Well, it’s been an entire year since our last short play contest and a year since announcing that I was no longer Paddy’s partner-in-crime. However, though I’m no longer an official moderator, it’s hard to stay away from a forum I've watched grow for over a decade. Young men and women have gone from high school, through college, to Theatre professionals during that time—right here on this forum. We’ve all grown as playwrights and as people. I know I have. So it’s hard to turn a back on a forum where history is made and lived. Was that too goofy?
January’s contest brought 10 new short plays; all of them fun and all of them from longtime members. It was difficult to choose a winner. I’m not looking for the “best.” I doubt my ability to recognize it. The choice was made simply and plainly on my taste. Were there 9 other judges we could possibly have 10 different winners. It’s the luck of the draw, so don’t anyone take this seriously.
Here goes: My favorite and the winner is CHRISTMAS MORNING by Paul Timulty. I liked this play right from the set-up—before reading the first line of dialogue. It was a terrific visual and the play lived up to expectations. With its simple linear dialogue it created a sense of urgency and mystery—a not so simple accomplishment. CALL CENTRE SHINANIGANS by David Muncaster was indeed a play of shinanigans that lead to some serious thoughts. Life can change when least expected. Just when one thinks their life isn't worth a twig, a seemingly bad happenstance can lead to a pleasant surprise with a new lease on life. Conversely, when you play one too many pranks, life has a way of biting you on the—but I won’t go there. Nice job, Muncy. Lots of fun. Martin Heavisides' FILM FEST PARTY CRASHER PITCH was a pleasure to read, ‘though overly long for this contest. However, it kept my short attention span at bay with clever, intelligent and flavorful dialogue. For me, one indicator of great dialogue is its ability to create characters with their own individual voice. Martin created such dialogue with a peppering of colloquial idioms. MOVING OUT by Olivia Arieti is smart and clever. It marvelously balances love past with love present with humor, a warm spirit and in a bittersweet way. In fact, we have a really blithe spirit in this one. Nicely done, Olivia. The title of Vanessa David’s THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE IN CONNECTICUT’S KANGAROO COURT says it all. What a hoot! Vanessa blew me away with this one. I think I love Connecticut’s judicial system. We are what we eat and don’t I know it. This is a rousing and uplifting play that I would love seeing with an audience. All I can say is get on your knees and shout, Amen. WHO’S DRIVING by John Conforti opens with three good ol' boys doing what good ol' boys to best; sit in bars after work, throw back a couple and say things they don’t mean to say. At least, not in the way the words come out. Misunderstandings caused by ill-chosen words laced with alcohol can cause unexpected repercussions. This is a fun and engaging play. Edward J. Thomas’ THE JUMPER is fantastically absurd and thoughtfully clever. I did not know where this was going. The opening dialogue could have gone just about anywhere, but where it went was satisfying. The play unfolded steadily and neatly. When you make plans for going out, be sure to call ahead and don’t leave home without a reservation. I had so much fun reading THE NO SOCKS GANG by Shirley K. This delightful little play belongs in an anthology for the classroom where it would be an instant hit. It is so simple on the surface, but just beneath the surface, it speaks of uniformity, strict nonsensical rules and how friendship and logic can rise above a system that exists just to exist. It speaks to my heart and perhaps it will speak to yours. Throw away those socks and inch forward—one foot at a time. Diane Spodarek's TWO TRANSEXUALS AT THE AIRPORT is an absolute delight. Oh, the irony of it! Talk about finding a sweetheart right next door, so to speak. I guess when two souls are attracted to each other, it doesn't matter what body they're in, or were in. This is a surprising play with a joyous ending you won’t see coming. This is a change you can believe in. Eleanor Tylbor offers us DEPARTURE GATE, a gentle and humbling play with which we can all identify. Sometimes we become so wrapped up in ourselves, we casually dismiss others as if they were an annoyance and not a human being. How sad. When it is a customer service rep doing the dismissing it is an inexcusable departure from human kindness.
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Paul, email or PM me with you postal address and your choice from the following: ROAD TO NIRVANA by Arthur Kopit (hardcover), MOON OVER BUFFALO by Ken Ludwig (hardcover), SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION by John Guare (hardcover), and the rest are by me: LAVENDER INK (4 gay plays, Greyridge Press, acting edition), 3 GUYS IN DRAG SELLING THEIR STUFF (Greyridge Press, acting edition) and TOUGH COOKIES (Samuel French, acting edition).
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NOTE: Each of the plays to follow are owned and copyrighted by each of the individual authors. By virtue of being published online in the Playwrights’ Forum these plays are also considered copyrighted. To secure performance rights, please contact the playwright directly.
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Cast: Michael Hammond and Tom Spencer.
The scene is a bus stop. There is a man, Michael Hammond, standing at the bus stop. He is covered in blood and has an axe in his left hand. He is facing the audience but staring at the ground in front of him.
There is the sound of ‘tapping’ and Tom Spencer enters. Tom is blind and walks with the aid of a white stick, tapping the ground directly in front of him when he walks. He walks up to Michael and hits his legs with his cane.
TOM: Oops! Sorry. Wasn't expecting anyone to be at the bus stop this morning. Not many travel on Christmas Day, Oh, Merry Christmas by the way.
MICHAEL: (Michael grunts an ‘affirmative’ grunt.)
TOM: Amazing that the council have put this bus on today in the first place. First time in twenty years a bus service into town on a Christmas Day. Must be all that lobbying we did during the summer. (He awaits an answer but gets none.) Hmmm!Nice day is it? Doesn't feel quite so cold.
MICHAEL: (Michael turns and looks at Tom. He gives another ‘affirmative’ grunt and returns to staring at the road.)
TOM: Local are you? Live close by?
MICHAEL: (He looks at Tom again. He sighs heavily) Yes.
TOM: Did you hear all that ruckus this morning? I think it came from Rosewood Avenue. Shouting and screaming, bangs and thuds. You’d think someone was being murdered with all the noise.
MICHAEL: (He looks at Tom.) Quite possibly.
TOM: I mean. It is Christmas morning after all. You’d think today of all days people would have the consideration to think about their neighbours.
MICHAEL: (Heaves another heavy sigh.) Sorry about that.
TOM: I mean. Even if it was someone hacking their wife to death because she forgot to buy the turkey, you’d expect a bit of decorum on Christmas morning?
MICHAEL: Stuffing actually. She forgot the stuffing.
TOM: People today, they just don’t care anymore. “It’s my wife and I’ll hack her to pieces anytime I want and make as much noise as I please.” Makes me so mad.
MICHAEL: Well, it wasn’t quite like that. She had started to…….
TOM: I get so worked up about these things. Just because I’m blind people think it Doesn't matter to me. I’d like to get my hands on the inconsiderate bastards. Five minutes with a base ball bat that’s all I ask.
MICHAEL: I’m really sorry. If I’d realized that………….
TOM: It’s no good. I’ve upset myself too much. I’m not in the mood to go into town. Maybe next year. (He turns away and starts to walk off the way he entered.) Oh. Nice meeting you and a Happy New Year to you. (He exits.)
MICHAEL: (Watches Tom exit. Sighs heavily) Yes. Merry Christmas.
* * * * * * * * *
CALL CENTRE SHINANIGANS
Martin and Jane mime answering the telephone.
Martin: (Into telephone) Yes. Thank you for calling. Goodbye. (To Jane) My God Jane, She's a feisty bitch that one.
Jane: I thought you liked your women with a bit of spunk in them.
MARTIN: Only when it's mine Jane dear.
JANE: (Into telephone) Hello help desk. Yes, could you hold the line a moment? (To Martin.) Martin, you've got a call.
MARTIN: I know.
JANE: Aren't you going to take it?
MARTIN: I can't be bothered. It's only your boyfriend. Hey, that makes a change. I've got bored of him quicker than you have!
JANE: (Into telephone) I'm sorry caller. There's a fault on the line. Please call again. (Snatching Martin's telephone) Hello Patrick. Sorry Martin's being a twat. Oh! Oh hello Mr Staples. Yes Mr Staples. I am very sorry, Me? Er, I'm Trudi. Bye! (To Martin) You complete prick Martin. You've probably got me the sack.
MARTIN: Your point being?
JANE: I need this job Martin!
MARTIN: That's the saddest statement I've ever heard.
JANE: It’s alright for you. I know you are only filling in time until a decent job comes along but I need to hang on to this job until Patrick and I have saved up enough for a deposit on a house.
MARTIN: You’re going to live with him! Urgh. Gross.
JANE: So, I don’t mind having a laugh with you but please try not to get me into trouble with the management.
MARTIN: I’ll be on best behavior from now on. Scouts honour.
JANE: Thank you. (Into telephone) Hello help desk. Oh, hello Mr Staples. Yes that was me. I'm really sorry. I thought you were my boyfriend. No Mr Staples! No, I didn't cut you off. I think we must be having trouble with the switchboard. Yes, of course Mr Staples, I’ll get someone on it straight away.
MARTIN: Well, that all worked out OK.
JANE: No thanks to you! You’re taking the rest of the calls this morning to make it up to me.
MARTIN: Certainly my lady. Oh here we go, (into telephone) hello, help desk. Oh hello Mr Staples. Who? Trudi? Just a minute please. (To Jane) I think he wants you.
JANE: (Taking the telephone.) Yes Mr Staples? Well, actually it's not Trudi, it's Jane. You do? Really? Well thank you. I’d love to Mr Staples. Thank you very much Mr Staples. (Jane begins to leave the stage)
MARTIN: Where are you going?
JANE: Well, you did it Martin. It looks like you might have finally got me the sack.
JANE: Yeah. Mr Staples likes my voice so much he has asked me to audition to do the voice over for the new TV advert. See you later, loser!
* * * * * * * * * *
FILM FEST PARTY CRASHER PITCH
Ambient noise of small lounge or pub.
FIRST MAN: Get out o' here! In those jeans? They got a tear at the knee.
SECOND MAN: I told 'em I was in character for a part I was acting in my own film. Waved to Brad Pitt--he was dressed even worse. Don't think he was waving at me, but at the entrance rope they thought he was. Even so they had the hairy eyeball on me so I grabbed some libation and started schoozin' right, left and centre. Workin' up a good line of patter too. Pitchin' this--
WAITRESS: What's your pleasure gentlemen?
SECOND MAN: Another of the same for me. What you having? It's on me.
FIRST MAN: I prefer it in a glass.
SECOND MAN: HA HA HA! This guy cracks me up! Don't he crack you up?
WAITRESS: Up, down and sideways sir.
FIRST MAN: What kind of bourbon's your house bourbon?
WAITRESS: Speckled Grouse sir.
SECOND MAN: Speckled Grouse for the souse it is then.
FIRST MAN: Hey! That's my reputation you're playing with. Miss, it'll do. Double, rocks. (Noise of table being cleared.) They believed those were actual clothes for a character in a movie?
SECOND MAN: You've heard of cinema verite? These are my actual clothes, what could be more verity than that? Stubble's what really sold it though.
FIRST MAN: Get out of here! you don't have stubble.
SECOND MAN: Suzie at the office? Gave me some, very realistic, out of the bottomless make up kit in her purse. Used to do movie make up. I asked her why she quit, slave in an office like ours? She said the work's too intermittent otherwise she'd go back to it in a New York minute. I think she had fun bringing out the low life in me.
FIRST MAN: Wouldn't have too far to dig.
SECOND MAN: Hey! watch it if you wanna be in my movie. See, what I figured was, my chances to crash a gig like this are spotty at bre--at best but they increase a thousandfold if instead of tux and tails and that whole nine yards I dress down for the part.
FIRST MAN: Those security boys are professionals. They must have twigged eventually.
SECOND MAN: But by the time they did I was pitching to three executives at once. We got a bidding war can you feature that!?
FIRST MAN: Getting a little off your main goal of the evening, but that does sound. . . listen, am I gonna be in this. . . ?
SECOND MAN: Oh I snaffled that off too, almost the moment my new agent took over manipulating the bids. B actress but up and coming, and a very firm D in all the important respects if you know what I mean. Told 'em it was three-fifths made, so we have to hurry up. Suzie's our make up specialist, we shoot at night because we all got day jobs, it'll enhance the noir look of the thing. They're expecting a low-budget, rough aesthetic so we'll do every scene in one take as far as that proves possible.
FIRST MAN: You're serious about this?
SECOND MAN: Look at me. This is my serious face. Hey! let me write that down, it's a good line I bet we can use it.
FIRST MAN: Sounds like this is way past the paper napkin phase.
SECOND MAN: Those things? Don't try to write on 'em with a fountain pen. We're gonna have to double up on parts--double double up--I want you to play second lead assassin and victims three, seven and fifteen.
FIRST MAN: This project have a name?
SECOND MAN: Elimination Dance. It's a black comedy about bumbling hit men.
FIRST MAN: Seems to me a bumbling hit man would be out of work pretty quick, with extreme prejudice even. But it's somebody else's dime so what do I know? So how come I ain't lead assassin?
SECOND MAN: You need hair for that part.
FIRST MAN: I can get a rug.
SECOND MAN: Not on the budget we're making this picture for you can't get a rug. Trust me, you'll be happy with the part.
FIRST MAN: Speaking of parts, you say Suzie's our make up girl?
SECOND MAN: Zal. Zalman. Listen to me very carefully. Do not put any way, shape or manner of moves on Suzie unless she hits on you first which there's zero chance. I'm giving her points on the gross her contribution's so essential to the vision of this thing. Don't want her storming off set never to darken our door again and leave me holding the bag.
FIRST MAN: So what's your role in this, lead hit man? You told them you had a part.
SECOND MAN: I play. . . Jesus.
FIRST MAN: You're shittin' me!
SECOND MAN: Either that or the Angel with the Flaming Sword, you know--out of Eden?
FIRST MAN: Eden Farms out west of the city?
SECOND MAN: Eden the first home of soon to be erring and fallen humanity Eden? Honest to God Zal, I know you've lapsed--
FIRST MAN: No more 'n you.
SECOND MAN: Maybe I'm rethinking, but we were both raised Catholic. Jesus or the Angel is there to set right the many sins and errors of. . . my whole cast basically.
FIRST MAN: What's Jesus or some Angel doing in a story like this? I can't picture their role.
SECOND MAN: What did I just tell you? God has a profound interest in permanent retribution eventually, didn't you know that? I swear all the time I was pitchin' I sensed an Angel at my shoulder. . . even thought I heard a few subvocal suggestions about plot points. I think it was the religious twist that put me over the top with my investors.
FIRST MAN: Just one small point. Mel. Melvin. As a true friend with your interests clutched close to my breast I have to say--maybe you don't want to hear this--you do not have what it takes to play Jesus. Neither the soul nor the cojones, in your heart of hearts you know it's true.
SECOND MAN: This is actually pretty good bourbon. Yeah, too true, I know. That's why I'm leaning more Angel with the flaming sword on this. Maybe a flick knife.
* * * * * * * * * *
Olivia Arieti Arieti
CHARACTERS: ED and VIVIEN (The portrait of Ed's first wife.)
At Rise: (Ed enters the bedroom. Starts taking off his tie. Vivien's portrait is on the wall in front of the bed.)
VIVIEN: It's rather late, Ed, you've got an important appointment tomorrow morning.
ED: There you go again! Won't you ever stop telling me what to do?
VIVIEN: Can't help it. I still care for you, darling.
ED: You're dead, Viv, have to realise it. (Starts unbuttoning his shirt.) By the way, there's something I want to talk about.
VIVIEN: What is it?
ED: Would you mind if I moved you to the living room?
VIVIEN: You want to throw me out?!
ED: I didn't say that.
VIVIEN: I bet Amanda told you. She just can't stand me!
ED: Please, honey, she's my wife now.
VIVIEN: Didn't waste much time replacing me.
ED: I was feeling lonely… but I still care for you a lot.
ED: (Caresses her cheek.) Of course, I do.
VIVIEN: Would you like to join me?
ED: (Steps back.) Er… no… I mean not now… sooner or later perhaps… rather later, I'd say.
VIVIEN: I'm always looking down on you, sweetheart.
ED: That's the problem. I have to fight with Amanda every single night… you know, before we… Really can't take it anymore.
VIVIEN: So I make you uncomfortable, huh?
ED: Three is a crowd. Believe me, sugar, life would be much easier for me.
VIVIEN: Forget it.
ED: We'd spend more hours together if you were in the living room. You'd be with me when I dine, watch TV-
VIVIEN: Snore on the couch…
ED: After all, you should appreciate my devotion, never taken you off that wall despite all Amanda's hassle.
VIVIEN: A real witch, huh?
ED: Do it for me, honey, please…
VIVIEN: Alright… I'll let you move me… just because I love you, sweetheart, and because I feel sorry for you.
ED: Great! Have no idea of the favour you're doing me.
VIVIEN: (Winks.) See you at breakfast then.
ED: Sure. Now, simply close your eyes and here we go.
(Takes the picture off the wall.)
* * * * * * * * * *
THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE IN CONNECTICUT’S KANGAROO COURT
SETTING: A courtroom, lots of wood, swinging saloon doors, stars and stripes.
AT RISE: The JUDGE is on high, the BAILIFF behind, the LAWYERS are seated and the COURT REPORTER stands to speak.
COURT REPORTER – Hear me, hear me! This court is now in session, the Honorable Judge –
DEFENSE LAWYER – I object! Your Honor is not honorable having signed the warrant for the search –
JUDGE – Overruled! Call your next witness!
DEFENSE LAWYER – The defense calls Mrs. Polly A. Morris.
POLLY enters through the swinging saloon doors.
COURT REPORTER – Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, the unadulterated truth, so help you God?
POLLY – I always tell the truth. Ask my husband.
DEFENSE LAWYER – Mrs. Morris. Polly. Were you present, at the Windsor Locks Hotel Suites, on the night in question?
POLLY – I was. (With an accent) News reports mentioned a woman performing oral sex on 5-6 men. That was me.
PROSECUTOR – I object! The witness is speaking with a southern accent.
DEFENSE LAWYER – It’s an artistic choice, your Honor. Having to do with the irony of such a morality prosecution in the forward thinking state of Connecticut.
JUDGE – Sustained! Drop it or you’ll leave in ‘cuffs.
POLLY – (Continuing the accent) Handcuffs! Well, I never! Well, that’s not true. Not often…enough.
PROSECUTOR – I object! Can the witness prove she is the woman in question?
DEFENSE LAWYER – I object!
POLLY – (No accent) I don’t!
JUDGE – There’s justice for ya!
COURT REPORTER – There’s only four of us.
JUDGE – Bailiff!
Lights up on everyone coming back to their original positions.
COURT REPORTER – Hear me! Hear me! This court is back in session, the Honorable Judge –
JUDGE – In the interest of justice, expediency and…oh my god, that was hot…
POLLY – (Fixing her lipstick) Guilty.
PROSECUTOR – There’s nothing obscene about that.
DEFENSE LAWYER – Dirty, maybe, but that’s not against the law.
JUDGE - Case dismissed!
POLLY – (Back to the accent) Well, I do declare! Justice has been done…unto me. I love my country. God bless Connecticut!
ALL MEN – Amen!
* * * * * * * * * *
The play opens on three individuals seated at a bar, JEFF, JOSH, and PAUL. Jeff and Josh are both in their twenties, while PAUL might be in his late thirties. All of them are nearing their alcohol tolerance limits and are buzzing.
JEFF: So how was your guys’ nights?
PAUL: You worked with us. You know how our nights are. We’re happy we’re out.
JEFF: I meant your numbers. How were your...
PAUL: (Cutting him off) Whoa! That stuff stays at work. Once we leave, you don’t go back and bring it up again. (Beat) I have to go wash my hands. I’ll be back. (Beat - stands up to leave - to JOSH) Teach the new guy will ya? (PAUL exits.)
JEFF: Teach me what?
JOSH: The Las Vegas rule of working. What happens at the store... (long pause while he drinks) ...stays at the store. We all work there. We all get tired of it. We don’t want to talk about it after hours.
JEFF: Sorry. (Beat) Oh crap, Paul probably hates me now!
JOSH: No he likes you. I can tell. He brought you out here. He wouldn’t have invited you otherwise. You know, that means you’re all right.
JEFF: Here’s to being all right (Raises glass - JOSH and him clink - pause). You know - I feel weird hanging out with Paul, though. I mean, the guy’s got a daughter that’s the same age as my youngest brother, and he’s only ten. That’s just weird.
JOSH: You know what’s even weirder? If your brother and his daughter ever got married, Paul would be kind of like your father-in-law.
JEFF: Oh I don’t know about that. I don’t think Paul would want me to father his children.
JOSH: (Oblivious to the meaning of those words) Me neither! But I’ll ask him if you’d like.
JEFF: Would you do that for me? Paul would be awesome to have as another father!
PAUL returns from washing his hands. He wipes his hands on his pants.
PAUL: They’re all out of the paper towels in the bathroom. Those automatic things never do the job either.
JOSH: Hey Paul, Jeff just asked me if he could father your children.
PAUL: (To JEFF) You son of a....
PAUL punches JEFF square in the jaw, knocking him off his bar stool.
JOSH: Oh man, why’d you do that? All he wants is for you to be his father-in-law.
As JEFF stood up, PAUL punched him back in the jaw knocking him back to the floor again.
PAUL: She’s only ten you sick freak!
JEFF: No! I meant that for my brother! He’s only ten, too! Then we’d be kinda like father and son.
PAUL thinks about it momentarily.
Oh, all right. That’s fine.
PAUL helps JEFF to his feet. Jeff sits back down on his stool. There’s a slight pause while everyone returns to drinking.
JOSH: Oh hey, I just got that first one! Jeff, you said you wanted to father his children. That sounds funny...‘cause...well, it makes it sound like you’re both... (JOSH trails off when he gets distracted by his drink. Nobody seems to notice.) So hey, who’s driving?
* * * * * * * * * *
Edward J. Thomas
(A woman stands at the railing of a bridge, about to jump. A stranger approaches her)
STRANGER: What are you doing? Are you crazy?
WOMAN: No, I’m not crazy! I’m going to jump. And don’t give me any of that crap about how I have so much to live for and how things will get better and blah, blah, blah… I’ve heard it so many times, I’m surprised I haven’t done this sooner just to get them to shut up. So save the sermon.
STRANGER: I wasn’t planning on giving you one.
STRANGER: It’s just… Well, you don’t have an appointment.
WOMAN: An appointment? Was there a bridge-jumper maitre d’ around here I overlooked?
STRANGER: I guess in some strange way of looking at it, that would be me.
WOMAN: So you stand around here waiting for people to come along and asking if they have a reservation?
STRANGER: No, no. I don’t just stand here. I work all over. You see, I’m Death.
WOMAN: Death? As in the Grim Reaper?
STRANGER: Please, don’t call me that. I can’t stand that name; it’s so depressing.(Pulls out a book and opens it) And I do not have you anywhere in my appointment book.
WOMAN: In that case I’d like to make an appointment. Pencil me in for right now.
STRANGER: I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. You’ll have your appointment made for you, which makes everything much easier. Otherwise, a lot of people would never call.
WOMAN: So who makes these appointments?
STRANGER: The good folks up in the front office, of course.
WOMAN: Right. Well, I hate to do things without permission, but I really don’t think there’s any way you’re going to punish me for this one. See ya!
STRANGER: Wait! You don’t get it, do you? You’re not in the book! And if you’re not in the book, you’re not going to die. So if you jump, all it will do is hurt. A lot.
WOMAN: But if you’re the Reaper, you can just take me now! I jump, you put an end to me, case closed, right? Besides, have you looked down there? There’s no way anyone could survive this fall. I chose this spot for that exact reason. So who are you to say that I can’t—?
STRANGER: Okay I give up! Fine. Jump. Don’t jump. I don’t care. I get paid the same either way. Just try to land in the bushes over there on the left. It probably won’t be quite as painful. (STRANGER exits)
WOMAN: So you’re just going to leave me like that? Stupid weirdo. (Thinks about it) Of course, if that’s the sort of person I have to deal with when I’m dead… (Thinks some more, then turns and runs away in the opposite direction)
* * * * * * * * * *
THE NO SOCKS GANG
Caitlyn and Holly are on their way to school.
CAITLYN: Will you hurry up? We’ll be late to Mr. Mooney’s class and you know what that means.
HOLLY: Detention. But I’m getting suspended anyway,
HOLLY: Look at my socks.
CAITLYN: You’re wearing Tigger socks? Like Winnie the Pooh Tigger?
HOLLY: Our washer broke and these are the only clean socks I’ve got.
CAITLYN: Holly, you know the Dress Code. Solid colors only.
HOLLY: Don’t remind me. No logos or patterns of any kind. No stripes, no pictures, no flowers.
CAITLYN: Maybe nobody will notice.
HOLLY: Trust me, Caitlyn, they will.
CAITLYN: I don’t get what they mean by appropriate attire.
HOLLY: I know. I mean these are just socks. I’m not like in a gang or anything.
CAITLYN: Come on, we’re gonna be late.
HOLLY: You go.
CAITLYN: You’re ditching?
HOLLY: Maybe I could just turn these inside out.
CAITLYN: So they’re still striped but now they’ve got little strings and fuzz balls? I don’t think so.
HOLLY: Know what? I could use a black marker to cover the orange stripes.
CAITLYN: If you had a black marker. Or I did.
HOLLY: If we went to your house I could borrow a pair of your socks.
CAITLYN: And miss most of Mooney’s class? We’re having a test today, remember? What if you wear one of my socks and I wear one of yours?
HOLLY: So then we both get suspended? I don’t think so.
CAITLYN: You know, they might as well make us wear uniforms.
HOLLY: Hello? We already do. Only solid colors?
CAITLYN: Isn’t a dress code against our civil right or something?
HOLLY: What if I take these socks off?
CAITLYN: You can’t go to school without socks, Holly.
HOLLY: Who says? I’ve never heard of a No Socks rule. Have you?
CAITLYN: Well ... no.
HOLLY: Then it must be okay.
CAITLYN: Know what? I’m taking mine off too. We can be the No Socks Gang.
HOLLY: Okay! So instead of getting into fights and protecting our territory we’ll just ... what?
CAITLYN: Not wear socks.
* * * * * * * * * *
TWO TRANSEXUALS AT THE AIRPORT
(At the Airport: A Man and a Woman who used to be a woman and a man.)
MICHAEL: Excuse me Miss. Is this your passport? (Holds passport open to photo page.)
MICHAEL: I saw it . . . I . . . I think I saw it drop from your purse.
JOHANNA: No. It’s not mine.
MICHAEL: Look . . . (reads name from passport) John . . . My name is Michael. There’s nothing to be freaked out about. So you have a guy's name. We both had fathers who wanted boys.
JOHANNA: But you are. (Looks him over.) You look familiar.
MICHAEL: So do you. . .
MICHAEL & JOHANNA (together) Dr. Phil Sokolowski!!!!!! (They shake hands as their previous selves, then change to who they are now. back and forth, back and forth.)
OHANNA: Wow you are . . .
MICHAEL: . . . Yeah I know, thank you. And, I must say, you are gorgeous. (Awkward pause) I’m going abroad. I just got it. I want to use it, you know, try it out, different land, the sea, the water, the women . . .
JOHANNA: Yeah, me too. . . abroad. The sand, the beach, the men. (They laugh) Can I see it?
MICHAEL: Sure. (Takes passport from his back pocket. They look at picture together.) The Adams‘ apple was extra. . . but . . .
JOHANNA: . . . Worth it. (Sees his ticket in passport.) Hey, we are on the same flight to Barcelona.
MICHAEL: No way. (Looks at her ticket.) We’re sitting next to each other!! (They excitedly hug: as their previous selves, then to who they are now, back and forth: hugging, shaking hands, standing manly, womanly. They regain their composure and stand in an exaggerated man/woman way, looking at each other, feeling pleased.)
* * * * * * * * * *
By Eleanor Tylbor
CAST OF CHARACTERS
PLANE PASSENGER TICKET AGENT/TAKER
A busy airport. A passenger at a departure gate stops to speak to a ticket-taker/airport employee
PASSENGER: Excuse me…
(TICKET AGENT IGNORES HER/HIM, ABSORBED IN CONVERSATION WITH ANOTHER TICKET-TAKER)
PASSENGER: Um…excuse me but…
(TICKET AGENT STOPS FOR A SECOND, STARES AT PASSENGER AND CONTINUES CONVERSATION)
PASSENGER: I could really use some help here. Please?
TICKET AGENT: I’m talking. Could you wait your turn like everyone else?
PASSENGER: All I really need is some information…
TICKET AGENT: Don’t we all. A few more minutes, okay?
PASSENGER: Not really. I have a flight to catch. That’s why I’m here - in an airport - to take a plane? That’s why you’re here…to give passengers information
TICKET AGENT: Pushy, aren’t we? (aside to other ticket-taker): ‘I’ll phone you later when I’m free to talk.’ (referring to the passenger with a nod of her/his head). So…what’s the problem? Your ticket?
PASSSENGER: Could you tell me where gate 24 is?
TICKET AGENT: See up there? The gate numbers? Clear as day?
PASSENGER: Not really.
TICKET AGENT: Of fer… Up there (ticket agent points with finger and waves it) D’ya see? Can't miss it.
PASSENGER: I mean, I can see them but I can’t read them. I’m dyslexic. That’s why I asked for your help.
TICKET AGENT: (embarrassed) I didn't mean to… I mean, I didn't realize… This is gate 26. Gate 24 is over there (points with finger). Better still, why don’t I just go over and take you there myself.
PASSENGER: Not necessary. After all - you’re a busy person. Have a good day.
I have spoken to Edd by PM already this evening but I wanted to say in the general forum how terrific these short contests are for all of us out there.
Any one of the shorts entered could have won but the fact that Edd took the time to get our creative juices flowing and created the opportunity for us to test ourselves with our peers shows his real love and understanding of what we all do.
My emotions are all hay wired. Why didn't I think of writing some of those short plays? What's wrong with me that I didn't enter the compo/ Sitting around here all day reading other peoples posts to this forum. All my New Year promises gone with the wind