA: (Calling out.) Waiter! Check please! (To Tish.) Then do put your euphemism on a diet. 



GUY 8 and GUY 9 are sitting at a table, each wearing a name badge.

GUY 8: You can learn a lot about woman on a six minute date.  Take it from big twelve.

GUY 9: Big twelve?  Your badge says “nine.”

GUY 8: But my friends call me big twelve.  Know what I mean?  (A wink.)  You like magic?

GUY 9: Sure.  Everybody likes magic.

GUY 8: I got this levitating act that drives the ladies wild—that’s why they call me big twelve.

GUY 9: I don’t see the connection.

GUY 8: You could.  We’ll see how it goes with the ladies first.  Know what I mean?

GUY 9: What’s your real name?

GUY 8: Weren’t you here for the orientation?  No names—don’t ask, don’t tell.

GUY 9: Why is that, do you suppose?

GUY 8: Ever seen Fatal Attraction ? You don’t want to end up getting your rabbit boiled, do you?

GUY 9: I don’t have a rabbit.  Do you have a rabbit?  I had a rabbit when I was little.  Mother boiled it for a stew.  That made me feel really bad, but it kind of made me feel really good too.

GUY 8: Feeling bad makes you feel good?

GUY 9: I like a good spanking every now and again.  Number fourteen looked like a real good spanker. I asked her if she’d like to spank me and she slapped my face.

GUY 8: That’s a start.  You can’t have everything.  I asked number seven if she’d like to see some magic.  She said yes, so I rubbed the old magic levitator and before you could say shazaam the table rose six inches off the floor.  She’ll be back.  Yup . . . tonight was a bust, if you know what I mean.  All those women and every one a loser—not an honest one in the bunch.  Ready?  (Rises to exit.)  The wife’s got dinner on, I expect.

GUY 9: Mine too. (Rises to exit.)

GUY 8: Maybe I’ll run into you again next week  (Gesturing.)  You first. I’ll follow.

GUY 9: Wait a minute!  Not too close.



TEDDY and CHARLIE, two young men, are sitting outside their tent, warming in front of a fire.

TEDDY: That mountain looks so daunting, but I’m determined to climb it.

CHARLIE: There ain’t no climbing, Ted.  There’s a path goes right to the top.

TEDDY: Still, it’s uphill all the way.

CHARLIE: Everything’s uphill in this neck of the woods.  Ain’t nothin’ worth anything if you don’t head for the heights.  Think of the thrill when you reach the top and look out over the whole valley.

TEDDY: I suppose, but what if a bear kills us on the way up?  Shouldn’t we have protection?

CHARLIE: How about a ham sandwich?

TEDDY: No, thanks.  Still full from the beans and franks.

CHARLIE: For the bear.  If we stumble upon one, we give it a sandwich and he’ll go on his way.

TEDDY: Suppose he doesn’t like ham?   Suppose he’d rather have berries, or honey.

CHARLIE: We don’t have berries or honey.  We got Spam, but I don’t think he’ll wait till we get the can open.  (As to a dog.)  We got Spam, little guy.  Just wait and don’t eat us.  Give me time to open it.

TEDDY: Bears don’t eat people, they claw you to death.  They sneak up on you and it’s all over.

CHARLIE: That’s life and that’s why you should always carry a ham sandwich.

TEDDY: (Spotting something.)  Shhh . . . there’s something out there.

CHARLIE: There’s always something out there.  Is it a bear?

TEDDY: I don’t think so.  It’s fat and ugly, and it’s carrying a banjo.

CHARLIE: I don’t see anybody.  It’s probably just another camper.  Maybe he’s lost.

TEDDY: I don’t think so.  He’s staring at me and licking his lips like he’s gonna eat me, but I don’t think he’s got any teeth.

CHARLIE: Wait a minute!  You’re making this up.

TEDDY: Nope.

CHARLIE:  Then you’re imagining things. 

TEDDY: Nope.  (The strumming SOUND of a banjo)  Quick!  Give me a ham sandwich.



MARGE and ARTHUR are in their garden, gathering flowers.

MARGE: This one has a nice thick stem.  Don’t cut it.  It won’t topple like the limp ones.  Sunflowers make such nice arrangements.  A pity their heads get so big.  They collapse under their own weight.

ARTHUR: A pity, indeed.  Wait a minute!  Before I forget, don’t mention Larry’s malpractice suit tonight.  For all his bragging about being Chief of Surgery, that won’t last long, will it?

MARGE: Leaving all that hardware in a patient isn’t going to bode well when he goes before the Board.  Don’t tell any of your jokes in front of Roger.  You know how he can get.  Oh my, look at all those pansies—still in bloom and with all those lovely painted faces.  I hope Roger doesn’t critique the entire menu as he did last time.

ARTHUR: Pansies seem to thrive on nothing, don’t they?  Pansies are the first to come and the last to go.  They lay so close to the dirt, the only thing that seems to kill them are stepping on them and grinding them into the ground.  I will have a talk with Roger about that.

MARGE: I’m glad you did.  It was embarrassing.  Delphinium and Snapdragons are always a bit festive.  Cut a few, Arthur.  It was a good idea to make the dinner party formal.  Maybe Minnie won’t show up in her Hawaiian moo-moo this time. Look at our hollyhocks, so tall and erect—and what endurance!  They last so long.  Honestly, I cannot imagine what Howard sees in her.

ARTHUR: We’ll forego the asters.  They spread and fall helter-skelter however the wind blows.  Quite annoying, aren’t they?  Did you really have to invite the Cutlers?  They’re both a bit extreme, don’t you think?  I don’t believe calling yourselves “artists” gives one free reign to do and say whatever comes to mind.  There seems a faulty connection between the brain and the mouth.

MARGE: Quite right.  I wish the lilacs hadn’t died.  They come and go so quickly. We could have done a nice bouquet of only them.  Lilacs add a splash of passion and some sweetness to the air.  By the way, your secretary called again.  She said you needed to come in to work on some papers.

ARTHUR: What did you tell her?

MARGE: I told her the papers could wait till after the weekend.  She calls too often, if you ask me.

ARTHUR: The Rosenthal case is rather prickly.  There are all those depositions to go over.  What do you think of those marigolds?

MARGE: Nobody brings marigolds into the house.  Have you no sense of decency?  They stink.

ARTHUR: The moonflowers are abundant this year.  Poisonous, of course, but you’d have to eat a great many before they killed you.  However, they could be ground into a paste and mixed in with mashed potatoes or something, couldn’t they?



SHE: (Sitting on loveseat.)  Would you care for some coffee?

HE: (Sitting next to her.) I love coffee, but I can only drink it when the world is asleep.

SHE: The world?   Surely there is always somebody awake in the world.

HE: Most assuredly, but I am an artist and artists need a safe haven from the sound of Human thought.  Their minds are never still and it destroys the creative process.

SHE: That pretty much rules out coffee, doesn’t it?  There must be something I can offer you. 

HE: Perhaps there is.

SHE: And what would that be?

HE: We’ll see.  Ask me again later—maybe I’ll be hungry then.

