On to Part One: The Poems
Back to the Introduction
********************************** FIVE EASY PEICES: A TEENAGE DRAMA ************************************* Cast of Characters Jennifer Grant: the main character. She's an above average student. She is attractive but extremely uncertain. Sergeant Edward Grant: Jennifer's father. He's a simple man but a good one. Mary Grant: Jennifer's mother. She's a kind and fair person. Sammy Grant: Jennifer's brother: He's a small boy with glasses and obviously high intelligence. Zuleima Jones: one of the most popular girls at school. The actress could be either black or white but impeccably dressed. Wendy Breese: one of the mental lightweights. She's a good person even if easily misled. Sally Kim: a short, straightforward kind of girl, plain-looking but clever. She needs and wears thick glasses. Thelonius McDougall: a nerd. He is ungainly tall and better at computer games than his classes. Lance Bicleps: the hero of the school track and wrestling teams. Lance is considered the best-looking boy in his grade. Andy Whirl: Lance's best friend. Andy is plain but likable. Drack and the Dreadnaughts: the greatest rock and roll band in the world, in their opinion anyway. Guard #1: Drack's main protection Guards #2-4: Drack's followers Announcer: a voice offstage
Setting: A room is filled with boxes. Jennifer Grant is sitting in the midst of them with her head in her hands. Her mother enters the room. Jennifer rests her head on a big stuffed dog. Mrs. Grant: If you keep looking at those boxes long enough, they're liable to start talking to you. Jennifer (not moving at all): Aw Mom. Mrs. Grant (shaking her head): Jennifer, is something the matter with you? I mean ever since we came to this airbase, all you've done is mope. This isn't normal. (She puts her hands out and tries to get Jennifer to rise). Jennifer (rising, but her whole body remaining as limp and passive as spaghetti): Aw, Mom. Mrs. Grant: There. See. You're standing. Jennifer (with no enthusiasm): Aw, Mom. Mrs. Grant: Stop saying that! Jennifer: Aw (with a hint of a smile) Mother? Mrs. Grant: Well, that's an improvement, I guess. Now why haven't you unpacked all your things? Don't you want to hear your stereo? Don't you want to read your magazines? Don't you want to...... Jennifer (starting to come to life): Why should I bother? I unpack it today; in three months, we move again. I might as well leave it right there, ready to go. Mrs. Grant: Jennifer, you know you're not being fair. Do you think your father wants to make us move all the time. Do you think he asks for these assignments? Jennifer (starting to move and snapping out her words): I don't know. Really, I don't. I do know that whenever I like it somewhere, like Edwards or Travis, next thing you know, the movers are coming. I feel like some kind of teenage gypsy! Besides (she sits down in a heap), I miss Susan. Mrs. Grant: Well, it wouldn't be so hard, Jennifer, if you'd just loosen up a little. You're harder on strangers than base security. Jennifer (angrily): Well, I can't help it if that's the way I am. I don't always trust people, and I don't have that much time.... Mrs. Grant (cutting her off): Time? You don't have much time? Look at yourself, right now. You're sitting on your bed brooding instead of going out and meeting people. Why don't you go down to the Youth Center? Sammy unpacked three days ago, and he's been down there every single day. He's already made some friends. Jennifer: Sammy would be happy anywhere there's a computer terminal. Mrs. Grant: Well, what's wrong with that? Maybe there are people down there that would want to do things with you-if you gave them a chance. Jennifer (frowning): I don't know. Mrs. Grant: Come on. You don't think that Susan is the only nice person in the world, do you? Now (gathering enthusiasm as she takes Jennifer by the hand) get out of this room before you drive yourself crazy. Jennifer (acidly): It may be too late for that. Mrs. Grant: I want you out of here in five minutes-that's an order (Jennifer raises her hand in a mock salute and her mother solemnly returns the gesture. Her mother walks out the door.) (Jennifer gets up and walks over to the nearest packing crate and opens it up. For a moment she looks over her shoulder to see if anyone is watching and then rummages through in a violent action. She pulls out a pad of paper and a small radio). Jennifer (holding the pad over her head and writing furiously): "Dear, Susan (she pauses between each word). Life-here-is-dull. Every-one-is-boring...Japan-is-expensive..My mom...is...nagg-" Mrs. Grant (from offstage): One minute Jennifer, and then I send in the Marines. Jennifer (looks offstage and then tosses the paper over her shoulder. She turns on the radio, which plays the background for the song): Look, look at me. Can you see, What I want you to see? Look, look at me. Can I be, What you want me to be? (Answering voices on the radio sing "aaaa".) Shine, shine like a star. Can you tell me, Where I'm going tonight? Bright, bright as you are, Can you lend me, Just a drop of your light. (Answering voices on the radio sing "aaaa".) Awww, look, Mrs. Grant: Jennifer! Jennifer (scrambling to her feet): Coming mother or going, or something like that. (The curtain falls.) SCENE TWO Setting: This is going to be the Youth Center, and that will not be easy. An imaginary pool table or ping pong table would be required along with some computer terminals. The kids at the center would be dressed in shorts and summer style clothing. There could be some kind of "Coke bar" at the end of the stage. Four or five students are visibly discussing but making no audible sound as Jennifer and Sammy enter the stage. Sammy is wearing long pants, the only person so dressed in the entire room, and his heavy glasses would make him look out of place except that he's wearing shades over them. Jennifer (to Sammy): Let's go over it again. Sammy (carelessly): Whatever you say, Sis. Jennifer: No if you mention that stupid video game.. Sammy (brightly): Five Easy Pieces? Jennifer (hissing): That's the one. What happens? Sammy: You slug me. Jennifer: And if you do ANYTHING that might embarrass me? Sammy: You slug me. Jennifer (preparing herself): Good, now let's go. (She walks forwards towards the other students as though there's ice on the floor. Sammy walks behind her, fitting his feet into her footsteps, and suddenly he spots Thelonius. He rushes past Jennifer tossing his clip-ons in his pocket). Sammy: Thelonius. Did you win? Jennifer (mouthing the strange name): "Thelonius"? Thelonius: Hello, Sammy, (pulling a gigantic magazine out of his back pocket), I got the latest edition of COMPUTER CONNECTION. Sammy: Well how did you do last night? How many puzzle-eaters did you wipe out in your game of (he glances purposely at Jennifer) FIVE EASY PIECES. (Jennifer cringes and shakes her fist at Sammy). Thelonius: Well, I couldn't get the last piece, I (suddenly he seems to notice Jennifer and his eyes travel from head to toe), my, my, my (sighing), my! Sammy (perplexed): You're what? I thought you told me you had five Songdeamons and two Quoteminers left in that game. Now, the puzzle was about philology? Thelonius (still taken aback): I-used-my-Quoteminers-to-come-up-with-the-first-line.... Sammy (pointing to the terminal): What's the matter with you? Come on (he pulls Thelonius with him), let's play a game, right now. (As Sammy drags an unwilling Thelonius over to the table, a pair of girls approaches Jennifer. Cautiously they look her over from head to foot). Wendy: I haven't seen you here before. Are you visiting or did you just move here? Jennifer (cautiously): My name is Jennifer Grant. I just got her from Travis, in California. What is wrong (she points to Thelonius) with that boy? Sally: Oh, Thelonius? Hormonal imbalance. He's probably fallen in love again. He does that a lot. I hope you're good at saying "No" or "Get lost." Wendy: When did you get here? Jennifer: About a week ago. Wendy: How do you like Japan so far? Jennifer: I hate it! Sally: Have you been anywhere so far? Jennifer: No. Sally: Then how do you know you hate it? Jennifer (closing her eyes slightly): There's a feeling you get from certain countries, a kind of heat that fries away part of your brain like an oven. I don't have to feel that heat, I just look at the dials. Wendy (marveling): Wow, that's deep. What does it mean? Jennifer: Um... Wendy (cutting her off): Shh. Here they come. Jennifer (not bothering to lower her voice): Who? Wendy (raising her eyebrows as though everyone in the world should know): Why, Zuleima Jones and Sharona Adimas, the two most popular girls in the whole ninth grade. Jennifer: How can they be the most popular girls in the school if the school's not even open yet. Sally: Zuleima's popularity stays with her, like cheap perfume, and the boys flock around the odor. Zuleima (visibly sauntering and speaking with a somewhat assumed Southern accent): Well, howdy there. Jennifer (cautiously): Hi. Zuleima: I haven't seen you before (like befo'). Who are you? Jennifer: My name's Jennifer Grant, and I just got here from Travis Air Force Base. Sharona: What rank is your father? My Daddy's a colonel. Zuleima (quickly): My father's a major. Sharona: And what rank is your dad? Jennifer (apologetically): My father is just a staff sergeant. Sally (yawning): Well, my dad is just a security policeman, but boy, his dog, Fido, will kill you. (She springs towards Zuleima): Ruff! Ruff! Zuleima (ignoring Sally's distraction): "Grant, Grant" I think I heard that name before. Sharona (rubbing her chin): I think I did too. Sally (mocking them): Seems like he was some kind of military man, like, like, the commanding general of the Northern Army in the Civil War. Zuleima (pointing across the room to Sammy): There. Isn't that boy named Grant? Sharona (calling sweetly): Thelonius? Thelonius? Thelonius (bolting up as though called by an angel from Heaven): Yes? Sharona: What is that boy's last name. Jennifer (interrupting): That is my 'little brother,' Samuel. Zuleima (still looking at Sammy): Isn't he kind of a NERD? Jennifer (uncertain of herself): Well, eh, he (she pauses and looks at the four girls, awaiting her judgment). Okay, he's kind of a nerd, but he gets almost straight "As." Zuleima (not impressed): Oh how "nice." Are you a "straight A" student, too? Jennifer (considering): Well, uh, not exactly. Sally (sighing): Not all of us have the skill to avoid those embarrassing "As." Wendy (enthusiastically): I got an "A" one time. Sally: Even teachers make mistakes. Zuleima (to Jennifer): So what do you do? Do you play any sports? Jennifer: I was on the volleyball team for a while. I play a little tennis. Zuleima (in response to no question, running her hand through her hair): Well, I used to be on the swim team, but I really don't have the time any more. Sharona: It takes a lot of time to be a cheerleader. Sally (nodding): I wondered how they'd get that into the conversation. Zuleima (to Sally): Don't you have somewhere you ought to be going-like to the beauty parlor? Sally (smiling): I don't think so. Besides, you probably have them booked for the next week. Sharona (to Jennifer): You know, my doctor said that I shouldn't swim too much. It'd probably ruin my figure. Sally (shaking her finger): Tsk. Tsk, what a waste to let swimming ruin your figure when you have all those boys waiting in line to ruin it. (Sharona steps forward and takes a swing at Sally, who retreats. Zuleima tries to restrain Sharona. Sally takes off her glasses and puts up her fists in a "Three Stooges Style" mockery of the other girl's fighting stance. Suddenly, Sharona wrestles away and chases Sally off the stage). Wendy (pointing off stage): Look, it's Andy and Lance. They're dreamy. Jennifer (confused): Who and whom? Zuleima (obviously posing): Hi Lance. Lance (less enthusiastically): Hi Zuleima. Wendy (whispering loudly): Lance is captain of the track and wrestling teams and Andy is, well, uh, he's Lance's friend. Andy (nodding): Hi Zuleima, Wendy, and...(he looks at Jennifer)? Jennifer (visibly taking a breath as her eyes remain glued to Lance): Jennifer Grant. Lance: Do you have a bro- Jennifer (impatiently): Yes, he's a nerd. Yes he's my brother. Lance (a little taken aback): I wasn't going to say that. He seems okay to me. Zuleima (thrusting herself between Lance and Jennifer): Jennifer and I were just talking about cheerleading. Andy (moving his head so he can talk around Zuleima): So you're a cheerleader, too? Jennifer: No, I play in the band. Lance (moving so he can talk over Zuleima's other shoulder): Really? So do I. I play the trumpet. What do you play? Jennifer: I play the trombone. Zuleima (to Lance): Isn't that kind of a BOY'S instrument? Lance (turns away): Yeah, I guess it is. Jennifer (almost pleading): I-I know, I was going to quit- Andy (missing what's going on): I don't think you should. Do you like playing it? Sharona (having apparently banished Sally, returns on stage and makes a big show of leaning both her hands on Lance's shoulder): Were you all talking about the concert? Jennifer: What concert? Zuleima (making a point of putting her two hands on Lance's other shoulder): Oh that's right. You're NEW, aren't you. The Youth Center's sponsoring a trip tonight to the Tokyo Arena to see Drack and the Dreadnaughts. Jennifer (taken aback): Drack and the Dreadnaughts? Drack and the Dreadnaughts! Andy: It's only Y5,000. We got a group discount. Zuleima (yawning): Well, we're all going, but you probably have something do tonight, right? Lance: It'd be a nice concert to see. Jennifer (suddenly coming back from the stratosphere): Oh, oh, I'd have to get my parents' permission for something like this. Zuleima: Well, you'd have to pay right now. I think the booth (she points to the desk) closes in a few minutes. But (obviously taunting) if you need permission from your "Mommy" and "Daddy".... Jennifer (looking desperately): I don't have any yen. I don't even know what yen is! Andy (reaching into his pocket): Well, my parents gave me Y10,000 bill, and I've got the change here. I can loan you the money, if you think it's going to be okay. (Andy holds the bill out, and there's a freeze. The two girls are frozen to Lance, and Andy's hand is extended. Zuleima's and Sharona's eyes are angrily fixed on Andy). Jennifer (to Lance): Can you tell me that I love you, Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Can you tell me that I need you, Why is it that I feel so new. Your eyes sing me a song, I want so much to sing along. Can you tell me if you're happy, Is that what you were gonna say, Can you love me, can I love you, Why is it that I feel this way? (As Jennifer grabs the yen, her eyes remain glued on Lance, and scene starts to roll again. Sally slowly sneaks up behind the group.) Zuleima (sighing): So you're going tonight. Jennifer (firmly): Yes, I'm going. Wendy (a little awed): Your parents will give you permission-just like that. Andy: Then you'll be here at five? Sally (behind Sharona): I wouldn't miss it! Sharona (hearing Sally's voice): You little brat. Sally: Looks like we're in for a bumpy night. (The curtain falls.) SCENE THREE Setting: This is the Grants' living room. Jennifer is in the middle of the room. She is fidgeting and anxious. She is examining her watch over and over again. Her mother is sitting in a chair reading a book. Every once in a while, Mrs. Grant appears ready to speak to her but doesn't. Jennifer (looking off stage): Daddy (she rushes forward to greet her father). Sgt. Grant (hugging her): Whoa, take it easy. You're gonna take my breath away. Jennifer: Did you have a good day at work? Sgt. Grant (considering and still holding her): So-so. Jennifer: What did you do? Sgt. Grant (frowning): Jennifer, I told you before, I don't think it's right to talk about work at home. All the stuff I do has a security clearance. Jennifer (petulantly): Well, all the other kids- Sgt. Grant: I don't care about the other kids. I have a duty to perform to my government. Jennifer (moving off): Well, I think it's dumb. If everybody else talks, the "bad guys," can figure it all out anyway. Sgt. Grant: That's not the point. Security isn't the most important thing; it's honesty. When I enlisted, I promised my government to keep all information about my job a secret. If I talk about it, then I'm not being true to myself. (As he takes his suitcase into another room, he continues) If you don't keep promises to yourself... Jennifer (obviously finishing his quote): "....then you're not worth anything." (She searches around seeing as the conversation has ended). I went to the Youth Center today. Sgt. Grant: Yeah? That's great. Did you meet some nice people. Jennifer (considering): Yes. Sgt. Grant (to his wife): See, what'd I tell you. She snapped out of it. She always does. Mrs. Grant (not convinced): You were right, Dear. Jennifer (moving closer to her father and speaking): Do you think that you could let me go to a concert? Sgt. Grant: Maybe. Maybe I could, but I'd have to know who's playing and what kind of a crowd is going. Jennifer: Well, the Youth Center bought some tickets, and it's only 5,000 yen. Sgt. Grant: Mary, would you get your calculator and see how much that is. It's gonna take me a long time to get used to this "funny money." Mrs. Grant (shrugging): It's about $40. Jennifer (quickly): $3750...(her parents both look at her quizzically)...about. Sgt. Clark: That seems like a lot of money. Jennifer: Well Zuleima Jones and Sharona Adimas and a lot of other people are (she corrects herself)...everyone's going. Mrs. Grant: Is Sharona Adimas Colonel Adimas' daughter? Jennifer (slowly): I don't know, I guess so. Sgt. Grant: No wonder they're going. They've got that kind of money to throw away. Jennifer (moving closer and trying to pout): Please, Daddy. Sgt. Grant (trying to be reasonable): Come on, now, give me a minute, please. Who's playing at the concert? Jennifer (gritting her teeth): Drack and the Dreadnaughts. Mrs. and Sgt. Grant together: Drack and the Dreadnaughts! Sgt. Grant: You mean with the spikes and the motorcycle boots and the leather? Mrs. Grant: the video with a funeral parlor? Sammy (entering the room): Yeah, you know Drack and the Dreadnaughts: "You brought me back from, You brought me back from, You brought me back from the dead. Duff duff da.." Jennifer (seeing the jig is up, silently waves Sammy to stop. She raises a fist when he sticks his tongue out): They're-just the warm-up. The main group is (she pauses) Sonny and the Soulsonics. Sgt. Grant (calming): Really? I didn't think they'd toured in years. Sammy (surprising at her obvious lie): Sonny and the ...(as he sees Jennifer's silent warning, he pauses). Yep, Sonny and the Soulsonics. Sgt. Grant (adding the pros and cons on his fingers): Well, if it's Sonny and the Soulsonics, I guess, I can come up with the money, and it is with the Youth Center. Jennifer (nodding eagerly): Yeah, with adult chaperones. Please. Please. Sgt. Grant (sighing): Alright, when is the concert? Jennifer (wincing in anticipation): Tonight. Sgt. Grant: Tonight? How are you expecting to get the tickets to a concert that's tonight? I can't go get the yen now. Jennifer: It's alright. I already bought the...(she pauses, aware that she's made a major blunder)..ticket. Sgt. Grant (angrily): You bought the ticket without even asking me first? Jennifer: But you just gave your permission? Sgt. Grant (getting up): That's not the point, Jennifer, and you know it. You went behind my back, and then you were going to lie about the tickets. Jennifer (desperately): I didn't lie though. I told you I bought them, and asked your permission. Sgt. Grant (walking to the other side of the room and then offstage, muttering): I can't talk to her. I can't talk to her. Mrs. Grant: You know, you hurt your father, Jennifer. Jennifer (standing up also): Hurt my father? Hurt him? Look at how he's hurt me, dragging me around the whole world, making stupid rules, forcing me to do things behind his back. That's the only way I can get any freedom. Now I can't even go to one stupid concert. Mrs. Grant: The concert is not the issue, Jennifer. Jennifer (increasing in volume): The "issue"? The "point"? The point here is ME. You both just want to control me, don't you? You want to tell me what to say, tell me what to do, tell me how to think, tell me who to meet. You treat me like a eight-year-old! Mrs. Grant (acidly): When you act like this, you sure seem like an eight-year-old. Jennifer (angrily): I am not a baby! Do you (calling across the room in the direction of her father) hear me: I AM NOT A BABY! Sgt. Grant (crossing back across the room): Are you yelling at your mother? Mrs. Grant: Jennifer! Sgt. Grant: Jennifer! Jennifer (mocking them): Jennifer! (She steps forward as they freeze and does the following song in nursery rhyme style.) Everybody wants a dolly, They can call their own, And sits upon their beddy bie, And never talks or moans. Hey, I'll be your dolly. Say, I'll be your toy. Hey, I'll be so jolly, And fill your little world with joy. Everybody wants a dolly, To dress in brand new clothes. With hair that need no curling, That they can fill with bows. Hey, I'll be your dolly. Say, I'll be your toy. Hey, I'll be so jolly, And fill your little world with... Sgt. Grant (interrupting): Jennifer, I am speaking to you. Jennifer: I understand that, (mocking) "sir." Sgt. Grant: And I don't want any backtalk from you. Jennifer (saluting): Yes, "sir." Sgt. Grant (his eyes almost glazing): And if you say "sir" to me one more time, I swear I will... Sammy (appearing from the other room tossing a ball into the air and missing each catch): Dad, you were going to show me how to play catch. You said you were going to... Sgt. Grant (momentarily distracted): Alright, Sammy, in just a few minutes. One (he breathes between numbers) Two. Three. Alright, Jennifer, now you listen to me, and DO NOT say a thing. Jennifer (appearing ready to speak, just nods). Sgt. Grant: You are not going to this concert. Further, you are on restriction for the next two months: no going anywhere, no doing anything with anyone. Mrs. Grant: But Edward, didn't you say this morning that she was spending spending too much time in the- Sgt. Grant: I don't care what I said this morning. The point is that she cannot get away with lying or with talking back. Right? Mrs. Grant (sighing): Yes Dear. Sgt. Grant: Now (he rises), put on your best dress. Mrs. Grant: Why? Sgt. Grant: We've got a dinner to go to tonight. Mrs. Grant: For whom? Sgt. Grant: Some Colonel Leer. They're giving him a farewell dinner tonight. Mrs. Grant: We have to go? Sgt. Grant: Command performance. Starts in an hour. Sammy (he suddenly remembers his son), that's right, I can't play today(Grant exits.) Sammy (tossing the mit over his shoulder): That's too bad. Mrs. Grant (starts to get up and motions to Jennifer): Dear, you must obey your father. (She exits). Sammy (wiping his brow): Wow, Sis, sometimes I think you don't even have a circuit running upstairs. Couldn't you see how mad Dad was getting? Jennifer (petulantly): They're wrong. That's all. And I'm going tonight. Sammy (startled): How? Jennifer: Didn't you just hear? They'll be gone. They won't know where I am. Sammy: But they'll be back long before you get home from that concert. Jennifer: I know. Sammy: But then...(considering)..You must be crazy. Jennifer (clenching her fist): Now I HAVE to go. SCENE FOUR
Setting: The seats are all arranged in a row. The kids are entering on stage, and there's an assorted musical clatter in the background.
Wendy (taking the first seat): Wow, this is great.
Sally: You'll really love it when the actual show starts.
Zuleima (sitting next to Sally and whispering in a very unaccented voice): One crack from you, and I'll make you sit next to Sharona.
Sally (drawing back firmly): "Crack"? Who me?
Sharona (motioning to Lance): Here, you sit down right between us, Lance, and you won't miss a thing.
Sally: If he sits down between them (she sees Zuleima staring at her), I'm not gonna say it. I'm not gonna say it.
Lance (shrugging): Okay, but where's Andy gonna sit?
(Sharona motions on her left side, not very interested. Jennifer, after looking around self-consciously, sits to the left of Andy).
Thelonius (turning red as he speaks to Jennifer): May, I er um.
Jennifer: Sit down.
Thelonius (slamming himself in the chair): Thank-you.
Sharona (to Jennifer): Here, Honey, I've got a present for you.
Jennifer (looking at it): This is an I.D. (She holds it up to look at it). How did you...
Sharona (yawning): My Daddy, the Colonel, has pull, and so do I.
Thelonius (reading): This says you're twenty-one.
Zuleima: Well, happy birthday, girl.
Wendy: Why would you want an incorrect I.D., like that?
Sally: Maybe she can vote for Dan Quayle?
Sharona: How else are you gonna get backstage. You know how Drack's roadies all check I.D.s. You are going backstage, aren't you?
Jennifer (gulping): I guess.
Zuleima (smiling): Sure, you want to meet Drack and the Dreadnaughts, don't you?
Jennifer (slowly): Yes.
Sharona: Since you're on the end, Thelonius, why don't you get us some refreshments? Maybe Jennifer will go with you to help.
Thelonius: Me, go with Jennifer, to get refreshments?
Sally (pointing): He's getting better. That was almost a complete sentence.
Lance (getting up): Come on. I'll go with you. (Both Zuleima and Sharona start to get up). No. I'M just going to the bathroom. (The two girls sit down and look dejected).
(The three kids go off the left side of the stage. Meanwhile the curtain does not fall. The people in the seats stare forward. As the imaginary music starts, the seated group start to groove as though hearing the music).
Voice of the announcer (from the back of the stage): Ladies and gentlemen. We're proud to announce this evening's opening group: The Edible Dinosaur (the seated group cheers and then appears to move to the music).
Jennifer: Boy, those guys are loud.
Lance: They're not very good either.
Thelonius: What do you want me to do?
Jennifer (pointing): You stand in the Coke line, and I'll stand in the food line, and Lance can (they get behind several extras on stage).
Lance (laughing): I don't really have to go to the bathroom, but I need a break from those two. They can be such a pain.
Jennifer (surprised): Really? Then you don't like them?
Lance (shrugging): Who knows? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
Jennifer: Do you like-me?
Lance (shrugging again): I don't know. I really don't know you yet.
Jennifer: That's not an answer. You just don't want to say. You don't think I'm pretty.
Lance: I didn't say that.
Jennifer: Well, then say it.
Lance: Say what?
Jennifer: Say that I am pretty.
Lance: Okay, so you're pretty, but that doesn't mean that I like you.
Jennifer: What does it mean?
Lance: I don't know.
Jennifer (grabbing the food): Well, you're supposed to know this kind of stuff. Boys are supposed to know who they like.
Lance: Well, I know Andy likes you, Thelonius too.
Jennifer: But do YOU?
Lance (shuffling his feet): I don't know. Can't you give me a day or two?
Jennifer: No, I'm sentenced to imprisonment for at least a month, maybe two or three, and maybe worse. Look, will you go backstage with me to meet to band?
Lance: Zuleima and Sharona are only daring you with that. You ever heard about the way Drack treats girls, and you with a phony ID? Tell me you're not going to go backstage.
Jennifer: I'll go backstage by myself unless you answer my question: Do you like me?
Lance (pausing): I don't know.
Jennifer (petulantly): Well, then, I'm taking their dare. You've got to the end of the concert to decide.
Thelonius (rejoining them): Here are the drinks.
Thelonius (smiling): Thank-you.
Announcer (speaking offstage as the three kids rejoin the group on stage): And now our main event tonight, back from Detroit, on the tail end of their Total Scumbags Tour, Drack and the Dreadnaughts (Massive screams from the audience as three men walk forward and deposit a coffin-shaped box on the front of the stage.)
Announcer and loyal fans: Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to bury another victim of love killed by an ungrateful sweetheart.
Drack (rising out the coffin):
Your face was better than ether,
Your eyes are greener than Death,
Your lips are like a morticians.
You sigh and I feel your breath.
Don't send me off to the undertaker,
Just take those wires from my head,
Not ready for the incinerator,
Send Guns and Roses instead,
You brought me back from,
You brought me back from,
You brought me back from,
(Long trombone lick...)
Back from the ----(there's a freeze.)
Jennifer (standing up and walking forward):
There's an angel flying overhead,
His voice is crying in my ear,
Through the darkness he may be dead,
But still my song is what he'll hear.
Come fly with me,
Come try with me,
I know that you don't know me, but I know you.
Come fly with me,
Come try with me, There's nothing better you can do.... (As she reaches his side, she combs the curls back out of his hair and molds the sneer on his face into a smile.) There's an angel in a coffin box, A sun is rising 'bove a grave, Touch my hand, and I'll raise you up, It's not to late to be saved. Come fly with me, Come try with me, I know that you don't know me, but I know you. Come fly with me, Come die with me, There's nothing better you can do.... (As she sits down, the song resolves into the final chorus. She pointedly points at Lance who raises his hands in confusion and shrugs his shoulders.) Drack: Don't send me off to the undertaker, Just take those wire from my head, Not ready for the incinerator, Send Guns and Roses instead, You brought me back from, You brought me back from, You brought me back from, The Dead (The curtain falls.)
Setting: This is Drack's dressing room back stage. There are a few benches, a guitar strewn here and there, a few empty bottles of alcohol, several posters for the group, and a prominent plastic skull. No one is on stage as the curtain rises. Offstage there is cheering.
Jennifer (entering): Is anybody here? (She walks in cautiously as though afraid to touch anything). How do I look? (She stares into a full-length mirror, slowly unbuttons her top two buttons, shakes her head, and visibly tries to look older).
Drack (walking into the room and tossing his guitar, seeing Jennifer): So? Sit down.
Jennifer (gingerly): My name is Jennifer, Jennifer (she paused for a moment) Smith. Jennifer Smith.
Drack (stumbling over something. Jennifer rushes forward to try to help): Get away from me.
Jennifer (shyly): I was just trying to...
Drack (interrupting): See the skull? Go bring me the bottle and the pills inside it.
Jennifer (scrambling across the room grabs the two things. Halfway across the room, she hauls and starts to read the labels on both): What is this?
Drack: Shut up and give it to me. (He sits down on the couch).
Jennifer (still reading and wincing): Here.
Drack (when she reaches him, he awkwardly grasps her wrist, reaches for the bottle, takes a swig and then pops an indefinite amount of pills. He chases that with another swig): Come here.
Drack (forcing her into a long, brutal kiss before he pushes her away): How old are you, anyway?
Jennifer (keeping her distance and circling): Twenty-one.
Drack: Ha! Come here.
Jennifer (moving further): I-
Drack: Come here!!
Jennifer (taking two gingerly steps): Coming.
Drack: Hell (he waves her off), not fast enough. Help me find a black case in here somewhere.
Jennifer (as she's looking): Black case?
Drack: Yeah, my glasses. I gotta take a look at you. You sound like some fourteen-year-old BABY.
Jennifer (finding the case just as he says "Baby.") I'm no baby. (She puts the case inside her purse). I just can't seem to find them around here, Drack.
Drack (shaking his head and rolling his eyes): Stop calling me that stupid name, My name is Jack, (he appears to be thinking). Wait, what is my last name?
Jennifer: Craigman? That's what ROCK WEEK says.
Drack: Well (he motions), come on. I don't care about the glasses any more. Let's get this over with. Maybe it'll help me sleep.
Jennifer (standing up): You don't want to know anything about me?
Drack: No, I don't. Now let's stop wasting time, and do this. I wanna get a burger (he starts to take off his jacket).
Jennifer (thinking aloud): You don't care at all about me. You don't even WANT to care about me.
Drack: Will you stop talking please. I'm still hearing that bass line ringing in my ears. Is it "yes" or "no"?
Jennifer: I don't know.
Drack (lying): Then stop bothering me and get out of here. I've got a long trip ahead of me. Hey look (he sits up suddenly), it's blue: blue dots.
Jennifer (realizing he's not paying much attention): You don't care about anything, do you?
Drack: Blue dots and pink circles going 'round and 'round (he waves his hands in circles). This is a new vision. I've never seen this before.
Jennifer (crying): Why can't you hear me calling. Why can't you see me cry? I'm only here for a day, And I wish you'd tell me why. And can't you here me screaming, 'Till the wall come tumblin' down. Why can't you feel me hurting, My mind's spinning round and round.
Guard #1 (rushing into the room. As he does, Jennifer deftly pulls the glasses case from her purse and drops them back on the floor): Boss, are you alright? That girl looks young.
Drack: Blue, green, like the sea. I'd like to see the sea.
Guard # 1 (looking down): Boss, what are you doing with your glasses on the floor. Here (he puts the glasses on Drack), you see now.
Drack (making funny faces): Wait-a-second (he hits himself to gather his attention and seems to be mostly there. He points at Jennifer). You are just a kid. Goddamn it, another frame-up!
(Jennifer starts to get up and leave, but the guard grabs her wrist).
Guard # 1: Let her go, Boss?
Drack: I don't know. Let me think. There's gotta be a camera here somewhere (pointing up and wrenching his hands). They can lock people up for child molestation. Still (he considers), that could help my reputation.
(There are sounds of a commotion, and Sgt. Grant fights his way on stage amid three body guards.)
Drack (alarmed): Oh no, they've called out the Army on me. Boy (he makes camera motions with his hands), what a video that would make.
Jennifer (wrenching herself free from the guard): Daddy!
Guard # 1: Let them go, Boss. I mean if we hold her, we're talking about kidnapping!
Jennifer (drawing herself up): I'm no kid (the guards holding her father make no attempt to loosen their grip). I'm a young adult.
Drack: Well (he rises from the couch and walks drunkenly over towards Sgt. Grant), what's it going to be? You want money, a percentage of my next contract? How much? I know what you are-a cheap blackmailer. I understand your kind.
Guard # 2: You want us to rough him up?
Drack: No, I want him to tell me what he wants.
Sgt. Grant (to Drack): You can TRY to rough me up all you want, but it won't make difference. I'm not afraid of you.
Guard # 2: Just one punch, Boss. I'll change his tune.
Drack: I understand this guy. I know what he wants.
Sgt. Grant: You don't understand me, you don't understand Jennifer, and you don't know anything 'cause you're a NOTHING.
Guard # 1 (springing forward): You better watch what you say.
Jennifer (slowly drawing away from her father): Daddy, wait a second. You didn't come here to rescue me, did you? You came here to punish me for disobeying you and going to the concert...
Sgt. Grant (sighing): Um (he pauses, acknowledging the truth of her assumptions). Jennifer, I came to take you home.
Jennifer (dazed): I'm not sure I want to go home yet (as she says this Drack pops a couple more pills). What "really matters," "the point" is that you just want to keep me under control.
Guard # 2 (motioning to Jennifer): You wanna keep the little girl awhile, Boss?
Drack (shaking his head in a circle): He called me a "nothing." Girls form a line outside my dressing room just to look at me, and he calls me a "nothing."
(There are offstage noises and Andy, Thelonius, and Lance burst onto the stage followed by Wendy and Sally. The guards shift to restrain the boys.)
Lance (being held by a guard): Is that guy (he points to Drack) trying to do something?
Drack (to himself): Five millions brats have my picture pasted on their walls, and he calls me a "nothing." I can BUY this man, and he calls me a nothing.
Thelonius: You can't BUY anybody.
Sgt. Grant: Jennifer, tell me that you'll come home. Jennifer, you mom is home worrying about you. Jennifer, (he pauses), we love you.
(Zuleima and Sharona walk on stage. They view the scene before them, the boys being held by a guard, Jennifer circling in a daze, and seem a bit shocked).
Zuleima: Jennifer what are you...(Drack starts to stumble towards her). Come on, everybody to the bus.
Sharona (backing away also): Come on, everyone, we've got to get out of here. If I'm not home by twelve, my parents will KILL me.
Guard # 1: Boss, it's getting awful crowded in here. Tell us what to do. Tell the little girls to scram; they'll listen to you.
Drack: Not a "creep" or a "weirdo," no he called me a "nothing."
Andy (being held by another guard): Say the word, Jennifer, and we'll help you out.
Jennifer (pointing to the three boys): No, you don't care either. You're just playing out a role. The strong boys save the "girl in distress."
Guard # 4: Come, on Boss. Make a choice here. I don't want to be involved in kidnapping. That's a Federal rap.
Drack (staggering): Like a pill exploding, green, into black, a nothing, nothing?
Sgt. Grant: Jennifer, please, I won't punish you.
Jennifer (shocked): Try to BUY my obedience? Give a dog a treat if she fetches a stick?
Wendy (pointing to Drack): He's not so dreamy any more.
Sally: Come on Jennifer, snap out of it. Tell your dad you love him, and we can all go home.
Jennifer (circling): It should all be so simple, but it's not. It's like Sammy's video game. There's five easy pieces to the puzzle, and all you've gotta do is put them together, and only the computer tells you the answer (she raises her hands to no one in particular), but the answer is supposed to make SENSE.
Sgt. Grant: Please, Jennifer, I love you. Listen to me.
Drack: A nothing?
Guard # 1: Boss?
Guard # 2: Drack?
Sgt. Grant (in anguish): Jennifer!!
The cast (repeating several times, not in unison): Boss! Drack! Jennifer?
Drack (last): Nothing!!!!
(Final freeze and Jennifer walks forward. She slowly examines all the frozen positions of the other figures. Then she walks to the edge of the stage to address the audience.) Shine, shine like a star, Can you tell me, Where I'm going tonight. Bright, bright as you are, Can you lend me, Just a drop of your light.
(Answering voices on stage sing "aaahh." Look, look at me, Can you see, What I want you to see. Look, look at me, Can I be, What you want me to be? (Jennifer drops her head on her shoulder. There's a pause, and then the curtain lowers.)
**************************************************** XII. SON OF RAPMAN (Or Back to the Rapture, Pt. II) ****************************************************
Nathaniel Tobias Rappicinilleski: son of Rapman
Commisioner Thornton: recently released from Sappy Acres
The Chief: Head of Gotham's regular police forces.
Rockin': Rapman's usual sidekick and heavy metal man
Disco Don: an evil, perverse villain with a thing about disco
Henchman #1(Dummy): a particularly stupid criminal
Henchmen #2-3(Dummy): even stupider criminals
Announcer: a voice for justice
Store Owner: an innocent by-stander with an attitude
Dum Doll: Don's scattered-brained femme fatale
Scene One: There is a single table with a prominent black phone on it and a tape recorder. The Chief, dressed in either a suit or blue uniform and hat, is sitting at the table which is loaded with files. The announcer enters the stage.
Announcer: It is yet another stressful day in Gotham City as the Chief sits examining the files on the latest crime wave.
Chief (looking up to see the Commissioner enter the stage): Commissioner!
Commissioner (the two shake hands): It's good to see you, Chief.
Chief: (awkwardly) How do you-er, eh?
Commissioner (proudly): Five months in Sappy Acres was all it took. I'm psychologically fit as a fiddle, and I'm back at the job. Now (overenthusiastically), let's solve some crimes!
Chief (suspiciously): You mean the Mayor returned you to being police commissioner after five months in a mental institution?
Commissioner: Why not? After all they elected him, and he's been to jail.
Chief (shaking his head): Well I'll be nice to you and not even mention the word Rap-
Commissioner (calmly): It's alright. I'm okay. I've undergone extensive treatments in the special ward with Dr. Grandmaster Psyche. I'm ready. Bring on the beat. Pa-Pa-Pa.
Chief: That's the problem Commissioner. You see the Rapman is on special assignment to the Japan Police, and there's been a massive crime wave. It seems some sick-minded fiend has been robbing all the record stores, stealing all the CDs, and leaving these (he holds up a piece of cardboard with "Disco Don" on the cover).
Chief: Worse. Extended play remixes of- Well I'd better play the tape.
Voice on tape: Om, Pa, Om, Pa, Ow, Pa, Ow Pa Disco-shake your booty; Give your horn and drum a little tooty. Disco-give me your money; Shake your thing and make it kind of funny. Don't let the dance rot and rust. Move your body and shake off the dust. Scramble cross the dancefloor like a dog in heat. Dance so hard you're killing ants with your feet. Disco in front of your friends. Truck on down and shake around your rear end... Commissioner (as the tape suddenly cuts out, he catches himself still moving): Er-eh-That's sick.
Chief: The robber, who calls himself 'Disco Don,' has already taken five men out of the case!
Commissioner: Murdered them?
Chief: No but we won't see them for hours. You see he sent them free coffee and donuts. We've got to stop this man.(At this point, two men enter the stage. One is dressed in a baggy shirt, gigantic glasses and wing-tipped shoes. He carries a big attaché case. He carries a massive book in his hand. The other wears an old t-shirt, a peace sign tied around his neck, and a pear of ragged jeans. The Chief immediately points to them.) It's Rockin' and, and (he stutters)...
Son of Rapman (extending his hand): My name is Nathaniel Tobias Rappicinilleski.
Rockin': Establishment freaks, this is Rapman's son.
Commissioner: It's good to have you on our side. (Aside to the chief) Maybe we can cut down on overtime.
Nathaniel (shaking the Commissioner's hand): I'm pleased to proffer my metalegal services at a premium.
Commissioner (shrugging his shoulders): I'm sure. Are you a crimefighter like your dearly departed father?
Nathaniel: I'm profoundly drawn towards the soluvation of dilemmas involving warped and illegalistic mentalities.
Rockin'(translating): He thinks crime's a bummer.
Chief: What kind of training have you had?
Nathaniel: I majored at Ripp U. in criminology, psychology, parasitology, and a oneotherology.
Commissioner: What are all those subjects?
Nathaniel (shrugging his shoulders): How should I know: I didn't study Latin.
Commissioner (rising): And then do you-rap?
Nathaniel: You have to trandescend the boundaries of our linguistic barriers to illuminate this concept of "rap."
Rockin' (translating): The fuzz has to fill him in.
Commissioner (pointing): Hit it, Chief.
Chief (very badly): Well I'm Rapman, and I'm here today To stop the er, er, crooks from getting away. I'll get the bad guys or something like that. That's why I wear this Rapman hat.
Nathaniel (shaking his head): I'm led to consider that you interpret that putrid piece of poetry as passing for musical?
Commissioner (turning his head): Can you do better?
Nathaniel (taking his violin from its case, facing the audience, and singing operatically): Simplaro con el pastrami, Micheleni rata mi mommy, Sistaron contemptouso, Miceand men enmi expresso. Sifta runes piano matullo, Donabe a bigga foola. (As he proceeds, everyone on strange cringes in musical pain.)
Commissioner (interrupting by asking of Rockin'): What does all that mean?
Rockin': How should I know, brother? Nobody understands opera.
Chief: He's saying (obviously translating): 'My pants are so tight. I wish I hadn't ate all this pastrami. It's getting me heartburn. Oh, (he suddenly notices the other three are staring at him) in the police academy we had to study Italian and Irish.
Commissioner: Here, why don't you (grabbing all the files on the Chief's desk), try out your education.
Nathaniel (enthusiastically but weighed down by all the papers): I'd be engorgurated. (He starts singing as he leaves the stage): Enmy casa dona me cello Havecar isbetter thannone....
Rockin'(to the audience): Where's Iron Butterfly when you need them?
(The curtain falls to the tune of "Inna Gadda Da Vida").
Scene: There is a little counter set up with two tables with a number of poster for imaginary acts, like Michael Jackson, The Fruithouse Five, and Wimpy Warpole. Behind the desk, there are rows and rows of CD boxes. A couple works the desk. The announcer enters the stage.
Announcer: Meanwhile sinister and silly events were going on at Dork's Disk Store.
(Three men enter the stage, all wearing polyester bell-bottomed pants and tight polyester shirts. The leader, Disco Don, wears enormous, bright colored, horn-rimmed glasses, an a wide-brimmed hat, and high platform shoes. The three carry toy guns. Doll is wearing a tight skirt and a blonde wig).
Henchman #2 (pointing the gun at the store keeper and pronouncing "r"s like "w"s): Your money or your wlife!
Storekeeper (turning around): Honey, it's for you!
Henchman #3 (angrily): No, not your wife, your life!
Storekeeper (shrugging and taking some play money from
beneath the counter): You're sure you won't reconsider-
Disco Don(facing the audience and taking henchman #1 by the shoulder): Can't you see it now, Henchman #1, we'll steal every CD in the city and replace them with this: (he holds up an album cover with his picture and the title Disco Don Does Disco!). It'll be a polyester revolution and bring back disco! (He laughs maniacally as the other henchman start to put out more albums by Disco Don).
Henchman #1 (stupidly): But why are we stealing the money, too?
Don(suddenly releasing his shoulder): I may be insane, but I'm not stupid. Doll?
Doll (making a little curtsy): Yes, Disco Donny?
Don: Let's hit it. (They all start dancing in unison as they sing.) Let's do the disco with Disco Donny. Go to record stores and give him all your maney. He'll have you dancing 'round and 'round your disco floor, You'll like it when you're dancing out the door.
(They suddenly halt and do a leaning back John Travolta style break). We're gonna shake you down and takey all your cash- Till you're so poor your living off the trash. You'll be on the street robbing with your noogie, Just so you can buy a disco shirt and boogie.
(They freeze. This is a perfect photo op.)
Rockin (entering the stage with Nathaniel, reading from a book, as he walks, at his side): Peace, love, and revolution, man. The trip's over.
Nathaniel (suddenly looking up): Peculiar passage of tonalities, I must observe.
Henchman #1 (to Don): Is that guy speaking English?
Don: I recognize that man with the ragged clothes. That's Rapman's buddy, Rockin.'
Rockin' (agreeing): That's the scene. Now lay down the bread 'cause The Man is on the way.
Henchman #1 (to Don): Is that guy speakin' English?
Don (starting to move forward): It'd ensafetize you to surrender your munitions to my associates and me.
Rockin': My main man here is Rapman's son.
Don (folding his arms across his chest): Well go on then. Show us some of your "family talents."
Rockin' (to the audience): Oh no.
Nathaniel (takes out the violin and begins): Simplaro con el pastrami, Micheleni rata mi mommy, Sistaron contemptouso, Miceand men enmi expresso. (By this time, the bad guys are in pain).
Rockin'(stepping close to Nathaniel): Not groovy. You just sang those lines in the last scene.
Nathaniel (pointing to the audience): Do you see all those people?
Rockin': I dig.
Nathaniel: Most of them paid half price to see this show.
Rockin': Bad scene.
Nathaniel: When they pay full price, I memorize a full opera. Now, if you don't mind: Halfa mi braina Gonna o me paina Saya see wimpy Ridya me blimpy. Don (exasporated and cringing): What is he saying! Rockin'(shrugging his shoulders): Who knows? No one understands opera.
Henchman #1: He's saying (translating) "The moon sets slowly on this Italian villa. Your black eyes and hair resemble spaghetti with meatballs. (Slowly everyone's eyes focus on him.)
Don (smacking Henchman #1): Will you shut up!
Nathaniel: It'd behoove you to discease attempts to flee.
Doll (sighing and running her hands over her body): Ooh, I just love it when they talk dirty like that.
Don (shrugging his shoulders): Get them.
(The robbers move forward, and there's a fight. Each time someone swings, they say "Pow," or "Oof," except Nathaniel who says "Mi" or "Fa," and sings a note. Finally, he is knocked off his feet when Henchman #2 hits him saying "Rap! Rap!" and he falls to his knees, falling off stage, saying "Pa! Pa! Pa!" quietly. All the henchmen fall except #1 and Dolly. They shield Nathaniel so he cannot be seen.)
Rockin'(tearing off his peace sign and holding it in front of him like a weapon, moves forward singing): Inna Rockinferno like a firce, Something gone burning inna lyre. Flowers exploding like dynamite, Rocking black and blue all night.
Don (to Henchman #1): What is he saying?
Henchman #1: Search me. No one understands heavy metal.
Don (picks up an album, and, after struggling with Rockin', hits him over the head. Rockin' falls): Here's some heavy plastic for ya!
Rockin'(smiling stupidly as he starts to fall): Woodstock on my head, mama.
Doll(pointing off stage): Boss, something strange is happening. That Nathaniel guy's changing his clothes (suddenly smiling); what a sight!
Henchman #1 (Nathaniel emerges on stage, pulling suspenders over his white shirt and tossing his book and tie in different directions. He pulls out a pair of dark glasses and slips them over his eyes): He looks just like-
Son of Rapman: Tell all the criminal's I'm going to ruin their day. And that Gotham isn't any place they oughta stay. I'm feeling pretty mad, and every second I get meaner; I'll clean this old city like a Hoover vaccume cleaner. Dolly: He sounds just like-
Son of Rapman (moving forward and making a move that floors Henchman #1): You think that you can get away with robbing proper folks, Playing lousy music, and telling rotten jokes. Well I'm here to make sure that justice doesn't fail. And put your disco booties in the Gotham City jail. Dolly (moves forward and starts to make a karate chop. Then she falls down): Oh, lock me up, please! Don (holding the album in front of him): I don't who or what you are, but you won't escape this my steel, edged EP disco album. Nobody (he hits Son of Rapman on the head but the album simply folds like a piece of paper-which it, of course, is.) messes with Disco Don.
Son of Rapman: Well my heart is made of steel, and my head made of stone. And the rhymes I'm shooting can go right through a bone. It takes more than just weapons to mess with super me 'Cause I am descended from a petrified family tree.
Don(as being pinned): It's-it's-it's.(The Commissioner and chief enter the stage, and everyone starts to rise up and point at the figure)-Rap-
Son of Rapman (putting on his cap that says "Son of Rapman"): I'm warning your criminals not to be bad, 'Cause this young man's even meaner than his dad. Stomping out crime is my way of having fun, So you'd better not mess with the Rapman's son.
(The other two lawmen, after putting cuffs on the criminals, move over towards of Rapman as he finishes).
Cause I'm Rapman's child, and I'm on prowl, To find the find the criminals and I'll make them crawl, I'll make the big city a nice-to-live-in place. And I'll the keep the cockroaches out of everyone's face.
Commissioner, Chief, and Son of Rapman (rap style):
Commissioner: Now there's a moral to this story,
Rockin': That shouldn't go to waste.
Chief: That's to not commit a crime
Son of Rapman: Or to sing in bad taste.
Commissioner: So keep that radio tuned
Rockin': To the music that's tough
Chief: And don't do wrong
Son of Rapman: Or your life can be rough.
Good guys: 'Cause we're Rapmen, and we're here today.
To stop the criminals from getting their way.
We'll scrape the scumbags offa every back street
'Cause the Rapmen are too tough to defeat.
*************************************** XIII. AND YOU CAN CALL ME ANDY ***************************************
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Colonel Gerald Adamson: local head of intelligence and operations at Lakota Air Force Base, a fair, dedicated officer.
Mr. Tom Geneson: a special agent assigned to the base with the wits and the manners of a sharp knife.
Lieutenant Aram Mathies Deliasson (aka Andy): the missing man.
General White: the "old man," commander of the base.
Rita Woods: Adamson's personal secretary whose voice is only heard on stage.
Lieutenant Sandra Baines: a friend of Andy's
Captain Barnes: head of Methodist First Church, a kindly, fair man.
Sergeant Thomas Levinson: neighbor to Andy.
Mr. Ames: the barkeeper at the Officer's Club.
Mrs. Johnson: the barmaid at the Officer's Club.
Yozakai Kurochi: a Yazuka, a Japanese Mafia boss.
Yuki Ome: mistress #1 at Yozakai's club.
Sandra Adamson: wife of the colonel.
Setting: This play will require a split set. On stage left will be a table with two to three chairs, a coffee pot, and various assorted papers around along desk. On stage right will be changing scenes as the various anecdotes in the play are illustrated. The General and Colonel in this scene are in uniform. Mr. Geneson has his hair slicked back, stonily, into place and carries an attache case. He's wearing a black suit enlivened only by his black tie and dark glasses so that not much of his features can be seen. He enters stage left with the Colonel.
General (showing Mr. Geneson inside the romm): Here you are Mr.-What is you name again?
Mr. Geneson: Geneson. Tom Geneson.
General: Now I'm going to leave you two alone to take care of this business. Mr. Geneson, I can assure you that Colonel Adamson is the man best man in the Far East in charge of intelligence...
Mr. Geneson (cutting him off): I'm the sure the Colonel will give me all the help I need. Now, if you'll excuse us, there's a war going on.
General (a little surprized and confused by this irreverent response): Well, then, carry on (he leaves).
Mr. Geneson: Call in Baines first.
Colonel Adamson (pausing and looking at Geneson): Mr. Geneson, I'd appreciate it if you'd at least tell me why we're having this investigation.
Mr. Geneson: You will see, Colonel, and when I'm done, it'll be up to you to take care of the matter. So watch, look, and learn.
Colonel Adamson (straightening his tie): I'm an officer who does his job, and my job here is intelligence, and I can assure you, our base's security has not been breached. Now I don't know what they tell you in Washington, but here we have procedures...
Geneson: You resent them calling in an outsider? If you had done the job, I wouldn't be here. They pay me to get THE JOB DONE, not for anything else, and done quickly. Now, do you have the files I requested.
Adamson (hesitating): Some of these files are on civilians; I don't have the authority to...
Geneson (thrusting out his open hand): Give them to me.
Colonel Adamson (sighing): Alright, alright.
Geneson (taking them): Good. That's the way, one step at a time. Now, I want you to get Lieutenant Baines.
Adamson (to his phone): Rita?
Rita's voices: Yes?
Adamson: Would you ring Lietenant Baines?
Geneson: The Hell with that. Tell her to get over here fast (Geneson starts looking through the thick piles of information. He snarls at a couple of sheets, mutters some cusswords, crinkles them, and tosses them in the trash. Adamson is visibly horrified). Dammit Adamson, half this information is lies and miscalculations.
Adamson (moving towards the trash): Wait, half those are official government documents-
Geneson (throwing another piece in the trash): Really? How interesting. Now I have a list of people I want you to get (he draws it from his own attache case), and I want you to have them waiting out in the hallway.
Adamson: I don't see that point-
Geneson: That doesn't matter. Do it, Colonel.
Rita's voice: Colonel, Lieutenant Baines is here to see you.
Geneson (interrupting): Good! Send her in (he looks at the Colonel standing with the list in his hand). Don't "dog it;" that is the military word for wasting time, isn't it, Colonel?
Colonel (hissing as he walks out): There had better be a point to all this.
Geneson (ignoring him): Send in the Lieutenant.
Lieutenant Baines (walking in): Who are you, and what is all this about?
Geneson (taking out a piece of paper and starting to write down something): Who I am is not important. What I am doing is important. You're going to answer some questions.
Colonel (re-enterring): I've taken care of the summonses, Mr. Geneson (he sits down angrily).
Lieutenant Baines (to Geneson): I'm sorry, sir, but I'm going to have to see some credentials.
Geneson (taking out a piece of papers holds it out under her nose. She looks at it gulps and gently thrusts his arm back): Now I want some answers. Question #1: Where is Lieutenant Aram Mathies Deliasson?
Lieutenant Baines: Who? Oh (thinking), you mean Andy?
Baines: That's what everybody calls the Lieutenant, "Andy."
Geneson (shaking his head): Well, where is this "Andy"?
Baines: I don't know, s-(she stops herself before saying "sir.")
Geneson: Isn't it true, Baines, that you work with this "Andy" in your section.
Lieutenant Baines: No, sir, I do not. I don't know what his section is. I only met him a couple of times at the "Rec Center," and he never talked about his assignment at all. He was (she smiles) not much of a talker.
Geneson: When was the last time you saw him?
Baines: I don't know, sir.
Geneson (looking up): What do you mean you "don't know, sir"? Either you see a man or you don't. When is the last time you definitely saw him.
Lieutenant Baines: I mean, I'm not sure, sir. It was night time. I was coming back from a graveyard shift, and I could swear I saw-
Geneson (impatiently): When is the last time you, "for sure," saw him?
Lieutenant Baines: That's easy. That was in ballet class.
Colonel (looking sideways): ballet?
(Baines gets up and moves towards the other side of the split stage. As she gets there, the curtain rises and there's a line of girls dressed in work-out suits and one man dressed similarly. As the classical music starts, the dancers move unison, except the man who's hopelessly bad. As Baines gets to the edge of the stage, she sheds her uniform and the audience sees her dressed in a workout outfit also).
Instructor: And one and two and halt.
Andy (panting): Wow.
Baines (laughing): Did you enjoy it?
Andy: I can see why so many men that do this are gay. You wear those tights long enough...
Baines: I hate to tell you this, but you are really, really bad.
Andy: Well, I told you, I never tried this before.
Baines: Do you feel better now? Is all the stress gone?
Andy (rubbing his kness): Now, I have pain instead of stress.
Baines: Well, come on, put your pants on, and we'll go get a drink.
Andy (somewhat discomfitted): Thank-you-no. Just being here for a while was enough to clear my mind. I could forget about everything for a minute.
Baines (frowning): Everything. Is something wrong at work?
Andy (hurriedly): Oh no, nothing's wrong. Everything is just fine. Fine. Now, I've got to go.
Baines: Are you sure?
Andy (as he walks away, he starts to sing. Baines puts back on her uniform as he continues to sing strains of the song): Da-Do-Da (and then he exits).
Geneson (writing as Baines retakes her seat): SWAN LAKE?
Baines: Yes, SWAN LAKE.
Geneson: You know that's a Russian ballet.
Baines: Of course it is. Do you think I'm stupid just because I'm in the military!
Geneson: Now what is this all about this "Andy"? You seem to have been on very good terms with him.
Baines (hesitating): Well, I'd just see him around and talk to him. Like I said, he was a good listener, and that's hard to find.
Colonel: Did you find him attractive?
Baines: Andy (she chuckles)? No, Andy was the kind of guy you'd laugh with but never get interested in.
Geneson: What if I told you he is suspected of undermining the national security?
Baines: Andy? Not likely. Now would you tell me what this is all about.
Geneson: That will be all, Lieutenant.
Baines (a little worried): Andy, didn't do anything wrong. He's not in trouble?
Geneson: You seem more than professionally alarmed by that possibility. Are you sure you never.
Baines (standing up): NO. Am I done?
Baines: Yes (she hesitates), alright. I wish you could tell me where he is.
Geneson: Believe me, I wish I could tell you too.
Scene: The action runs continuosly. There can be a break here or the show can run without one.
Colonel: Geneson, I can't say I approve of the way you talked to that officer. You do not have authority to interrogate members of this command like that about their personal lives. I wish you'd restrict your questions to the subject.
Geneson: Colonel, sometimes personal lives are tied very closely to professional ones. We can't afford any slips.
Colonel: Well, I will remind you to follow the procedures.
Geneson: Colonel, I will follow the procedures only so far as the procedures will go (he hits the page button). What is the name of your secretary?
Geneson (sounding not so commanding): Rita. Send in the Chaplain. Chaplain-
Rita's voice: Brown, sir?
Geneson: Yes, that's the one. He's a Baptist, right?
Rita's voice: No, sir, he's a Methodist.
Geneson: Close enough for Jesus. Send him in.
Chaplain Brown (bowing slightly to the Colonel, he extends his hand to Geneson. Geneson hesitates and shakes his hand stiffly): I'm Chaplain Brown.
Geneson (indicating a seat): Fine, I'm Mr. Geneson.
Chaplain (to the Colonel): Why have I been requested, Colonel?
Colonel (shrugging his shoulders): I'm afraid I can't tell you Reverend. It is about (seeing Geneson's warning glance) a member of our community.
Chaplain: Oh. Not in trouble is he?
Geneson: Let me ask you some questions, Reverend. Have you ever met a man named Aram Mathies Deliasson?
Chaplain: I've met many men on this base, and some, I've only seen their faces. I'd like to get to think I'll meet all of them before long, but I don't recall the name.
Colonel: He might call himself "Andy"?
Chaplain (shaking his head): Still no. (He looks at the photo that Geneson draws from his attache case). Oh yes, I do recall him. I only met him once.
Geneson: And yet, you remember him? He must've made a strong impression, or you must have one Hell of a memory.
Chaplain (wincing at the word "Hell"): He did make a strong impression on me because I met him on such a strange occasion. You see, he came to me to confess.
Geneson: I'm not much on God, I'm afraid, but I thought a person could only confess to the other guys, the priests.
Chaplain Brown: That's what's so strange about it. (He gets up and walks to the other side of the stage. The curtain rises and there's the minister's office. Church type music is playing in the background.)
Andy (entering with his cap in his hand): Can I come in, your Reverence.
Chaplain: I'm not a "your Reverence," but please sit down.
Andy (stiting down): Okay-sir. That's nice music you have there.
Chaplain: Thank-you. I wish our church choir was that good, but that would take a miracle.
Andy (absently): Yes, a miracle.
Chaplain (looking at him): Is there something on your mind? What did you say your name was?
Andy (thinking): Pious Aeneas.
Chaplain (raising an eyebrow): Hm. What is it you wish to talk about?
Andy: I don't know much about religon; I've never much needed it. I've heard though, that if you did something really bad, you could go into a church booth, admit what you did, and be forgiven. That's what I want.
Chaplain: "Pious" that's what the Catholics believe, that someone can come along, and because of his position with the Church and God, relieve you of your pain. Now, my church believes that your misdeeds are between you and God.
Andy (slumping): Then you can't help me (sighing); I should've known.
Chaplain: Nooo. I didn't say that. I said that only God can forgive you. If you have wronged somebody else, though, I think you should try to right that wrong. If you have wronged yourself, you should try to heal yourself. As a minister, I am here to help you and give you advice and tell what the BIBLE says, but you alone have to decide what you have to do and let God worry about forgiveness.
Andy: It doesn't sound very easy.
Chaplain: Nothing ever is, except in God's wisdom. Now if you to go to a real confession, there are Catholic priests,...
Andy (shaking his head): No, I don't think that would help now. What if I gave some money to the Church (he looks around); it sure looks it could use it.
Chaplain (smiling): If you truly want to give, please do. It's tax deductible, but it you think you can buy God's forgiveness...
Andy: No (putting his hand on his chin), there are things, I know, that cannot be bought.
Chaplain: Yes. Now I'm ready to hear what you want to tell me, and I'll try to help, but I've got to give you a warning: U.S. law protects the sinner's right to privacy in a confession but does not recognize that right in a conversation between minister and sinner.
Andy (getting up): No, I can't tell you. I can't tell anyone anything. All I've got left is the pain.
Chaplain: Try to heal yourself, and if you've hurt others, try to heal them also. There are no easy answers.
Andy: I wish I'd known that before I started. Everything would've been so different (he leaves, and as the curtain lowers the Chaplain crosses the stage back to his seat).
Chaplain: I wondered, at the time, if he'd done something wrong.
Geneson: And yet, you didn't report anything to the base intelligence officers of this whole conversation?
Chaplain (frowning): No.
Geneson: So you knew a man was probably guilty of some kind of crime, and yet, you did nothing.
Chaplain: So you're wondering why I didn't report on a conversation that didn't take place? That seems a questionable premise.
Geneson: Yet your every word in the last ten minutes tells me that you knew this man was involved in some kind of evil.
Chaplain: Most men are involved in some kind of evil.
Geneson (leaning forward): Such as yourself, not reporting a possible criminal?
Chaplain: That's between me and my God.
Geneson: And yet, you didn't even really volunteer to help by hearing this man. By warning him about the "rules and procedures," you essentially told him that you didn't want to know, were afraid to become involved.
Chaplain (uncomfortably): I did what I felt was best.
Geneson (making a hands gesture): You just "washed your hands."
Chaplain (running his hands over the cross on his robe): How could I have known that then; he said nothing to me.
Geneson: Still you are a man paid to judge the moral strength of others. You had some idea of what this man was capable of. Did you tell the Colonel, here?
Chaplain (more distressed): Please leave me alone. I find this conversation very dull.
Colonel (pursuing reluctantly): You are aware, Chaplain Brown, that as a member of the Armed Forces, you are, just as I am, liable to disciplinary actions for any failure to fulfill the obligations necessary to ensure National Security, and we are involved in a war.
Chaplain: We're always involved in a war, whether on the battlefield or...
Geneson: Do you know what it means?
Chaplain (suddenly looking up): What?
Geneson: Pious Aeneas?
Chaplain: I'm not stupid. "Pious" is Latin for faithful, and "Aeneas," I'll assume, is a Latin name.
Geneson: The story is pre-Christian. Pious Aeneas fled from Troy. He came to Italy and conquered the city of Rome. In a climactic battle, he killed the hero of the Latins in a fashion often compared to a ritual sacrifice. Aeneas was called "Pious" because he was faithful to his god, Ares, the God of War. He wasn't faithful to your god. Doesn't this suggest anything to you?
Chaplain: It suggests you went to a good liberal arts school. Now can I leave?
Colonel (hurriedly): I don't think he knows anything else.
Geneson: He certainly doesn't know much, but more than he'll say in front of us. Chaplain, I think you can return to your work. You've certainly helped us as much as you've helped this "Andy." We may need a prayer or two from you before we're finished.
Scene: The scene is the same as before, but by the profusion of papers, it should be appparent that some time has passed.
Colonel (yawning): It's almost six o' clock. Don't you want something to drink.
Geneson: Yes, I'll take a black coffee and a small order of Sergeant Levinson.
Colonel (angirly): You treat officers like dirt, you treat ministers like sand papper. Don't you ever get tired of being nasty?
Geneson: When I do, I'll retire. Rhona?
Rita's voice: It's "Rita," sir, like "Rita Book."
Geneson: Fine. Send in Sergeant Levinson.
Rita's voice: Yes, sir.
Levinson (holding his hat in his hand, looking from Colonel Adamson to Geneson, looks at the Colonel): Am I in some kind of trouble, sir?
Geneson (interrupting): I just want to ask you some questions about a neighbor of yours, a Lieutenant Aram Mathies Deliasson-"Andy."
Levinson (sitting down): Andy's my friend.
Geneson: Good, then you can tell me what you know about him. Was he ever involved in any kind of wrong-doing? Did you ever get a chance to look around his apartment? I mean, it's right next door, isn't it?
Levinson (squirming): I've never been in his apartment.
Geneson: Oh, yes you have. Now I want you to tell me about it. Please.
Levinson (narrowly looking at him): If you want to court martial me, I'm entitled to a lawyer. If you want to ask me about Andy, I'm not going to answer unless I see him here with me.
Geneson (startled): You know where he is?
Geneson (relaxing): Well, let's not talk about Andy yet. Let's talk about you. First, let's start with housing. Isn't it true that you're living in building #424?
Levinson: That is correct, sir.
Geneson: Isn't it true that that is officer's quarters only, and that you should be living in enlisted quarters?
Levinson: Well, sir, you see the Base was short on quarters for enlisted men and-
Geneson: Answer the question.
Levinson (swallowing): Yes sir, I'm living in officers' territory.
Geneson: You are aware that officer's quarters cost the government more money since they take up more space than enlisted quarters.
Levinson (trying to appear disinterested): Is that so?
Geneson (pulling out a pocket calculator): Let me see. I'll do a rough calculation. I have the correct, to the penny calculation somewhere in my case, but let's try this (he makes a big show of punching buttons). The Government has to pay out an extra $125 per month, and you've been living there for nine months, so the government has lost $1125 on you.
Levinson (nervous): Is that so, sir?
Geneson (leaning forward): You know, we could demand it back. When they overpay someone for offbase housing, there's a reckoning. When they overpay social security, there's a reckoning. When they overpay,...
Colonel (uneasily): Mr. Geneson, Levinson was assigned that housing because of a shortage of enlisted quarters. It's not his fault that-
Geneson (waving his hand to silence the Colonel): Always a reckoning.
Levinson: What do you want, sir, the money? It's gonna be Damned hard.
Geneson (smiling): Oh no, I CAN forget about that if you're just nice enough to talk to me about your friend. Now you were saying about "Andy"?
Levinson (swallowing): Well, I only came in there once. (He starts to walk across the stage. The curtain rises and we see a fairly typical apartment with a bookshelf, bed, and radio). It was pretty typical stuff, except that he did have this weird map of the stars with names on them.
Levinson: People's names, like..
Geneson (interrupting): Why were you in the room?
Levinson: He left in a real hurry, and the door was wide open, so I just thought I'd shut it.
Geneson: And yet you entered?
Levinson: I couldn't help it. I was curious. I'd never seen anyone, other than him, enter that room. I mean everyone get visitors, except Andy.
(The conversation is interrupted by Andy's entrance across the room and statement.)
Andy: What are you doing in my room, Tom!
Levinson (startled): Oh, I'm sorry, Andy. I saw you leave the door open, and I couldn't resist a peek.
Andy: Well, you're here, you might as well sit down, and I'll get you a beer.
Levinson (as Andy returns): Damn you read some heavy stuff: Karl Marx, Mao Tse Dung, A HISTORY OF CHINA, THE PLASTIC TOMORROW.
Andy: Yeah, I like to kill a lot of time (he hands the beer to Levinson), and what do yo read?
Levinson: And do you read all those books with the funny writing?
Andy: You mean the Chinese? Yeah, my mother was half Chinese. My grandfather was killed by the Communists. You want to hear some James Brown?
Levinson: You don't got any Hank Williams.
Andy: 'Fraid it's soul or nothing.
Levinson: I can give it a try. (In the background, we hear "Cold Sweat," and Andy starts to lip synche. After a minute, Levinson rises and follows his lead. When he gets to the edge of the scene, however, he returns to the table, and the curtain lowers).
Colonel: No visitors, ever?
Levinson: He was the nice kind of guy, but he was always like "bottled up."
Geneson: So just his doing the James Brown left the impression on you?
Levinson: That's it.
Geneson: Not good enough. Not good enough by far. Oh boy (he puts his hand up to his ear), I hear that Government collection agency coming..
Levinson: But that's it!
Geneson: They can start by garnishing the pay.
Levinson (standing up): I didn't SEE anything else!
Geneson (returning to his papers): I'm sure you can live without a few luxuries like a car, your stereo (starts singing in a phony country voice): "Your cheatin' heart.."
Levinson (slamming his hands on the table, looking at Geneson): Alright, you bastard, it's the books.
Colonel: What about them.
Levinson: I studied Chinese when I was in Hong Kong, and those books weren't Chinese.
Levinson: Dammit, they were Vietnamese. A couple were poetry, and the rest were propaganda. But I can't see why he'd lie to me.
Geneson: Sure, he'd lied you. Just like you lied to me right now. You said, he was your "friend"?
Levinson (slamming his fists on the table): Take the goddamn money, but I hope Andy kills you when he catches you.
Geneson (not hostile): Then you think he's capable of that, then? Thank-you.
Colonel (watching Levinson walk out as the girl walks in with the coffee): Geneson, you actually enjoyed that.
Geneson (taking a swig of the drink and starting to choke after a second speaks to the girl): I don't want my coffee hot. I want ICED coffee.
Colonel (wiping his brow): How did you know that he'd talk?
Geneson: One thing I've learned: given the right circumstances, anyone will be betray anyone.
Scene: The scene is the same as before, but the lights could be lowered to give the effect of it being the evening.
Colonel: It's been four hours. It's eight o' clock. Can't we call it a night? There are still people waiting out in the outer office.
Geneson (reluctantly): You can let them go.
Colonel (to the phone): Rita, you can tell all those people that they are dismissed.
Rita voice: Your wife, sir?
Genesen (knitting his forehead): Ahm, oh yeah. Tell her...
Rita's voice (as though she's heard this many times): "That you're sorry you missed supper again, and that you'll be home at..."
Colonel (to Geneson): Aren't we done yet?
Geneson: No, I need your company.
Colonel (to phone): Rita, tell her I'm tied up with work again.
Geneson (yawning): We're going to do a little bar hopping. The only thing is we're only going to hop to one bar.
(The two men walk across the stage from the side room to a bar scene. There are ten or so drinkers acting quite enthusiastic about their cocktails. The Colonel and Geneson walk towards the bar.)
Mrs. Johnson (smiling): Why, Colonel, it's good to see you here again tonight. Who's your friend?
Geneson: Mr. Geneson, I'm a civilian.
Mrs. Johnson: Well, what will you have?
Geneson: I want a martini, double dose of poison, an Osaka dry, and an iced coffee.
Colonel (aghast): That's pretty serious stuff. I wouldn't have figured...
Geneson: Well, if it's too serious, don't drink it. The alcohol's for you. I never drink when I'm working.
Mrs. Johnson: Here are your drinks.
Colonel (frowning): How do you know what I drink?
Geneson (patting his attache case): Intelligence. (He reaches his hand out to touch Mrs. Johnson's.) You know, you've got a funny white spot here, just like you should be wearing some kind of ring.
Mrs. Johnson: If it's any of your business, I'm married, but not wearing my ring helps with the tips sometimes.
Geneson (taking a sip of the coffee): This is bad, you know, it's bad (he looks around the room), and I want some more lights. It's too dark.
Mrs. Johnson: If you want another drink okay, but the lights stay.
Geneson: No (making motions), I just want a lot more light.
Mrs. Johnson (hurrying away): I'm getting the manager!
Geneson (looking at the Colonel, smiles): Perfect.
Colonel: Does the CIA, or whoever, specially train guys like you? