|The November challenge ought to be a lot of fun and extremely beneficial. Plainly and simply, I am looking for the best cover letter to accompany your script submission. I’m looking for a cover letter that captures my attention, is professional and will want me to read your script. That’s it! Simple, right?
DO NOT POST YOUR ENTRIES. SEND THEM DIRECTLY TO ME AT email@example.com WITH THE SUBJECT LINE: EDD'S CONTEST ENTRY. ENTRIES POSTED IN THE FORUM WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. WHY? BECAUSE THIS WAY PADDY AND MAC CAN JUDGE THEM BLINDLY AND FAIRLY. ONLY I HAVE THE BENEFIT OF KNOWING WHO WROTE WHAT AND WHO'S BEEN NAUGHTY AND WHO'S BEEN NICE. SO AT LEAST TWO OF THE JUDGES WILL BE COMPLETLY IMPARTIAL.
There will be two runners-up who will receive Honorable Mention, but only the author of the 1st place entry will win a prize.
The following prizes (all hard cover) are available for the November winner:
"DA" by Hugh Leonard
ROAD TO NIRVANA by Arthur Kopit
MOON OVER BUFFALO by Ken Ludwig
THE FATHER by August Strindberg
A LESSON FROM ALOES by Athol Fugard
LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! by Terrence McNally
AND NOW FOR THE OCTOBER 2006 WINNERS!
The October challenge was to write a single page play containing the following 5 words: DIAPER, GIRAFFE, ASH TRAY, GRANDMOTHER and FRENCH FRIES. Please note that the challenge was to write a SINGLE page.
The 1st place winner should send me a personal message with your name, address and your prize choice from the list above. Thank you
* * * * *
Paddy, mac and I gave each entry points from 1 to 10. The following is our list of winners.
1st Place: Poet
2nd Place: Alan
3rd Place: Elena
* * * * *
SONNY SPELLS IN THE AFTERNOON
CAST: Man and boy..
SET: Table, two chairs
PROPS: Scrabble game and dictionary
MAN: It’s not. I’m telling you it’s not!
BOY: It is, Dad.
MAN: Look, who’s the grown up here, you or me?
BOY: You, Dad.
MAN: Right. So take it back then.
BOY: No, that’s not fair! If you want to challenge it you have to say ‘Challenge’ and then look it up.
BOY: It’s in the rules. You have to say –
MAN: Yeah, fine, we’ll look it up! (He reaches for the dictionary.).
BOY: No, you have to –
MAN: Alright, alright! ‘Challenge.’ ‘Challenge!’ ‘Challenge!!!’ Now can I look it up?
BOY: Go ahead. But it’s spelt –
MAN: Shut up! Just shut up, alright? Right then, D, D, D, DI, D I P, D I P E R, D I P…
BOY: See? D I A P E R. Diaper. With an A.
MAN: Damn publishers don’t know nothing.The book's wrong.
BOY: But it's the Oxford English Dad! It can't be -
MAN: Okay, okay, I’ll give it you. Anyway, my go, and I got a -.
BOY: No! It's not! It says in the rules if you challenge and you’re wrong, you miss a turn! So I get another!
MAN: What? You get - oh, whatever, you're probably right. Go on then.
BOY: Right – G I R A F F E. On a treble word. Scores 52.
MAN: What? G I R A F F E? There’s only one F in Giraffe!
BOY: No, Dad, it’s two. At school Mr Wilton always makes us –
MAN: I don’t give a flying fu – flying fig what Mr Wilton says! It’s one F!
MAN: Challenge! Challenge!
BOY: Don’t Dad… can we stop and watch tv?
MAN: No. The Court gave us this afternoon for quality time. You’re going to enjoy it. They said so. Challenge! Now, Giraffe, Giraffe, Giraffe – ah, here we go.
MAN: I suppose you get another turn again?
BOY: Do I have to?
MAN: Yes, go on, we’re going to have fun, I promised your mother. So, what you got?
BOY: A S H T R A Y. Ashtray. 38.
MAN: Ha! Got you smartalec! Ashtray is two words, you can’t have it.
BOY: Dad it’s
MAN: Ash… Tray! Like Total… Loser!
BOY: No, it’s –
MAN: Challenge! Challenge! Where’s the dictionary?
(PAUSE WHILST HE LOOKS IT UP)
MAN: Go on then.
BOY: I want -
MAN: I said, go on!
(BOY PUTS DOWN TILES GLUMLY)
MAN: Grandmother? Listen, kid, have you ever heard of a Grand Piano? Or the Grand Canyon? Or the Grand Opera? How many words, dumbo?
BOY: Oh, Dad! They’re different, honest. Please don’t say it!
MAN: Alright, son, I won’t say it if you don’t want me to. (He mouths ‘Challenge’ defiantly, and picks up the book.)
(PAUSE. THE MAN LOOKS AT THE BOY AND THEN MAKES A ‘GO ON THEN’ GESTURE.)
BOY: F R E N C H F R I E S. Frenchfries. Three double letters and a triple word score. 87.
(THE BOY LOOKS AT THE MAN AND HOLDS OUT THE DICTIONARY.)
MAN: Frenchfries? French…fries? Frenchfries?
MAN: Fancy a coke in the park, then?
Alan’s October Entry
(Mel stands looking out at the audience. She has an ashtray.)
Mel: I have your ashtray. Hello? I have it. Your ashtray. Didn’t you want…? Well, anyway, I have it right here. Your…(trailing off, talking to herself) ashtray, like I said. Shit, it’s always like this. (to the audience) So, yeah, I have it and I’m just going to put it right here (She puts the ashtray down on the center of the stage.) so you can just come get it at your leisure or…you can just come…right. (She exits, shaking her head. A couple moments later, she returns with a diaper.) Here’s this that you ordered. This…this…for your baby or, I suppose, for your...your pet, if that’s what you want. I once saw on Animal Planet or something a baby giraffe wearing one so I suppose it’s…so, anyway, yeah. (She puts the diaper down next to the ashtray. She stares at them both for a second, then looks back up.) You know, you did order these and so I’m just…so there they are. Enjoy. Or whatever. (She exits again. She comes back again, this time with French fries. She sets them down next to the ashtray and the diaper.) And these, too. (She begins to exit, then stops, turns back to the audience.) You know something? Carrying in these, these French fries, with the smell of them and everything, you know what they reminded me of? I’ll tell you—they reminded me of sitting with my grandmother at the diner in Omaha and do you know what she said to me? She said to me she used to be a waitress at that diner we were sitting at—for years she was a waitress, for 18 years--she used to serve up mountains of these French fries and I’m sure she brought thousands of ash trays, too, along with tons of mashed potatoes and mountains of meat loaf and whole oceans of gravy, and hell, she might have even come up with a diaper or two, who knows? And she said to me, my grandmother did, that to pass the time she collected the days that she went without people once looking her in the eye or without people once saying a kind word to her. Her record was—and you’re not going to believe this, but I don’t care, it’s true—she went once for six years straight. Six years! Without a direct look of eye contact, without a pleasant word from a customer. Six frigging…. (She trails off, looks at the items she has brought.) So, yeah, here the stuff is…that you wanted.
(She turns to exit. A voice comes from the audience.)
Voice: Thank-you. For the ash tray, the diaper, the French fries. I appreciate it.
Mel: You…you do? (She stares out for a long moment. A hint of smile crosses her face before she turns to exit again. Just before leaving, she turns back to us.) Is there anything else?
A One-Page Play by Elana McKernan
A French Fry wearing a beret and smoking a cigarette is in a cage with a quiet but gentle Giraffe. He takes a long drag on the cigarette.
French Fry: Can’t a french fry get an ash tray around here? Jesus. (He has a coughing spell. Giraffe shuffles away) Hey. Hey Diaper Face. You smoke?
Giraffe: Only in overwhelming social situations or after an evening of polite but passionate loving.
French Fry: Hey, fuck you. You hear me? Hey grandmother. You deaf or something?
Giraffe: I think that you only want me to respond so that you further verbally assault me, thus eroding my sense of identity and using me as a scapegoat for your aggression towards the system that imprisoned you. I’ll take that cigarette if you’re still offering.
French Fry: Who the fuck put me in with this shithead? Why are you here, anyway? Shouldn’t you be out eating bamboo or something?
Giraffe: We eat a variety of deciduous trees. (Pause) They think it’s strange to have a talking Giraffe.
French Fry: Fuckin terrifying is what it is. Especially when you won’t fucking shut up. (Pause) I killed a man. Poisoned my sister to do it. (Pause) I saw them all lined up, you know? Shit, they were just waiting there in a line ready to jump into the boiling vat and they were so fucking naïve. I just couldn’t stand it. Dying in the mouth of some fat asshole who probably needs a forklift to get out of bed.
Giraffe: I killed my wife. (Pause) Deforestation. That’s what they called it. They were going to take her away from me. I couldn’t let them do that.
French Fry: I salted her and then ran. Fat sucker died of a heart attack. I was fine until the lawsuit.
Giraffe: I think about it every day. I’m beginning to develop survivor’s guilt.
French Fry: Zoloft?
Giraffe takes Zoloft. French Fry lights up a new cigarette. Lights fade.
THE FOLLOWING ARE IN NO ESPECIAL ORDER
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
A one-page play
By John Shanahan
AT RISE: JIM and ESTELLE sit onstage in two chairs.
ESTELLE: Oh, for God's sake, Jim, would you please diaper that giraffe? It's pooping everywhere. And before you go, hand me my ashtray and those French fries.
JIM: Yes, grandmother.
Diapers and French Fries By: Deepak Morris
(The home of the Deshpandes in Pune, India. Dinesh Deshpande, 13-15, is studying, book in hand, while his mother is dusting the furniture)
DINESH (Reading) Elevator, Sidewalk, Diapers and French Fries. Elevator, Sidewalk, Diapers and French Fries. Elevator, Sidewalk, Diapers and French Fries
MRS D What are you doing?
DINESH (Irritably) I'm studying!
MRS D Repeating meaningless words is studying?
DINESH Mama! It's important for us to learn these words. (Consulting his book) Diapers and French Fries.
MRS D Why?
DINESH (Throws the book down in exasperation) Can't you understand, Mama? We need to know these words because they are the key to a good job. Dry Pears and French Fries
MRS D What?
DINESH I'm studying! Dry Pears and Fresh Fries
MRS D You're making as much sense as a giraffe with an ash tray
DINESH Dry Pears and – what?
MRS D Oh, if only your grandmother was here to see this state of affairs... My son is learning meaningless words to get a job (All this while she is busily dusting the furniture)
DINESH Mama! I have to learn these words so I can pass the BPO qualification test. (Concentrates and tries to say the words by rote) Dead Priests and Fried Ferns
MRS D Really, I can't see why you have to learn all these foreign words
DINESH Mama, they're not foreign, they're American. Pried Deeds and French Letters
MRS D American isn't foreign?
DINESH No, Mama. American is just another Indian state. That's what the BPOs say and they've given us this list of words to learn. Dried Peas and Left Freshers
MRS D But what's the point of learning all this?
DINESH Mama, you remember you told us how your daddy learned Marathi so he could settle here and do business? It's the same thing. We're learning American so we can talk to Americans in their own words. Fried Deeds and Fresh Lifters
MRS D That's my good boy! Will you become a manager like your granddaddy was?
DINESH (Irritated) That's not the point, Mama. I'll be making more money than grandpa ever saw. And I don't have to do anything more than learn this list of words. Dried Fish and Lush Fitters
Untitled by Leon
(JILL, twenty, pretty, holds a clipboard, seems to be doing inventory while looking at imaginary shelves. BEA, seventy, feisty, ENTERS, pushes a walker in front of her.)
BEA: You stay away from Justin.
JILL: (turns to BEA) What?
BEA: He's mine. We love each other.
JILL: You're old enough to be his grandmother.
BEA: It don't matter. I know how to make a man happy. Met Justin while we both worked at McDonald's. One day I rubbed up against him while he was doing the french fries. (closes her eyes) Oh, the sweet burn of sizzling vegetable oil.
BEA: We both got fired for that. Then we got jobs at the big toy store with the giraffe.
JILL: Toys R US?
BEA: Wouldn't you like to know? Showed Justin a trick or two with legos, rubber bands and an ash tray.
JILL: But you're eighty years old. You probably wear diapers.
BEA: No, sir. I use vibrating plastic pants. Diapers dull the sensation to my eroseanous zones.
JILL: I'm sorry, I don't have time for this.
BEA: (pulls out a staple gun) You'll listen or else. (tries to pull on the trigger, can't.) I like to fire a warning shot. (gasps as she stuggles)
JILL: Here, give me that before you hurt someone. (tries to take gun. BEA pulls out a bottle of mace with her other hand, sprays JILL in the face. JILL doubles over.)
BEA: You stay away. Got it? Justin is mine. Did you hear me, Dana?
JILL: My name is Jill.
BEA: Oh? (beat) Can you tell me where Dana is, please?
A One-Minute Original Play by Sue Brody
LIGHTS UP ON A LIVING ROOM. JANET, WHO IS VERY PREGNANT, SITS ON A RECLINER. HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, KATHY, SITS NEXT TO HER ON A CHAIR. JANET IS SMOKING A CIGARETTE AND EATING FRENCH FRIES.
JANET: (groans) There he goes, kicking again. He must be a real athlete. Like Troy Aikman.
KATHY (puts out Janet’s cigarette in ashtray): Second hand smoke is bad for children.
JANET: Hey, I wasn’t done with that yet. And he’s still in my belly. I don’t hear him coughin’.
KATHY: (picking up French fry container): Fast food’s no good for him, either.
JANET: Oh, come on, Kathy.
KATHY: Don’t you want a healthy baby?
JANET: ‘Course I do, but I want a normal one, who eats ribs and potatoes and watches boxing and has a pit bull for a pet and votes Republican. Unlike the way you raised your son. I don’t want him to become a tree huggin,’ poodle lovin’, blue state anti-family values vegetarian.
KATHY: Well, I’m his grandmother, and I won’t let him grow up with dirty lungs and clogged arteries. I’ll leave the rest of it to you and Jimmy. I don’t want to meddle.
JANET: Then don’t.
KATHY (pause): I love his little bedroom with the giant elephants and giraffes on the walls.
JANET: Isn’t it so cute? (reaches for a French fry, which KATHY swats away) Jimmy and I always wanted a jungle theme. Maybe Jimmy, Jr. will be a big game hunter and kill all those animals you don’t want him to eat.
KATHY: I didn’t say he had to be a vegetarian. Though red meat isn’t good for him.
JANET: Kathy, did I tell you? I bought Jimmy, Jr. diapers with little squirrels on them.
KATHY: Squirrels are cute.
JANET: They’re good practice. Regular kids fish and shoot at birds and squirrels with slingshots--
JIMMY (enters, wearing bunny ears): No. Not my kid. No animal cruelty. (KATHY laughs)
JANET (gasping): Oh, my God. Jimmy? What happened to you?
JIMMY: Pregnancy changes people. My inner animal came out. Anyone have a carrot?
KATHY: I guess little Jimmy, Jr. will end up a vegetarian after all. (JIMMY hops toward JANET, who faints as LIGHTS fade to black) END.
Grandmother's Diaper By BillieSundae
Grandmother, a woman in her 70's, is seated in her wheel chair at the dining room table where she is eating French fries, drinking a Coke
and smoking, a pipe.
Giraffe. Giraffe, I need you.
Giraffe, all 6' 6” of him, age 22, enters.
Yeah, Grandmother. What's up?
I need you to change my diaper.
Mom'll be home in a little while. Finish your French fries and pipe. She should be along in less than an hour.
Giraffe, I been sittin' in shit and piss long enough. Change my diaper, dammit!
I can't. Grandmother, I ... can't.
Giraffe, you may be 6 feet 6 inches tall, but you don't want me to get outta this fuckin' chair. 'Cause if I do I promise you I'll spank the fire right outta you. Now change my diaper.
Shit. Alright, put out your pipe in the ash tray. I'll do it.
Grandmother taps her pipe against the edge of the ashtray. The tobacco falling out. Giraffe pulls her wheelchair back from the table and slowly pushes his Grandmother off stage.
An old man sits on his own in one corner, smoking a roll up and nurturing a take-away coffee.
Two people drinking soft-drinks (Neil and Simon) stand slightly back watching him
I can’t… Look at him, he smells like an ashtray.
It’ll be worth it. He’s the one they said about
They said he was an old sage with words of wisdom… he’s a tramp and he smells like my grandmothers diaper. Wisdom does not smell like that.
Well how do you know what wisdom smells like?
Well… you get an impression of it don’t you, you don’t need to have actually smelt it. You would know it when you did though.
So you’re saying you’ve never smelt it
Of course not!
Then ask him… ask him what wisdom smells like.
Simon approaches the old man, drops him a couple of coins and whispers in his ear.
The old man splutters and laughs before whispering back to Simon.
That cost me forty seven pence
What did he say?
He said “The French Fry has legs”
It’s not profound, it’s nonsense
It could mean… The march of capitalism
It could be a bloody Giraffe
The French Fry… Has legs. It all makes sense… I know the Smell of Wisdom.
Neil exits with a look of euphoria. Simon goes the other way shaking his head
A Ionescian fantasy by Montserrat Mendez
(Ash, Tray sleep.)
GRANDMOTHER : Ash, Tray? Ash! Tray! ASH TRAY!
GRANDMOTHER: It hurts, my bones hurt!
ASH: Tray, wake up! Her bones are longer!
TRAY: Ash, Has she turned yet?
ASH: No, I think the French Fries helped.
TRAY: They did, I was very hungry.
ASH: The French fries were for grandmother!
GRANDMOTHER: When my neck grows long, I shall see my enemies coming from afar, and turn their eyes towards the one true god.
ASH: The air will be so thin, your brain won't be able to think, you will be led astray by the Giraffes in the white zoo.
TRAY: What's that smell?
ASH: (realizing it comes from grandmother.) Shall we get her a diaper.
TRAY: It's too late, too late for all of them, let them stew in the feces they have created.
ASH: We will fight them, the only way we can.
(Ash offers More French fries to Tray, they both eat them. As a shadow shows grandmother's neck growing longer. )
by CLAUDIA HAAS
DONNA: (f) Late 40's; a mother who has always been a little bit unconscious
MEL: (f) early 20's; DONNA'S daughter is getting a crash course on her mother's childhood
SYNOPSIS: DONNA awaits the death of her mother with her daughter, MEL.
AT RISE we are on the front porch PHILOMENA ROSSINI'S home. DONNA (PHILOMENA'S daughter) is going through boxes of keepsakes. MEL enters.
MEL: Everything's in the garbage. It's sort of - well - gross. I don't know how you do it.
DONNA: It doesn't bother me. These little acts - bathing her, changing her - it joins us … finally. In a way we were never connected when she was raising me.
MEL: I'm sorry, Mom - I don't think I could ever change your diaper.
DONNA: Don't worry. I'll never ask. This is amazing.
MEL: What? It looks like a bunch of junk. I didn't think Grandma liked any of that stuff.
DONNA: She hates all of this - which is why it's so odd that she kept it all. It has no value. Look! Part of my collection.
MEL: You had a giraffe collection?
DONNA: Stuffed animals. Everywhere. It was during my "veterinary" period. I used to operate on them. I'd snip them open. Stuffing would fly out and then I'd sew them back up again. I was one messy vet. Mother called my little zoo "Dust Collectors." She would yell at them when she passed my room. The giraffe was from Grandpa. "For his Bella Donna on her 9th birthday". Look - the elephant's still here and the tiger. It's hard to believe she would save this.
MEL: I never knew you wanted to be a vet.
DONNA: When I was 8 or 9. I'd bring home stray animals and your grandmother always seemed to find a home for them the next day. "Flea-bitten weasels," she called them. A cat, a dog even a bunny - they were all little weasels crawling with bugs. So, I consoled myself with stuffed pets. Even they weren't clean enough for her.
MEL: Now what is this?
(MEL holds up a clumsily made ashtray. DONNA gasps.)
DONNA: Why - she wouldn't - what is this doing here?
MEL: You tell me.
DONNA: It's - an ashtray…
DONNA: Yes … or rather a feeble attempt at one.
MEL: Grandma smoked?
DONNA: Of course not! That would be messy. The ashtray was from my "art" period. A pottery class. Why would she save this? In class, whenever something did not turn out as planned, the teacher would have us turn it into an ashtray. It was not yet considered politically incorrect to own one. I was 12 when I made this? 13? Of course, your grandmother was appalled at me doing anything as sloppy as "art." Artistic endeavors made her shudder. She craved order. But look Mel - the drawings, the pottery, the paintings … my musings - they're all here. Everything she nagged me about. Everything that she told me was worthless - is here. She heirloomed "my mess."
MEL: She saved it for you.
DONNA: My childhood is wrapped up in here. Years of dreams … all boxed up. Maybe that's was what she wanted - to box me up!
MEL: Mother! She wasn't like that.
DONNA: That woman upstairs who coddled you … who gave you ice cream before dinner … who let you eat French fries… French fries for goodness sakes! We would never have French fries in the house. It's not Italian. No macaroni and cheese. No burgers. No fries. That woman you call your grandmother - I don't know who she is - but she's not my mother! My mother left the day I brought you home and some kind soul took over her body. She always told me, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out." I believed her. She was an able opponent.
MEL: And now she lies upstairs struggling for breath. Her last wish - to die at home. It's messy …
MEL: You speak of her so harshly. And yet you care for all her needs. All these things we could have hired a nurse for -
DONNA: I don't do it for her. I do it for me. For all those times I judged her. Harshly.
MEL: I don't understand.
DONNA; The day you were born - I looked at you and wanted to hand you the world. And I instantly felt my own limitations. And I thought - my mother brought me home. She had these same feelings and she had her own limitations. And she did the best she could.
MEL: Did you ever tell her?
DONNA: No. I was waiting for her to tell me.
MEL: (Looking at the boxes.) I think she just did.
DONNA: It's my turn now. Before it's too late. Excuse me.
(DONNA enters her home as MEL watches.)
- Fade to black -
Last edited on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 07:32 pm by Edd