SHE: Are you making advances towards me?

HE: I was thinking about it, yes.

SHE: You stop it right now.  I’m not the kind of lady you think I am.

HE: The seduction is the most pleasant part of the game, isn’t it?

SHE: You have much experience with the seduction?

HE: I seduce the muses.

SHE: What do you use for bait?

HE: My talent.  I have a very large talent.

SHE: (Moves closer to him.)  Do you really?

HE:  Oh, yes.  I am considered by many to be a genius.

SHE: Seductive bait, indeed.  Alas, I shall never get the opportunity to see your work.

HE: Of course you will.  There’s always tomorrow evening.

SHE: For some.  Other than wooing me with your huge talent, how many unsuspecting women have you seduced?

HE: I can’t really say.

SHE: That many?

HE: I’m afraid you’re the first.

SHE: That’s so nice to hear. (SHE leans in, bites his neck, HE screams as the LIGHTING dims.)



MADAM is hovering over the MOUSER who is on his hands and knees.

MOUSER: (Holding out a piece of cheese.) They say the bell tolls for thee, but I can’t find thee anywhere.  Come out, wee mousey.  I’ve got Huntingdon Stilton on a stick.  Yummy, yummy.

MADAM: Not too much cheese, Mouser, we shouldn’t want to spoil him.  Had he not swallowed an entire diamond bracelet I’d be inclined to let him go about his business.

MOUSER: And what business would that be, Madam?

MADAM: You should know far better than I, Mouser.

MOUSER: Indeed I should, Madam.  That would be making more wee mouseys.  ‘Tis what they do, Madam.  The Missus has a mouse coat.  I bring home the mouses and she tans their little hides.  Which reminds me, Madam, would you mind terribly if I were to take him home with me?  That is, after the little scoundrel has been apprehended.

MADAM: And my bracelet has been extracted.  Will you be needing pliers?

MOUSER: (Crawling along floor.)  Not at all, Madam.  I once extracted a baby’s rattle and a toe.

MADAM: A toe!  Wait a minute!  A baby’s toe?

MOUSER: No.  Just the rattle belonged to the baby.  The toe belonged to the Missus.  A great many body parts can be found inside a mousey, Madam.  I once captured a mousey with a mousey inside and another mousey inside him.  Like those Chinese boxes, Madam.

MADAM: Do find our culprit.  I’m becoming ill.

MOUSER: Sorry, Madam.  There’s a great deal of brainwork goes into mousing.  One needs to think like a mousey and of course one needs the right bait.  Ordinary cheese won’t cut it, Madam.  They have discriminating palates.  Though I did catch one who dined entirely on earwax.

MADAM: Please hurry and catch the little beggar.

MOUSER: I’m doing my best, Madam.

MADAM: I don’t care about the bracelet, Mouser.  Here, take your payment and depart.  All this intestinal talk is more than I can bear.

MOUSER: If Madam is sure.  (Rises and takes the money. Moves towards exit. Removes mouse from pocket. To mouse.)  Nice wee mousey.  Gets them every time.  Now open up.  That’s it, nice and wide.  (Removes bracelet, holds it up to have a look and exits.)



Two young women, TIFFANY and BRITTANY, are standing on a sidewalk in Rome.

TIFFANY: So I said to Danny, Danny, you really don’t get it, you just don’t get it, know what I mean?  So he says to me, Tiffany, if you go to Rome you go without me.  Well, here we are and— Brittany, quick!  Take a picture of him.

BRITTANY: Who?  Where?

TIFFANY: (Pointing.)  Right there— in front of that stupid fountain with all those naked babies and things.  He looks gorgeous.  Use your zoom.  I love Italians . . . pasta, sausage, Italian men.

BRITTANY: I see him.  I’m zoomed in as close as I can get.  We can enlarge it later.  (Click.)

TIFFANY: Did you get it?  Let me see.

BRITTANY: Me first. J ust hold on.  (Examining camera screen.)

TIFFANY: Well, well?  Is he gorgeous or what?  Wait till Danny sees this.  This’ll make him jealous.  I told him, Danny, they’ve got the World Series on Italian television and he says, but not in English.  How much English do you need to watch a ball game?  He’ll never get to see the Eiffel Tower.

BRITTANY: That’s in Paris.

TIFFANY: Wherever.  Give me that camera. I want to see him.  They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.

BRITTANY: Yeah, but I can’t find my picture.  There’s nothing.  Maybe the batteries are dead.

TIFFANY: For God’s sake, Brittany!  Put some fresh ones in—quickly, quickly— before he leaves.

BRITTANY: I don’t have any.  I’ll have to buy some.

TIFFANY: He’s not going to stand there while you run off to get batteries. Besides, remember what they said about the hair dryer?  Electricity is different over here, so the batteries won’t work either.

BRITTANY: I never thought of that.

TIFFANY: There’s a gorgeous man across the street and you—

BRITTANY: (Correcting her.)  Piazza.

TIFFANY: Whatever.  Over there is an Italian hunk and you’ve got dead  batteries.  I bet he doesn’t have dead batteries!  How sad is that?


TIFFANY: (Raising her arm and waving.  Shouts.)  Ciao, Marcello!

BRITTANY: What are you doing?  You’re embarrassing me. I could die.  I really could.  Besides, how do you know he’s gorgeous?

TIFFANY: He’s Italian.

BRITTANY: So was Mussolini.

TIFFANY: Whatever. (Waving and shouting.)  Ciao, Marcello!

BRITTANY: And how do you know his name is Marcello?  It could be anything—Dino, Guido, Roberto, Mario—

TIFFANY: I get it already. I heard it in one of those movies you have to read.  He was on a train and it was pulling out of the station. She was on the platform waving and shouting, Ciao, Marcello!  I’ve wanted to shout Ciao, Marcello ever since.  I think he heard me.  He’s on his way over.  How do I look?

BRITTANY: Like a Valley Girl in heat. Wait a minute! I think it’s . . . it’s— 

TIFFANY: Good grief! It’s Danny.



JOE BOB and SKEETER are sitting on a river’s bank fishing.  There are tiny flying insects constantly pestering them.  BOTH swat at them, slapping themselves throughout the play—even when not noted.

JOE BOB: (Swatting.) If it ain’t the heat, it’s the tomato bisque that’ll kill ya.

SKEETER: Huh? (Swats.)

JOE BOB: That was one of Grandma’s favorite sayings, before she drowned.  Then grandpa got to sayin’ it and the preacher even said it at the service.  Yup.  There’s a headstone where her body outta be.  If it ain’t the heat, it’s the tomato bisque that’ll kill ya.

SKEETER: What’s it mean?

JOE BOB: It means—well it means if it ain’t one thing it’s another.  In grandma’s case it was the undertow.

SKEETER: Oh.  (After a pause.)  What’s tomato bisque?

JOE BOB: Somethin’ you make with tomatoes.

SKEETER: That sounds about right.  (Slapping himself.)  Nasty gnats!

JOE BOB: I think I got one.  Oh boy, he’s a big one.  (Reeling in fish.)

SKEETER: Take it slow.  Ya don’t wanna lose ‘im.

JOE BOB: I got ‘im.  I got ‘im.  (A beat.)  He got away.

SKEETER: Next time.

JOE BOB: If it ain’t the heat, it’s the tomato bisque that’ll kill ya.

SKEETER: Yup. If it ain’t one thing it’s another. (Slaps his face.)

JOE BOB: Nope.  If the fish ain’t bitin’ or they get away it’s all the same.

SKEETER: It kind of changes, don’t it?

JOE BOB: All the time. Saying sometimes mean one thing and other times somethin’ else altogether.  That’s the beauty of it.  Grandma was very smart that way.

SKEETER: (Pulling on his pole as if it were being tugged.)  I got one!

JOE BOB: Bring ‘im in nice and slow.

SKEETER: It’s a big one, Joe Bob.

JOE BOB: (Stands behind JOE BOB and gives him a hand pulling it in.)  I hope it ain’t a gator.

SKEETER: You think it’s a gator?  (Slaps himself.)

JOE BOB: Could be.  I’d get ready to run just in case.  What did you use for bait?

SKEETER: Chicken guts.

JOE BOB: Fresh or old?

SKEETER: Fresh of course.

JOE BOB: It just could be a gator, Skeeter.  Get ready to run.

SKEETER: Don’t worry ‘bout me.  Pull.

(They BOTH pull on the fishing pole, reeling it in.)

JOE BOB: Wait a minute!

SKEETER: What?  What is it?

JOE BOB: If it ain’t the heat, it’s the tomato bisque that’ll kill ya.

SKEETER: Yup.  If it ain’t a fish it’s a gator.

JOE BOB: Nope.  It’s grandma. 



MARGARET and LOCKLEAR are standing on a bare stage.

MARGARET: All these flies in my ear, and fly swatters only give me migraines!

LOCKLEAR: Have you lost your mind?  What are you talking about?

MARGARET: Your words.  They’re like buzzing pests asserting themselves into my thoughts.  They aggravate and irritate.  When I try to swat them from my consciousness they only buzz louder and give me headaches—exquisitely painful headaches.

LOCKLEAR: Perhaps it is the roasted lamb speaking, or perhaps the wine is causing you to speak in tongues.

MARGARET: The lamb had nothing to do with it.  It was cooked to perfection.  The wine delighted.  No, it is your words buzzing like flies I cannot swat from my thoughts.  I do not speak in tongues. I t was metaphor, plain and true.

LOCKLEAR: Neither plain nor true, Madam.

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  Wait a minute!  Stop!  Ma’am!  Ma’am!  Ma’am!  How many times do I have to tell you the word is Ma’am and not Madam

LOCKLEAR: What’s the difference, Charles?

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  The difference, darling, is that one runs a whorehouse and the other does not. 

MARGARET: Are you going to let him call you “darling.”

LOCKLEAR: He’s called me worse.

MARGARET: I think the playwright is responsible for all the confusion.  Who cares if it’s Ma’am or Madam?

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  I care, dear heart.  Every time we work together one of you deigns to rewrite the script.  Why do I continue to cast either one of you?

LOCKLEAR: Good question, Charles.  Why do you?

MARGARET: I’d like to know the answer to that.

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  Now you’re both giving me a migraine!  This is a period piece—a farce—so just stick to the script.

LOCKLEAR: This is becoming tiresome.

MARGARET: If it is, you have not been listening beyond what mere words imply.

LOCKLEAR: And you would know something about that, would you?   I think you’re in the throes of dementia . . . Ma’am.

MARGARET: You should know well about that.  How long was your last bout in the—they still call it a “sanitarium,” do they not?

LOCKLEAR: It was a retreat.

MARGARET: Call it what you will.  It was where they put you after running through town three o’clock in the morning, naked and screaming.

LOCKLEAR: I was drunk.

MARGARET: You were mad!

LOCKLEAR: I was locked out . . . Ma’am.

MARGARET: With the cat, no doubt.

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  Enough!  May we get back to rehearsal?


MARGARET: All these flies in my ear, and fly swatters only give me migraines!

HOWARD: (VOICE O.S.) Okay, gang. Let’s wrap it there.  The two of you were splendid.  Charles, that goes for you too.

LOCKLEAR & MARGARET: Thank you, Howard.

CHARLES: (VOICE O.S.)  Same here, Howard.




SIR, holding a yellow legal pad, standing over MAGGOT who is doing pushups.

SIR: Three more, Maggot!

MAGGOT: (Exhausted.)  Ninety eight . . . ninety nine . . . (Collapses.)

SIR: What happened to one hundred, Maggot?

MAGGOT: I can’t do it, Sir.

SIR: Do it, Maggot!  

MAGGOT: I can do it, Sir. (Does one last pushup.) Thank you, Sir.

SIR: Good Maggot.  Stand for jumping jacks!

MAGGOT: (Standing in jumping jack position.)  How many, Sir?

SIR: Until I tell you to stop.  (MAGGOT begins jumping jacks.  SIR makes notes on his legal pad.).  Any history of debilitating, life-threatening disease, communicable or non-communicable?  You’re slowing down.  Jump, jump, jump, Maggot!

MAGGOT: As healthy as a horse, Sir.

SIR: Ever steal, rob or burgle?

MAGGOT: No, Sir,

SIR: Ever commit a felony?

MAGGOT: No, Sir.

SIR: Touch another man’s genitals?

MAGGOT: No, Sir.

SIR: What about your own?

MAGGOT: That would be unavoidable, Sir.

SIR: Perfect, Maggot.  Now is the golden time for recruitment.

MAGGOT: Why is that, Sir?

SIR: Because now is the only time and it’s always time to recruit fresh meat.  Jump!

MAGGOT: Fresh meat, Sir?

SIR: Into the grinder of our Commander and Chief.

MAGGOT: Grinder, Sir?

SIR: At ease, Maggot!  (MAGGOT takes the “at ease” position.)  What did you think you was here for, Maggot?

MAGGOT: To serve our country, Sir.

SIR: You got that right, Maggot.  You serve our country and our country will service you.

MAGGOT: I don’t like the sound of that, Sir.

SIR: (Circling MAGGOT.)  I don’t like the sound of squishy feet in the shower with eleven other men.  Do you hear me complaining?

MAGGOT: No, Sir.

SIR: You bet your ass you don’t.  Sometimes those men make squishy sounds from other body parts.  Do you make squishy sounds, Maggot?

MAGGOT: I don’t think so, Sir.

SIR: We’ll see about that when we get you in the shower, Maggot.  We’re the elite.  No smelly parts here.

MAGGOT: Sir, I think I forgot to check the box.

SIR: What box is that, Maggot?

MAGGOT: Where it asks about my sexual—

SIR: Wait a minute!  Stop right there, Maggot! Did I ask?

MAGGOT: No, Sir.

SIR: Then don’t tell!

MAGGOT: But I don’t want to be fresh meat for the grinder.  Besides, I’ve got lots of smelly parts, Sir.

SIR: Head for the showers, Maggot!  We’re the elite and you’re fresh meat for our Commander and Chief’s grinder.  I don’t ask—and you don’t tell!  Now, head for the showers . . . double time!  (MAGGOT does.)  I’ll be right on your tail. 



The CHARACTERS are SWEETIE and HONEY, two young women.  The SETTING is the shoulder of a highway.  HONEY has arms raised high overhead.  She parts her arms then closes them to clap her hands together. Each time she claps her hands she repeats “eighty-eight.”  She does this continuously.  She spots cars from time to time and her head moves to follow them.  After a while we see through HONEY that a car has stopped.  Shortly thereafter SWEETIE enters.

SWEETIE: Ha-loo, ha-loo.

HONEY: Ha-loo right back atcha, Sweetie.

SWEETIE: Likewise, I’m sure. Watchyadoin’, Honey?

HONEY: Counting.

SWEETIE: On the highway?

HONEY: There’s no better place.

SWEETIE: Really?

HONEY: Want to try it?

SWEETIE: Far too physical for me.  I like to do my counting sitting down, but you go right ahead, Honey.  (HONEY continues her “counting.”  After a pause to watch her.)  I thought you were signaling distress.

HONEY: Distress?

SWEETIE: That’s why I pulled over. 

HONEY: (Continues her “counting.”) Eighty-eighty, eighty-eight, eighty-eight.  I wish you’d join me.  You would not believe how exhilarating it is till you try it.

SWEETIE: My hair—I just had it done.  Besides, I’ll look silly.

HONEY: To who?

SWEETIE: People—people coming down the highway.

HONEY: So you think I look silly, do you?

SWEETIE: No, no, no.  I thought you were in distress.  It never crossed my mind that you looked silly.  I mean, you didn’t.  Just distress, that’s all.  Certainly not silly.

HONEY: I see.  Eighty-eight, eighty-eight, eighty-eight . . . .
SWEETIE: I thought you were counting.

HONEY: I am.  Eighty-eight, eighty-eight, eighty-eight . . . . 

SWEETIE: No you’re not.  You’re just repeating “eighty-eight” over and over again.

HONEY: That’s the name of the game.

SWEETIE: What game?

HONEY: It’s called “Stuck.”  It’s a numbers game.  Right now I’m stuck.

SWEETIE: That’s very odd, Honey.  So how do you get unstuck?

HONEY: One has to have a partner.  You can do it really slow.  You won’t sweat and you won’t mess your hair.

SWEETIE: Oh, all right—but just for a minute.  What do I do?

HONEY: You put your arms over your head and every time you slap your hands together you say “eighty-eight.”

SWEETIE: And that will get you unstuck?

HONEY: Yes, always say eighty-eight.  Then I’ll move my feet again.

SWEETIE: Your feet?

HONEY: They’re stuck too.

SWEETIE: Okay, here I go—just till I get you unstuck.  (She raises her arms and begins.) Eighty-eight, eighty-eight, eighty-eight . . .

HONEY: I’m beginning to feel better already.

SWEETIE: This is kind of fun.

HONEY: It sure is, Sweetie.  I don’t want you to stop.  You’re doing great.  Eighty-eight, eighty-eight, eighty-eight. That’s wonderful. Go to the middle of the road.


HONEY: The acoustics are better there.

SWEETIE: You think?  Eighty-eight.

HONEY: Eighty-eight.  I do.

SWEETIE: Alright.  (Begins backing out onto the highway.)  Eighty-eight, eighty-eight—

HONEY: That’s it, Sweetie. Eighty-eight.  A little bit further.

SWEETIE: Are you unstuck yet?  Eighty-eighty, eighty-eight—

HONEY: Almost. Further. Just a little bit more. Eighty-eighty.

SWEETIE: (Offstage.) Eighty-eighty, eighty-eight—

BOTH: Eighty-eighty, eighty-eight, eighty eight— 

HONEY:  Wait a minute!

(The SOUND of a THUD followed by a truck SCREECHING to a stop.)

HONEY: (Con’t.)  Eighty-nine, eighty-nine, eighty-nine. 




MAN and CLERK (M or F) are at an airline service counter, conversation in progress.

CLERK: I told you, sir. You’ll have to wait until the plane from Dallas arrives.

MAN: (Shouting.) Why is my luggage in Dallas?

CLERK: Please, sir.  Shouting will get you nowhere.  Besides, it is not in Dallas. (Looking at watch.)  It’s in the air.

MAN: I’m going to sue you!

CLERK: That will be nice, sir.

MAN: Did you hear what I said?

CLERK: With both ears, sir.  You’re going to sue me, wasn’t it?

MAN: Are you retarded or something . . . backwards?

CLERK: My life is so backwards that I find myself standing on my head when I least expect it.  In the service industry it is often required.

MAN: Standing on your head?

CLERK: I’m very good at it, sir.  I find myself in that position one or two times a day.  Shall I show you?  (Begins bending to show him.)

MAN: (Looking around.)  You’ll embarrass me.

CLERK: I cannot imagine that, sir.  I could bend over backwards if you like. (Starts to bend backwards.)

MAN: Stop it! Are you crazy?

CLERK: It’s this job, sir. It’s required of me.

MAN: What am I supposed to do without my luggage, huh?

CLERK: It will be here in two hours, sir.
MAN: I have a meeting in one.

CLERK: Is it a short meeting?

MAN: Relatively.

CLERK: Relative to what?

MAN: To how long I’ve been waiting for my luggage.

CLERK: The plane arrives in two hours.  Your luggage should be on it.

MAN: Should?  Aren’t you certain?

CLERK: Unless there was a mix-up, sir.

MAN: (Shouts.) Mix-up!

CLERK: Please keep your voice down, sir.  It could be an act of God.

MAN: What has God got to do with my luggage?

CLERK: Maybe you weren’t meant to have that luggage, sir.

MAN: Stop it!  Go ahead and stand on your head.  I’d rather talk to your feet anyway.

CLERK: Too late.  Would you like to watch me bite my tongue, sir?

MAN: Do you actually work here?

CLERK: Where’s that, sir?

MAN: Are you really a customer service clerk.

CLERK: Indeed I am.  I have a badge to prove it.

MAN: Then where is my luggage?

CLERK: It went to Dallas, sir.

MAN: Why?

CLERK: Why indeed.  I’ve never thought Dallas an agreeable destination.  I’m going to bite my tongue.  Stand back.

MAN: Stand back?

CLERK: I don’t want to get blood on you, sir.

MAN: I certainly don’t want your blood on me either.

CLERK: Wait a minute!  Did I say mine?



GRANNY and JENNY are tossing bird seed to the chickens that are scurrying about; getting between there legs and under their feet causing them to jump and move awkwardly from time to time.

JENNY: The end of the world is here, and I'm still waiting for my bicycle.

GRANNY: It’ll be over before you know it.  Be patient.  Won’t be a long to wait.   Chick, chick, chick.  Eat your supper.  The end is near.  Praise the lord!

JENNY: Praise the lord.  How will it end, Granny?

GRANNY: A baptism of fire.  Flesh melting off the bone.  Hallelujah!

JENNY: Oh, no.  If I don’t get my bicycle soon I’ll scream bloody murder.

GRANNY: Won’t do you a lick of good.  Feed the chickens.  It’ll keep your mind off the bicycle, but be careful not to take it off the chickens.  My babies don’t care about the world coming to an end.  It’s feeding time and all they know is they gotta eat.  Here chick, chick, chick . . . . Come to Granny.  Praise the lord.

JENNY: What about me?  When do I get my bicycle?  If it don’t come soon, it’ll be too late.

GRANNY: Soon enough.  Patience is a virtue, child.  Chick, chick, chick . . . .

JENNY: How do I get it?

GRANNY: The hard way seems to be the only way.  It’s a learned virtue.

JENNY: Oh, Granny.  I’m just waiting for a bicycle.

GRANNY: We’re all waiting for something.  Chick, chick, chick.  Feed the chickens, Jenny.  Patience comes easier when you’re doing something else.  Chick, chick, chick.

JENNY: Well, let’s see.  Chick, chick, chick.  Chick, chick, chick.

GRANNY: That’s it.  You mustn’t dwell on the end when it’s near.  Hallelujah!

JENNY: Chick, chick, chick.  I think it’s working!

BOTH: Chick, chick, chick.

JENNY: (Pointing off into the distance.)  Look!  There’s Bubba with the bicycle!  He’s in time for the end of the world.

GRANNY: Praise the lord and hallelujah!  Chick, chick, chick.  (She wrestles an invisible chicken to the ground, seizing it by the neck and then twists it, killing it.)  Praise the lord.  The end is here.

JENNY: Poor chicken.

GRANNY: We all have to go sometime.  You and Bubba can pluck the feathers.

(THEY move towards the exit.)

JENNY: Wait a minute!  You give me my bike, Bubba, and start pluckin’!



MIMSIE is sitting holding a black candle watching HEATHER make a big circle with a stick on the ground.  They are BOTH within the circle.  Night SOUNDS of the woods.

MIMSIE: (Examining the candle.)  Do you think this will kill ‘em.

HEATHER: (Sitting.)  Guaranteed.

MIMSIE: They suck your blood.  I’m too young to die, Heather.  I’m afraid.  I don’t want my blood sucked.  I’m anemic, you know.

HEATHER: Calm yourself.  That’s a very special black candle and it’ll keep us safe.

MIMSIE: I hope so.  (Hands candle to HEATHER.)  I’m feeling drained already.  I’m getting chills.  I think I have a fever.  Goose bumps!  I’ve got goose bumps!  Feel my head.

HEATHER: (Feeling her head.)  Mimsie, you’re just fine.

MIMSIE: The thought of getting my blood sucked is making me ill.

HEATHER: If this works the way it’s supposed to neither of us will be getting our blood sucked.

MIMSIE: I hope it’s big enough to last all night.

HEATHER: It’ll last, Mimsie.

MIMSIE: You can’t be too sure.  (A thoughtful pause.)  Heather, the salesman gave me a funny look.  Askance, if you know what I mean.

HEATHER: He couldn’t help it, Mimsie, he was walleyed.

MIMSIE: Oh.  Then I guess it's all right.  He should hang more pictures, if you ask me.  Give him something to look at.  Well, I hope the black candle lives up to its hype.  (Shivering.)  My flesh is crawling.

HEATHER: This candle is guaranteed.  It’s time to light it.  Stay in the circle.  It won’t work unless you’re in the circle.  And, whatever happens, do not step outside the circle.

MIMSIE: (Blessing herself with the sign of the cross.)  Whatever you say.

HEATHER: Gotta light?

MIMSIE: It’s in your other hand.

HEATHER: Ah.  So it is.  (She lights the black candle.)

MIMSIE: I hope it doesn’t take too long.

HEATHER. Be patient, Mimsie!  Some things cannot be rushed.

MIMSIE: What do you think they’ll be like?  Tail and horns?  I heard they can be huge and ugly and they bite something wicked.  Suck your blood in no time flat, they do.

HEATHER: Doubtful.  I think that’s just a myth among the country folk in these parts.  Now keep quite.

MIMSIE: (After a long shivering pause.) Wait a minute!  I’m feeling something.  (Shivering shoulder shrugging chills.)  It’s getting cold.  Something’s happening, Heather.  I’m getting scared!  (She starts to rise to leave the circle.)

HEATHER: (Grabbing MIMSIE’S wrist, preventing her from getting up.)  Stop it!  There is nothing to be scared about!  It’s a slight breeze, that’s all.  (Pointing.)

MIMSIE: Well don’t let the candle blow out.  We'll get invaded from outside the circle and we’ll be dead by dawn.  (A whining cry.)  Oh my God, they’re gonna suck me dry . . .

HEATHER: We’ve got the black candle, don’t we?  It’s guaranteed, isn’t it?  He said if it didn’t work he’d give us our money back.

MIMSIE: A lot of good that will do!  If it doesn’t work we’ll be dead!  Besides, how are we going to get any sleep?

HEATHER: There’s plenty of room to lie down within the circle.  We’ll be protected.  The candle will draw them to it and when they get within the circumference of the circle they’ll drop like flies.

MIMSIE: Like flies?

HEATHER: Mosquitoes, Mimsie.  They’re just mosquitoes.  Honestly, I am never going camping with you again!



WOMAN: (Behind desk.)  Wait a minute!  Don’t you take that tone with me, sir!

MAN: Toonga nufeela.

WOMAN: Don’t you toongy nufeely me, mister.

MAN: Nufeela.  Nufeela.  Goondeed.  Tilly tit!

WOMAN: Did you just call me by a body part?  Because if you did I’m calling 911.  (Reaches for telephone.)

MAN: No-o-o-o-o.  No oddy art.

WOMAN: Then behave yourself!  This is America.  In America we speak English. You people come over here and think we owe you something.  Well, we don’t!  We don’t owe you a thing, mister.  Speak English or stay home.  You’re in America now.  Not some third-world welfare state.

MAN: Ahm ho!  Ahm ho!

WOMAN: Did you just call me a ho?

MAN: No-o-o-o-o.  Ahm ho!  Ahm ho!

WOMAN: Men can’t be whores.  Well, maybe where you come from.  You people disgust me.

MAN: No ho.  Ho-o-o ma.

WOMAN: Homo?  Sexual deviant.  (Picks up telephone and begins dialing.)

MAN: Nufeela.  (Sticking his tongue out.)

WOMAN: You disgusting little man!  (Into phone.)  Security, I have a homosexual sex maniac here in my office sticking his tongue out at me.  Please hurry.  He’s making rude gestures as we speak.  Yes, that’s what I said.  A homosexual.  He’s acting lewd.  Well, who knows!?  Maybe where he comes from they like women!  That’s make him a homosexual homosexual, doesn’t it?  (Hangs up phone.  To MAN.) You people come over here and assault our women.  Bankrupt our welfare system.  Put our workers on unemployment.  Too lazy to learn English.  You . . . you . . . alien.

MAN: E-e-e-e-e.  Yo-o-o-o . . . ba, ba,ba . . . oss.

WOMAN: Right.  E…I…E…I…O.  The farmer in the dell.  Security will be here any moment, sir—and I use “sir” very loosely.  If you know what is good for you, you’ll go.

MAN: Yo-o-o-o-o ired!  (Grabs pad and pencil from desk.  Scribbles something and then hands it to her).

WOMAN: (Reads what is written on the pad.  Picks up the telephone.  Pushes button.  Speaks into phone.)  Mr. Jones, the . . . the . . . the . . . ne . . . ne . . . new . . . ow . . . owner is . . . he . . . here to . . . to see you.  Yes, I . . . I . . . I know sir. He’s late because he . . . he . . . he had to have a too, too . . . tooth pulled.  Tha . . . tha thank you, sir.  (To MAN.)  You ma . . . ma . . . may ga . . . ga . . . ga in now, si . . . si . . . sir . . . .



Two uniformed and armed soldiers at a border crossing standing back to back, either sex.   BOTH stare directly ahead. 

SOLDIER ONE: (A long SILENCE.)  I apologize if my honesty disturbs you.

SODIER TWO: (Wounded.)  It need not have been so blunt.

SOLDIER ONE: I needed a way to reach you.



SOLDIER TWO: What now?


SOLDIER TWO: How long?


SOLDIER TWO: Honestly—   I hope it is soon.

SOLDIER ONE: Do you have it?

SOLDIER TWO: In my pocket.  (Reaches into pocket.)

SOLDIER ONE: (Looking about nervously.)  No!  Not now.

SOLDIER TWO: I wasn’t going—   (Disappointed.)  What do you take me for?

SOLDIER ONE: I wanted to be certain.   I didn’t think you would, but I wanted to be certain.



SOLDIER TWO: We need to find a way to reach the others without others hearing.

SOLDIER ONE: Yes.  Some hear only a snatch here and there and then they begin to suspect.

SOLDIER TWO: It’s more like paranoia than suspicion.

SOLDIER ONE: Their imaginations get the better of them. 

SOLDIER TWO: Then they become a danger to us.

SOLDIER ONE: They do indeed.

SOLDIER TWO: Yes.  That’s been the problem all along, hasn’t it?

SOLDIER ONE: Yes.  It has.

SOLDIER TWO: My watch is nearly over.  I’m tired. 

SOLDIER ONE: Yes.  (Seeing in the distance.)  Your replacement is coming.   You’ll be relieved of duty soon enough.  Quickly!

SOLDIER TWO: Wait a minute!  Don’t let them see us.

SOLDIER ONE: (After a pause.)  Now! 

SOLDIER TWO:  (Reaches into his pocket, removes an envelope and passes it back to SOLDIER ONE.)  All the names.  You will help them cross, yes?

SOLDIER ONE:  For the love of freedom.

SOLDIER TWO: Yes.  For the love of freedom.

Back to back, BOTH rotate slowly and each ending up in the other’s former position.  They stare directly ahead while walking to exit.



PETER sounds suspiciously like Cary Grant and JUDY like Bette Davis.  Their dialogue should run the gamut of emotions.

PETER: Ju-dee?

JUDY: Pee-tah?

PETER: Ju-dee, Ju-dee.

JUDY:  Pee-tah, Pee-tah.

PETER: Ju-dee, Ju-dee, Ju-dee.

JUDY: Pee-tah, Pee-tah, Pee-tah.

PETER: Judy!

JUDY: Peter!

PETER: Ju-dee.

JUDY: Pee-tah.



PETER: Judy?

JUDY: Peter?

PETER: Judy.  Judy. 

JUDY: Peter.  Peter.

PETER: Judy, Judy, Judy!

JUDY: Peter, Peter, Peter!

PETER: Oh, Judy.

JUDY: Oh, Peter.

PETER: Oh, oh, oh, Judy.

JUDY: Oh, oh, oh, Peter.

PETER: Oh, Judy!

JUDY: Oh, Peter!

PETER: Judy!

JUDY: Peter!

PETER: Ah, Judy.

JUDY: Ah, Peter.



PETER: Judy?

JUDY: Peter?

PETER: Judy, Judy.

JUDY: Peter, Peter.

PETER: Judy, Judy, Judy.

JUDY: Pee-terr . . . Wait a minute!

PETER: Yes, yes, yes . . . .

JUDY: Yes, yes, yes . . . .

PETER: Cigarette, my dear?

JUDY: Thank you, dah-ling.




POLYPHEMUS: I am Polyphemus.

CHORUS: The one-eye.

POLYPHEMUS: Looking out from all.

CHORUS: I am the collective.

POLYPHEMUS: Without end.

CHORUS: Without beginning.

POLYPHEMUS: Seeing all.

CHORUS: Knowing all.

POLYPHEMUS: Being all.

CHORUS: We are one.

ULYSSES: (Enters.)  I am Ulysses.   

CHORUS: The two-eyed.

ULYSSES: The two-eye lives in one body.

CHORUS: Lives then dies.

ULYSSES: As every mortal must. 

CHORUS: The two-eye kills.

ULYSSES:  As every mortal does.

POLYPHEMUS: Go back to your ship.

CHORUS: Go back to your wife.

POLYPHEMUS: Leave this island.

CHORUS & POLYPHEMUS: We are Polyphemus.

ULYSSES: I am Ulysses.

CHORUS & POLYPHEMUS: (Ibid.) We are Polyphemus.


PENELOPE: Wait a minute!  Who are you?

ULYSSES: I am your husband.

PENELOPE: I am Penelope and I do not remember you.

ULYSSES: I am Ulysses.

PENELOPE:  Prove it.

ULYSSES:  Have you gone blind?



LITTLE KID: Why is the sky blue?

BIG KID:  ‘Cause.

LITTLE KID: ‘Cause why?

BIG KID: ‘Cause it is.

LITTLE KID: That’s not an answer.

BIG KID: Course it is.  Some things just is.



LITTLE KID: (After a thoughtful pause.)  Mommy said we was gonna have a new brother.

BIG KID: Or sister.

LITTLE KID: I don’t want a sister.  If a sister comes we should send her back.

BIG KID: Once she comes she’s here and once she’s here ya can’t send her back.

LITTLE KID:  Why not?

BIG KID: ‘Cause.

LITTLE KID: ‘Cause why?

BIG KID: ‘Cause ya can’t.


BIG KID: Can’t!

LITTLE KID:  (After a thoughtful pause.)   Where do I come from?

BIG KID: Mommy and Daddy.

LITTLE KID: But before Mommy and Daddy?

BIG KID:  Dust.  You come from dust.

LITTLE KID:  From dust?

 BIG KID: ‘For you was here you was nothin’ but dust.

LITTLE KID: Nothin’ but dust?

BIG KID: Nothin’ but dust.  Everybody comes from dust.

LITTLE KID:  Everybody?

BIG KID:  Yup.  Everybody.

LITTLE KID:  So where do everybody go after here?

BIG KID:  Back to dust.  You come from dust and you go back to dust.

LITTLE KID: Wait a minute!  (Screams and starts to run.)  C’mon!

BIG KID: Where?

LITTLE KID: To my bedroom!   I want you to see somethin’ under my bed.

BIG KID: What’s under your bed?

LITTLE KID:  I don’t know, but I think somebody’s comin’ or goin’.



JUNIOR and MISSY are riding a roller coaster.  They are holding on to the invisible safety bar for dear life.  They lean and sway one way and then another, in unison.  The ride is wild and intense.

MISSY: Wait a minute!  I’ve changed my mind.

JUNIOR: Too late.  Here we go!

MISSY: I’m going to be sick.

JUNIOR:  Marry me.


JUNIOR: Is that a “yes?”

MISSY: Oh, God!  There go my tits!

JUNIOR: Where?

MISSY: I don’t know where!  They’re just gone.

JUNIOR: We’ll get you new ones.  Hold tight!

MISSY: Oh my god!  I want my old ones.

JUNIOR: Here comes a big one!  HOLD ON.

MISSY: I am holding on!

JUNIOR: Will you marry me?

MISSY: I’ve got no tits!

JUNIOR: You’ve got tits.  Centrifugal force has had its way with you.

MISSY: What are you saying?  Help!  They’re broke!

JUNIOR: You broke your tits?

MISSY: They exploded.  They exploded and now I’m going to die.

JUNIOR: Maybe they imploded.

MISSY: What’s the difference, you dumb shit?

JUNIOR: You needn’t call me names.  Oh my god!  I didn’t see that coming!

MISSY: Me either.  I’ll never do this again!  HELP!

JUNIOR: Hang on!  We’re almost over the last hump!

MISSY: Over the last hump my ass!  HELP!


JUNIOR: Ow, ow, ow!  I think I twisted my—

MISSY: What?

JUNIOR: My manhood.  Hold on!

MISSY:  To your manhood?

JUNIOR:  I think I crushed—

MISSY: Oh, look.  We’re coming in.  I am glad that’s over.

JUNIOR: My nuts.

MISSY: Now, what did you ask me?

(BOTH stand and head toward exit.)

JUNIOR: (In pain.)  I asked if you would ma . . . ma . . . merry-go-round.  Would you like to go on the merry-go-round next?



AT RISE: The setting is an art gallery. The fourth wall is hung with unseen paintings being judged by CARLOTTA BEAN, HONEY ALDRIDGE and DOCTOR HALL. They are bunched at far left or far right stage—the idea is to have them move their way across the stage to the opposite end by the end of the play.

CARLOTTA: (Facing the audience.) We ought to start somewhere and it might as well be here.

HALL: What is your verdict, Honey?  Is it a nay, or is it a yea?

HONEY: I don’t much care for storms or seascapes.  Never have.  This one has both storm and seascape.  A bit of a mish mash, if you ask me.  Nay.  A definite nay.

CARLOTTA: Let me have a look.

(HONEY moves on to the next painting, pressing her nose against it followed by CARLOTTA and HALL.   CARLOTTA bobs up and down.)

HALL: Why are you bobbing up and down like that?

CARLOTTA: It requires my eyes to be level with the painting.  I’m teetering on the brink of a decision.

HALL: I always stand at a respectable distance.  (Moves upstage.)  See?  This . . . oh, how shall I say?  This is the proper way to view a work of art.

CARLOTTA: It appears to be a rendering of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.

HONEY: Are you sure it’s not brown and yellow clouds over a raging blue sea?
HALL: It looks like a Smurf.  Nay.

HONEY:  (At the next painting.)  Oh, my!  That’s frightening.  I’m afraid it’s a nay.

CARLOTTA: I certainly agree. We are all well into the twenty-first century—most of us, anyway—and there is no longer any point to pointillism.  Say nay, nay, nay.

HONEY: I quite agree.  Nay

CARLOTTA: (Watching HONEY who is already at the next painting.)  Honey, stop rubbing your nose all over the paintings.  (Handing HONEY a tissue.)  Look at yourself.  The paint wasn’t dry on that one.

HONEY: (Rubbing the paint from off her nose.)  So, that’s why there are so many trails going through that woodland pastoral.

HALL: I think it is ruined, ladies.

CARLOTTA: Nonsense.  Get me a brush, Honey.  There’s dozens in the backroom.

HONEY: I’m on it.  (Exits and quickly returns with two brushes.) 

CARLOTTA: Look at how she obeys.  One can’t help but love her.

HALL: Perhaps you should get yourself a poodle, Carlotta.


HONEY: (Rushing in.)  I brought you two, Carlotta.

CARLOTTA: (Grabs one from HONEY’S hand.)  Now, let’s see.  (Applying the brush to the painting.) Maybe if we extend this branch.  This tree seems to have a road going right through it.

(They ALL move in on the painting.)

HALL: I think that tree is supposed to have a road going through it.

CARLOTTA: Nonsense. (Begins filling in the gap.)  There—look how much better that is—no more hole.  There’s still those trails going through the sky.

HONEY: They could be airplane trails.

HALL: Of course.  Mucus-filled airplane trails.  Just extend that cloud, Carlotta.

CARLOTTA: Like this?  (She paints.)

HALL: Now see what you’ve done.  It looks like a giant rabbit hopping over a redwood forest.  You’ve got the bunny’s feet caught in the branches.  What’s this?

CARLOTTA: A power line.

HALL: It used to be the horizon.

CARLOTTA: Now it’s a power line.

HONEY: (Stepping up to the painting. While the others brush away, she moves the paint around with her finger.)  Maybe we could get rid of the power lines by (Finger painting.) blending this into that.

HALL: You just blended that family of bears into the giant rabbit.

CARLOTTA: Oh, well, if you ask me it’s a much better painting.

HALL: It looks like . . . oh, how shall I say?  It looks like a rabbit on an aquarium filled with brown and green fish swimming under a power line.

CARLOTTA: Let’s give it a yea and get out of here!

HALL: Driving Through a Redwood by Dottie Beach receives unanimous yeas.

CARLOTTA: It’s the least we can do—considering.

(CARLOTTA and HALL hurry offstage.)

HONEY: Wait a minute!  Wait for Honey.  (She runs offstage after them.)



MILLIE: (Standing at butcher’s block.  Back to audience.  Raising high a meat cleaver over a quartered chicken.)  I hate him.  (The thwack of the cleaver separates a leg from a thigh.)  I wanted eighths not quarters.  I hate him!

HANK: (Sitting. Reading.)  The last I heard the butcher was putting his thumb on the scale.

MILLIE: Don’t you listen to a thing I say?  He wasn’t putting his thumb on the scale.

HANK: Oh, I thought—

MILLIE:  Don’t think!

HANK: I’ll try not to, dear.

MILLIE: He didn’t put his thumb on the scale.  He chopped it off!

HANK: He chopped it off?

MILLIE:  Why do I have to repeat everything with you?  He chopped it off and it fell onto the chicken while he was quartering it and then he threw it on the scale without quartering it again. Why can’t people follow directions?

HANK: Damned if I know.

MILLIE: Why is it always about you?  Anyway, there lay the bloody thumb.

HANK: Didn’t he feel it—scream and carry on?

MILLIE:  Everyone isn’t you, Hank.  Stop trying to make this all about you!  He felt nothing.  He looked at it laying between the breast and the hindquarter and he said nothing—like it happens everyday.  Though if it did he would have run out of thumbs by now.

HANK: I should think so.  The poor man just chopped his thumb off.  Well?  What happened to his thumb?

MILLIE:  It’s still there.  Nearly wrapped it in with the chicken until I had to ask him to remove it.  I don’t know how to cook thumb.

HANK: I don’t imagine.

MILLIE: That’s your problem.  You have no imagination!  Now there’s thumb blood all over our chicken.  I washed it real good, but I keep detecting a slight whiff of the butcher.

HANK: (Looking towards the butcher block.  Horrified.)  That’s the same chicken?  You brought the same chicken home?

MILLIE:  I certainly did.

HANK: I’d be happy with meatloaf. 

MILLIE: For Pete’s sake, Hank!  Tuesday is meatloaf.  Tonight is chicken.

HANK: Still, I don’t think I’ll be able to eat it knowing what I know.

MILLIE: What do you know, Hank?

HANK: What you told me.

MILLIE: What a dummy you are!  You only know what I tell you.  I may not have told you the truth.

HANK: In that case, I may well be a dummy.

MILLIE: Don’t get smart with me.  You’re just a big dumb nothing.  

HANK: Then there wasn’t a thumb?

MILLIE: Of course there was a thumb. I always tell the truth.  It’s my nature.  Do you think I could stand here and tell you I hate the butcher if there wasn’t a thumb?  I don’t hate that easily.  I always lean toward love.  It’s a slight, but discernible inclination.

HANK:  (Sotto voce.)  Could have fooled me.  

MILLIE: What did you say?

HANK: Yes, dear—like the Tower of Pisa.   Couldn’t we send out for pizza?

MILLIE: We could, but we won’t.  I’ll wash the chicken in mouthwash.  Will that make you happy?  I could use rubbing alcohol.  You know what your problem is?  You have no sense of adventure.

HANK: You almost brought a man’s thumb home!  That’s adventure enough for the both of us.

MILLIE: Always with your nose in a book.  That’s as close as you ever get to an adventure.  What are you reading?

HANK:  (Picks up book.)  Martha Stuart’s Untraceable Poisons for a Perfect Garden.

MILLIE:  I’m not much into horticulture.

HANK:  You should be.  There are so many ways to eliminate bothersome creatures.  For instance, when a leech grabs hold and sucks the life right out—you need to know the best poison to take care of the problem. 

MILLIE: You wouldn’t know the best of anything. 

HANK: You’ve kept me under your thumb since the day we met.

MILLIE: Don’t be ridiculous.

HANK: You’re the one who’s ridiculous.  Give me your thumb.

MILLIE:  What?

HANK: (Goes to butcher’s block and retrieves the cleaver.)  Give me your thumb.


HANK: I’m going to chop it off—be free of you.

MILLIE: Don’t be stupid.

HANK: Stupid?  It’s the smartest move I’ll ever make.

MILLIE: (Begins backing away.)  You’re beginning to scare me.  Back off, Mister!

HANK: I don’t think so.

MILLIE: All right.  You’ve made your point.  We don’t need to have chicken.  A meatloaf sounds pretty good right now.

HANK:  (Raises cleaver.)  I want to be out from under your thumb.  Give me your hand.

MILLIE:  How about deli?  We could send out for deli.

HANK:  I’ve lost my appetite.  

MILLIE:  I’ll cook whatever you like.  Anything.  Tell me what you want.  Pork?  Lamb?  How about lasagna?

HANK: (Raises high the cleaver.)  I want out from under your thumb!

MILLIE: Wait a minute! 

(Quick BLACK OUT.  The SOUND of the thwack of the cleaver.) 

MILLIE: (Con’t.)  Ouch.



AT RISE – NEXT, 12, 13 and 14 are in a waiting room.  After a long SILENCE.

12: Seems like we’ve been here forever.

14: How long has it been since anyone’s been called?

NEXT: I fell asleep and lost track of the time.

13: Did everybody take a number?

12: I did. (Examines ticket.) I’m number twelve. 

14: Fourteen.  My ticket says fourteen.

NEXT: Who am I?

12: You’re eleven.  You were the only one here when I came in.

NEXT: That doesn’t mean anything.  I could be seven and let eight, nine, ten and eleven go ahead of me.

12: Why would you do a thing like that?

NEXT: I fell asleep. I could have been taken advantage of in my sleep.   Strange things happen to people while they’re sleeping.  It’s an opportune time for negative forces.

14: Like what?

NEXT: Like dreams and nightmares and spirits from the other side.

13: What other side?

NEXT: Of the door.  Slipping in while you are least aware.  Making yourself their home.  Living in your body.  Dictating your every move.  Your life is no longer your own.  Stranger things have happened.  Oh, the horror!  The horror!
13: (Shivering.)  I’ve got to get out of here.

14: (Ibid.) Me too.

12: Hogwash!  (To NEXT)  Look at your ticket.

NEXT: I don’t want to look at my ticket.  I’m next and that’s all anybody needs to know.
14: Did anyone knock on the door?

12, 13, NEXT: Nope.

14: Why not?

12: Scared.

13: Scared.

NEXT: I was asleep.

14: They could have forgotten that we’re here.

13: You only just got here. What’s your hurry?

14: I hate waiting.

NEXT: Get used to it!  I’m next.  So relax.  Everybody here knows I’m next.

14: You were all here when I got here.  Any one of you could be next.  Sooner or later, we all get to be.

NEXT: Don’t try any funny stuff!   I’m next and that’s all there is to it!

12: (To NEXT.)  If you’d only show us your ticket.

NEXT: I know what my ticket says.  I could sell one of you my ticket.

14: How much?

NEXT: I need to think about it.

12: Careful, 14’s a malcontent.

NEXT: Then he’d better start a riot ‘cause the deal’s off!

14: I might.  I just might be forced to riot.

12: One alone cannot riot.  It would look like St. Vitus Dance.

13: I knew a man who blew himself up once.

NEXT: Only once?  Why did he blow himself up . . . once?

13: He was trying to make a point.

14: A moot point, indeed.  Who’s next?

NEXT: I’m next!

12: Show us your ticket.

NEXT: I ate it.

13: What kind of person eats their ticket?

12: People can’t do whatever they please.

14: That’s for sure.

NEXT: Why not?

12: I don’t know why not.  But, there must be a reason.

14: There’s always a reason.

13: Always.

NEXT: Nope.  There ain’t always a reason.  You can go to the bank on that.  (NEXT crosses to door and knocks.)

VOICE: (From the other side of the door.)  Wait a minute! 

(SILENCE as ALL stare at the door.  BLACK OUT.)