March 31, 2016

Original Theft

There is a saying that some people think is useful to newly creative people:  "Don't copy others, because it'll stop you from finding your own voice!"

This is nonsense.

It's nonsense in the same way some people think following stylistic rules will somehow hamper the imagination or stifle creativity.  Sure, 'rules were made to be broken' is a fine thing to say (and occasionally do); but if you don't understand why those rules exist, then you have no idea if breaking them might be a good idea.  Without understanding them, you won't know how to break them effectively, and if you're breaking rules, you're doing it for effect.

No, when you are starting any new project, learn the rules.  How you learn best is by copying people who DO know what they're doing. This is true for a lot of different things: watch someone build an engine, then build it with them (if you can), then try for yourself while carefully following the instructions from a manual.  Then when you understand why it's built that way - what the final purpose of the engine is - you'll have the knowledge to modify it, in pieces or entirely.  Or maybe just build the same thing again, just in your way.

But try building one from scratch and you're probably going to end up with something that sputters feebly, or shakes itself to death, or doesn't start at all.  And most of us want to roar.

I bring this up because of the dying of both comedian Gary Shandling and Ronnie Corbett, of The Two Ronnies fame.  Well, maybe not fame any more, as their show was on many, many years ago; but certainly of fond memories.  I caught their show because of KVOS showing them when the parents weren't home to monitor my TV consumption.

(Side note: I'd like to thanks KVOS for shaping lots of childhood memories for me.  Without them, I wouldn't have seen to much good comedy: MASH, Barney Miller, Monty Python.  And for my first Celebrity Girlfriend, Elaine from Taxi.)

Watching The Two Ronnies was an object lesson in wordplay, delivery, and most especially in timing.  Not only did I copy out their sketches word-for-word (or what I could remember of them), I also listened for their silences and how they were used.  What was the most effective time to deliver a punchline, and when was it best to do a rapid-fire back and forth, and how to steamroll effectively so the audience comes along with you instead of being left behind.

They even copied their most famous sketch - or at least Ronnie Corbett did - years later.  The Four Candles(?) sketch was as sacrosanct as anything in comedy, and here they are changing it while showing the audience they knew exactly what they were doing.

As for Gary Shandling, his amazing The Larry Sanders Show absolutely crushed the barriers between audience and performer; featured an unlikable, successful star that you pitied more than anything else; and had changing formats and styles inside the episodes themselves.  Still, somehow, it worked and worked brilliantly.  He changed the rules by showing how breaking them could still fit the most rigid and timid format TV has (it was, after all, a sit-com).  Having brilliant guests guests helped, of course; but it was easy to convince them to come on to the bottom-rated cable show because of what the show was.  Six seasons and a Who's Who of appearances to rack up with the awards it won brought HBO tons of credibility; but it wouldn't have happened without someone who understood the rules deeply and knew where they were most vulnerable.

Writing, acting, painting... go ahead and copy the masters, new and old.  They are masters for a reason: learn everything you can from them - most especially see what rules they break - and explore why they do it.  And that will help you find your own expression with a nice, solid base to launch from.

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posted by Erin Butler at 11:15 am 0 comments

March 24, 2016

August Parody (This is a Biggun!)

August: Cowichan County

A Shawnigan Players Parody


Prologue

The scene takes place inside Beverly's study in the Weston home. He, a dissolute and aged wastrel, is interviewing a younger woman who, and we can't stress this enough, is NOT IN BROWNFACE. Seriously, don't even think of that. I don't care if your "great-grandfather was one-eigth Pawnee, just don't.

Beverly: Beat me and bite me and teach me to bark
I looked in the ocean, and there saw the shark.
I looked at the shark and it showed me its jaws,
And that is the reason I'm not, though I was.

Beverly reaches into his desk and pulls out a bunsen burner

Dennis Lee. Sharks aren't much of a threat here, but I don't suppose they're really much of a threat outside of films that encourage the supposed "busting" of "blocks", are they?

During the next speech, he puts surgical tubing, a small baggie filled with crystals, an empty syrnge, and a striker for the burner on the table.

Still, I suppose he had quite enough of alligators to last him several lifetimes. To each our degeneracy, and his was poems. Mine, too. Lucky bastard hit on a winning formula at a time when poems were actually read and no one told him to put it to music.

He ignites gets a spoon out and delicately places some crystals into it.

I don't suppose you're a hopeless junky, Miss...?

Jonna: Monevata. No, sir.

Beverly: Not a poet, then.

He does a casual loop around his arm, lights the burner, and begins to melt the crystals

You should be. Great racket. Beats cleaning houses or looking after old psychopaths for a living, that's for sure.

Violet shrieks from off stage, a voiceless howl

Speak of the devil and she will surely hear. To offstage WHAT!?

Violet appears at the top of the stairs, sees Jonna, and howls

I don't understand you, dear.

Violet: Stop! Hammer time!

She Hammer Dances out of sight. Beverly looks disgusted

Beverly: I suppose the Furious Five was too much to hope for. You'll have to excuse my wife – she occasionally thinks she's a rap artist from the early 80s. Try not to be too discerning, if you would be kind. And now I see my concotion is ready, and will be off to the land of nod. Ta!

He cinches up and injects himself, leaning back with a sigh

Alligator pie, alligator pie, alligator pie, alligator pie...

Jonna: So, I guess I'm hired, then? Hello?

Scene One

Mattie Fae, Ivy, and Charlie are seated in the kitchen, shivering. Charlie is watching a baseball game on TV

Mattie Fae: He's buggered off before, so there's nothing to panic about. Isn't that right, Charlie?

Charlie: Usually in his own brain, though.

Mattie Fae: I've told Violet, I said to her she should hunt down where he keeps his stash and make him use it all at once.

Charlie: Now that would just kill him.

Mattie Fae: Serve him right, too.

Charlie: You don't kill a man for wanderin' off once or twice.

Mattie Fae: He did more than that! I introduced those two, you know.

Charlie: You did not introduce him to Violet.

Mattie Fae: I meant I intorduced him to smack.

Charlie: Oh, yeah. That you did do.

Ivy: Really? So you knew him when he was coherent?

Mattie Fae: He was never that – he was a poet even back then, so none of us ever knew what the hell he was talking about. Great lay, though.

Ivy: What?

Charlie: When did Violet get intereted in Hendrix?

Ivy: How do you mean?

Charlie: The posters covering all the windows. He reads them Band of Gypsys, Midnight Lightning, Jimmi Hendrix Experience, Loose Ends. Can't be easy to sleep with all those colours staring at you! And the faces. All the faces. The faces that are just one face, looking at you. Judging you from the walls. The walls.

He stares at the television

The walls. Judging you. Judging.

Mattie Fae: Whew, I'm sweatin' in here! All my sweat's poolin' up in uncomfortable places. Feel my butt crack!

Charlie: I don't wanna feel your butt crack.

She sways her butt hypnotically in front of him

Mattie Fae: Feel it. Feel it! Feeeeeel iiiiiiit!

Charlie: Is it kicking in already? Usually takes about fifteen, twenty minutes. But time, you know?

Ivy: Uh, guys? My dad? Plus, I'm kinda in the room, here.

Charlie: The walls.

Mattie Fae: Oh, it ain't that big! Now feel it!

Ivy: Yep, I'm leaving.

Mattie Fae: I can't believe you're just sitting there getting stoned out of your nut when we have a situation here. Specifically with me being horny right this second. Now get off your ass and onto mine.

Charlie: Where you goin'?

Mattie Fae: The kitchen. I'm gonna open drawers at random and see what's handy. Come on!

Charlie: Whadda need me for? I got the Teletubbies on!

Mattie Fae: You know I like an audience. Besides, that's a baseball game.

Charlie: Fascinated It is?

Mattie Fae: Yeah, the Royals.

Charlie screams and runs away to the kitchen, Mattie Fae following

Violet: Hello? Is anyone here?

Seeing no one, she goes to the liquor cabinet and pours herself several ounces

Now that I got me some Seagram's Gin,
Everybody's got their cups but they ain't chipped in.
This type a shit happens all the time
You got to get yours? Fool, I got to get mine.

Scene Two

Barbara and Bill are standing on the front porch to the house with small suitcases

Barbara: Where the fuck is she?

Bill: What? Who? Not here! Wait, who?

Barbara: Our daughter, dumbass.

Bill: Right, of course. Hotboxing the car, I think.

Barbara: She'd better be able to walk her ass over here before I knock on this goddamn door.

Bill: She'll be fine. Built up a pretty high tolerance for it by now.

Barbara: Just like her parents. I tell you about the spliff?

Bill: The spliff?

Barbara: Mom caught the us girls sparking up, and she was furious. It was this tiny little pinner, about as big around as your dick -

Bill: All right...

Barbara: - but she made us sit in a closet and finish Judy's whole stash in one go. Wouldn't let us out of the closet until it was all burned up.

Bill: Well that's terri- Wait, who's Judy?

Barbara: She asphixiated before we could finish it all.

Bill: Um. Wow.

Barbara: Her fault for being so tall. Would have been horrific, but all that pot really took the edge off. About fuckin' time!

Jean: Whatever, man.

Barbara: Here we go. She walks into the house Mom? Hey! Ho-bag!

Mattie Fae and Charlie enter

Mattie Fae: Barbara!

Barbara: Hi, Aunt Mattie. That the kitchen? You been fuckin' utinsils again?

Mattie Fae: You know it!

Barbara: With a significant look at Bill I've done worse.

Bill: All right, now...

Charlie: Hey. Cool skin, man.

Bill: Hi, Charlie.

Charlie: Yeah. Looks... wild, man. Wild.

Ivy and Violet enter

Ivy: Oh, thank God you're here! She's been asking for you all morning.

Violet: BARBARA!

She starts dancing

They come from miles around to check out the sound
Watch the walls come tumblin' down
Kid 'n' Play is the perfect team
Now's the time to let off some steam.

Barbara: Great.


Scene Three

Jonna's room. She's in bed holding up a book with one hand while the other is out of sight. She seems oddly flushed.

Jean: Knock, knock.

Jonna leaps about a foot off the bed, nearly throwing the book across the room. She tries to find it, spots where it landed and scrambles to retrieve it

Jonna: Nothing! Nothing going on!

Jean: Mind if I come in?

Jonna: No! What?

Jean: Cool.

Jonna panics and pulls the covers off the bed, hastily wrapping herself in them as Jean enters

Jonna: Uh. Hi.

Jean: Cool dress. Is that, like, Indian or something?

Jonna: ...Sure.

Jean: Mind if I hang out in your room a while?

Jonna: Actually, I was kinda in the middle of something...

Jean: Oh, cool! Was it, like, some kinda ritual your people do?

Jonna: Among others.

Jean: So, you do it alone?

Jonna: Frequently.

Jean: Can I watch?

Jonna: How old are you?

Jean: Fourteen. Ish.

Jonna: Nope.

Jean: My parents really suck, you know.

Jonna: Bummer. Get out.


Scene Four

Bill and Barbara's room. Bill enters, waving a book of poems while Barbara makes their bed

Bill: Hey, would you look at this!

Barbara: Not lookin'.

Bill: Hardcover origanal printing, signed by Beverly!

Barbara: Don't care.

Bill: Aw, it's even dedicated to Violet. That's sweet!

Barbara: Fuck off.

Bill reads from the book

Bill: "I saw the best minds from my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix."

He looks at the cover

Um. This, uh, this seems... This is Beverly's poems, right?

Barbara: What.

Bill: They seem kinda familiar is all.

Barbara: Why does everyone keep saying that?

Bill: I'll ask him when he gets back.

Barbara: Pulling back the sheets of their bed Like that'll happen. Get in. Let's see if Little Missy managed to teach you anything new.

Bill: Barbara?

Barbara: Get in the bed, bitch!


Scene Five

Dark, then blue lights from outside the house start to flash. Jonna enters

Jonna: Hey. Hey! Sheriff's here.

Jean: Off stage Fuck!

Barbara: Hm? Why are the police here? We didn't do anything that weird!

Bill: Crawling out from under the bed Speak for yourself.

Jonna: Should I try waking up whoever?

Bill: Nah, let her sleep it off. We don't need Ice-T showing up when we're talking to the cops.

Jonna: Cool.

Jean runs by, her arms full

Jean: I suddenly really have to go to the bathroom!

A toilet flushes

Barbara: What the fuck?

Bill: Let her go. Let's deal with the po-po.

They go down stairs where Sheriff Gilbeau is waiting

Bill: Hi, I'm Bill.

Gilbeau: Oh my God, you're hot!

Bill: Pardon?

A toilet flushes

Gilbeau: Barbara. Goddess. You are everything to me.

Barbara: Do I know you?

Gilbeau: Tears streaming from his eyes She speaks to me!

Barbara: Yeah, you're that weirdly uptight kid with the really hot dad!

Gilbeau's eyes roll back in spontaneous orgasm

Gilbeau: Ah! Ah! Ohhhh! My life is complete! I die in ecstacy!

Bill: So, about Beverly?

Gilbeau: Oh, yeah. He's dead.

Barbara sobs and collapses

Bill: Smooth delivery you've got there.

Gilbeau: Oops.

A toilet flushes

Bill: So he's really dead? Not faking it somehow?

Gilbeau: Know anyone who can hold their breath for three days?

Bill: I don't think so.

Gilbeau: You don't.

Barbara gathers herself and stands

Barbara: I'll go tell Jean.

A toilet flushes as she goes back upstairs

Jean? Jean, honey?

Jean: Busy! I'm suddenly really, really sick!

Barbara: Your grandpa's dead, sweetie.

A toilet flushes

Jean: What? Grandpa's dead?

Barbara: That's right, dear.

Pause

Jean: That's what they're here for?

Barbara: Yes, dear.

Pause

Jean: Dammit!

Violet enters down stairs

Violet: Yuh tha Gilbooo boy, heay? DEEEEon.

Gilbeau: Close enough.

Violet: Beverly bouncin'?

Gilbeau: Ma'am?

Violet begins dancing

Violet: I gotta love jones for your body and your skin tone
five minutes alone I'm already on the bone.
Plus I love the fact you've got a mind of your own
no need to shop around, you got the good stuff at home.


Act II

Scene All of Them

Barbara sets up a dinner table while Karen monologues

Karen: So then I said to Karen (the other Karen, not me) that Kimberly should have had to go to the convention instead of her (Karen, the other one) instead because that was what she'd been promised what with the trouble Katie (with an ie not a y) had been, y'know? And then STEVE, oh my God STEVE, he went ahead and jumped in and said... you know what he said?

Barbara: Sure?

Karen: No! He said "sure"! Isn't that amazing? That's how I just know he's absolutely perfect for me. For us, really; after all isn't he joining the family? So he's really for all of us, at least that's how I look at it. Take right now, for instance: he's not here, is he?

Barbara: No?

Karen: No! Because he's out making contacts and getting booze so we can survive the nightmarish hellscape that is our family! Isn't that just the best?

Barbara: Why not.

Karen: It is the best, seriously. Seriously. And he's the best. He's off helping us as soon as he heard help was needed and he gets me all the amphetamines I could ever use – well, not that I could ever use, I guess, but you know what I mean. I mean, you might not know what I mean, but the meaning is there nevertheless.

Barbara: Do you ever shut up?

Karen: Whether you understand the meaning or you interpret it differently isn't really my problem, unless I want to communicate with you. And that's really the crux of it, isn't it? Everything that is communication between two people is left as an ultimately uncertain event, as we never truly know how well the message we had intended to send was received.

Barbara: Jesus Fuckstick, you don't.

Karen: Marshall Mcluhan said that the medium is the message, but so many people get that wrong! They think he was talking about how a message was delivered was suddenly as important or even more important than the information was being conveyed. And that's just silly, you know?

Little Charles: Sorry I missed the funeral, dad.

Charles: It was a downer. Uncool.

Little Charles: I really wanted to be there.

Charles: I grok you, man. It's all good.

Karen: Then there's the ultimate filtering from thought to expression to hearing to understanding, and our culture and everything that inhabits that culture is the filter through which every stage forces that message. It's all around us, even if we don't think about it of even fully understand that it's there.

Steve: ...and when Florida Man hit, it was big. We managed to monetize some of that, but it's been really hard to recapture the magic of Grumpy Cat.

Bill: What did you say you do again?

Steve: Memes. We figure out what's going to be hot over the next couple of hours and flood the internet with images, letting other people make all our content.

Bill: You make money off this?

Steve: Grumpy Cat brought in over $20 million dollars in two years.

Bill: What?

Steve: Charlie Bit My Finger was an inspiration to us all.

Karen: When he's referring to 'medium' it's probably better to think of it as in the chemistry term 'medium', or what the chemical in question is suspended in. So when STEVE, oh my God STEVE mentioned memes to me I started thinking about the molarity concentration of solutions and asked him if he saw the internet and that social sharing as a solution to distribute memes in he looked at me kinda funny (SO funny!) and said – you know what he said?

Barbara: Sure?

Karen: NO! He said 'sure'! Isn't that adoreable?

Barbara: Oh for fuck's sake.

Ivy: Glad you could... come.

Little Charles: You make it hard for me to miss.

Ivy: If you attended the funeral, dad wouldn't be the only thing soaking wet for three days.

Little Charles: Or stiff for longer.

Ivy: You might want to see a doctor about that.

Little Charles: Too subtle?

Mattie Fae: Tiny, you can sit at the kids' table.

Little Charles: Am I being punished?

Ivy: Want to be?

Mattie Fae: Your name's Little Charles. How is it you think I like you at all?

Ivy: I can sit on his lap!

Little Charles: Again.

Mattie Fae: Get out of my sight, you disgusting creature.

Steve: Hey, who's the little hottie?

Bill: My daughter.

Steve: Intoriduce me?

Bill: How much of the $20 million did you get?

Karen: So ANYway, then Karen (other Karen, not me) gets all huffy about Kimberly managing to get out of going to the convention because of some ancient problem Katie had (with an ie not a y). Actually, her problem started with a K and ended with an aren, and NOT other Karen, but she totally deserved it.

Steve: Well, hey there.

Jean: I'll blow you for a Xanax.

Steve: I heard you like old- what?

Jean: I'm jonesing in a serious way, here. I had to flush my stash when the cops showed up.

Steve: Well you are in luck. I just happen to have contacts who are importing some fine stuff from Russia called krokodil, and it's taking the streets by storm.

Jean: Isn't that the stuff that eats your skin?

Steve: Sure, there's side effects; but the profit margin is through the roof! And how cool is it to shoot up stuff from Russia? Pretty awesome...

Jean: I'll let you know.

Violet enters from upstairs

Violet: It's the hard knock life for us. It's the hard knock life for us.

Steve: Oo, I know this one!

Violet: Stead a' treated, we get tricked! Stead a' kisses we get kicked! It's the hard knock life.

Little Steve: Annie! I love Annie!

Karen: That would be weird.

Violet: Don't know how to sleep, gotta eat, stay on my toes
Got a lot a beef, so logically prey on my foes.
Hustling's still inside of me
And as far as progress you'll be hard pressed
To find a rapper hot as me.

Charles: Who's she talking to? Is it the bugs? It's the bugs, isn't it?

Violet: I gave you prophecy in my first joint and y'all lamed out.
Didn't really appreciate it 'till the second came out.
So I stretched the game out, Xed your name out,
Put a jigger on top and drop albums non-stop for ya now.

Barbara stands up and attacks Violet, eventually throwing her to the ground amidst yells and general chaos. Eventually, she stands over her prone mother

Barbara: West Coast, Bitch!


Act III

Scene One

Barbara and Ivy are drinking heavily while Karen speaks

Karen: It's not just that the medium that the message is moving in can change what the message is, it's that it does change what the message is perceived to be simply because of how we perceive, and send, communications. Y'see, talking is a universal message, right? It's like something we all do, right?


Ivy: Where was she when Tupac was shot, any way?

Barbara: Don't know, don't care; but if she starts chanelling Tim Dog I'm taking her out for good.

Karen: Great example! Like rap was originally talking, really. Even the singing was just whatever instruments were at hand, but more commonly no instruments at all. Then instead of instruments, completed music was used, but in pieces; so what you used were parts of other completed songs, which had their own messages. So the artists new message was infused with the message that the song they were using had already conveyed, but only if the listener was familiar with that previous song.

Barbara: Hey, Ivy; are you boning Little Charles?

Ivy: Maybe.

Barbara: Dude.

Ivy: Oh, drat! How did you know?

Barbara: Even Karen could tell.

Karen pauses to nod at Ivy

Karen: The same song could have several messages delivered, depending on not only whether the sampled piece was known to the listener, but what they thought of the that song and associations they had with it.

Barbara: He is your cousin, you know.

Ivy: Really. I had no idea.

Barbara: So what are you planning to do about it?

Ivy: We're going to New York.

Barbara: The fuck are you going to do there?

Ivy: Charles wants to sign on with Bad Boy Records. Barbara stands I'm kidding! Suge Knight all the way!

Karen: See? Knowing what we know changes how each of us might receive the message, but also the intent of the message sent! Now that's just a small part of it, and I've probably spent WAY too much time on that part.

Barbara: No shit.

Karen: It's because the references go well beyond the individual, which Mcluhan was actually not very concerned with, and into the society at large. It's the effects of the message, or the intended effect of that message, to the society that's the important thing, really.

Barbara: So what about the ho-bag?

Ivy: Mom? I've lived way to close to her for way too long, so, yeah. No. Done with her.

Barbara: Well I sure as hell don't want to deal with her...

They look at Karen

Karen: And Kimberly's got this kid now, so she's kind of made her own excuse for not traveling anywhere, especially to things like MacheteCon on account of the violence and blood everywhere, you know? It seriously just soaks in to everywhere, and who knows what effect that will have on a newborn psyche like that, right?

Barbara: Shit. It's me, isn't it?

Karen: Now if I had to go STEVE, oh my God, STEVE would so totally be right there with me. Partially to try keeping me safe, sure; but also, you guys, because anyone who would be crazy enough to attend would probably love to try this new stuff he's bringing in, krokodil? It's totally insane that anyone would ever use it, but people do. Isn't that just the weirdest thing?


Scene II

Jean's room. She and Steve enter

Steve: Shhh.

Jean: I thought you said we weren't doing anything wrong.

Steve: Workin' on it.

Jean: So do you have any Xanax or what?

Steve: Well, no. That's really specific. Why not just use alcohol?

Jean: No way! You know what that does to your liver?

Steve: You have got to be joking me. This family takes stuff that'll randomly alter their DNA, and you're worried about your liver?

Jean: Good point. Okay, drop 'em.

Steve: How old did you say you were again?

Jean: I dunno. Fifteen, I think.

Steve: I'm going to want the lights off for this, then.

He turns the light off. Soon after, Jonna walks on stage and turns them on

Steve: Whoa!

Jonna is weilding a truly impressive sex toy

Jonna: I think there's some extra batteries in here. Mind if I look?

Steve: Uh, sure.

Jonna spots Jean

Jonna: You told me you were fourteen.

Jean: Oh, yeah. Fourteen.

Steve: She told me she was twenty-five!

Jonna hits him repeatedly with the sex toy

Steve: Ow! Ow! Ow!

Bill and Barbara enter

Bill: What's going on here?

Barbara: Seriously. Am I tripping balls, or is this real.

Jean: Oh my God, you're so embarrassing!

Jean leaves

Steve: Uh... it's all part of a marketing plan?

Barbara: I'll kill you!

Steve: Look us up when you're in Florida!

Steve leaps out the window

Bill: I'm going to join him. He seems a lot more fun than you are.

Bill leaps out window followed by the sound of a car racing down the driveway

Barbara: You wouldn't know fun if it bit off your balls! Thinks He may have a point.


Scene III

Barbara and Jonna are in the Beverly's study

Barbara: If you want to stick around, you can. But there has to be at least one person here who isn't utterly incapacitated 90% of the time, so that's you.

Jonna: I understand.

Barbara: You'll have to start using recyclable batteries, though. We're going through way to many of the single-use ones – the landfill called us up to complain, the bastards.

Jonna: Dang. How about rechargables?

Barbara: We couldn't afford the electrical bills.

Jonna: Aw, man!

Barbara: We could get you one of those. Cheaper in the long run, and just as disposable.

Jonna: Not my type.

Barbara: Woman, then. Still cheaper.

Jonna: Nope.

Barbara: Running out of options, here.

Jonna: You got a tool shop?

Barbara: Sure. This fucking place would fall apart without it.

Jonna: That'll do nicely.

Barbara: Ah. Okay, then. Try not to burn the place down and you can stay.

Jonna: You got it.


Scene IV

Sheriff Gilbeau and Barbara are in the kitchen

Barbara: The fuck you want?

Gilbeau: Oh, yes. Very much so.

Barbara: Huh. Yeah, you could come in handy.

Gilbeau: I desperately want to bring a little modicum of joy, and hope, and self-respect to your life.

Authour: NOPE!

Barbara: Sorry.

Gilbeau: Aww. How about your live-in, then? She's hot.

Barbara: She's mechano-sexual.

Gilbeau: Dammit!


Scene V

Barbara and Ivy are in the sitting room; Violet enters

Barbara: Hi, mom.

Violet: Workin' on it.

Barbara: We've been over this. You can't get high on Advil, no matter what you cut it with.

Violet: You forgot to take the booze.

Barbara: After the abuse you've put your liver through? You'll be dead in a week if you try, ya dumb fucker.

Ivy: I've got something to say.

Violet: I'm sure I care.

Ivy: Charles and I -

Barbara: Little Charles.

Ivy: Charles and I -

Barbara: Little Charles.

Ivy: Charles and I -

Barbara: Little Charles.

Ivy: He's hung like a bull, Barbara.

Barbara: Little Ch- What?

Ivy: Seriously. Baby's arm holding an apple.

Barbara: Did not expect that.

Violet: She finally says something interesting.

Ivy: At least thirty minutes of foreplay.

Barbara: Huh.

Ivy: Charles and I-

Barbara: Big Charles.

Ivy: Barbara! Charles-

Violet: Charles is adopted. I know that.

Ivy: What? No...

Violet: I've always known that. You didn't think Mattie Fae, who's never shown the least interest in anything sentient, and Charlie, who isn't sure anything exists outside his own head, could get it together enough to reproduce? Even by accident? Please.

Little Charles enters, trying not to be seen

Barbara: Look out! Heavy equipment, comin' through!

Little Charles: Did you tell her?

Barbara: She sure did! Woo!

Ivy: I... kinda.

Little Charles: That we're going to New York?

Barbara: Big apple, huh?

Ivy: About that...

Little Charles: What's wrong?

Barbara: Her cervix needs a holiday, you brute!

Ivy: You're adopted.

Little Charles: I'm what?

Ivy: We're not actually related. Sorry. You're just not that interesting anymore. Bye.

She leaves, followed by a sad Little Charles

Barbara: What a crazy bitch. Hey, Lit- Hey, Charles! Charlie! You know I'm practically divorced?

Barbara leaves after them

Violet: Barbara, I was... Barbara? Barbara? Ivy? Ivy, where...?

The lights temporarily dim as we hear some kind of heavy machinery starting up overhead

Jonna? Jonna!

No one comes. She sits on the floor and recites Denni Lee to herself in a diminishing voice

Once upon a time
There was a teeny tiny tale.
It had a good beginning,
but the middle seemed pale.

And when it reached the section
where the middle should have been
the teeny tiny tale, alas,
Was nowhere to be...



Fin

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posted by Erin Butler at 9:41 pm 0 comments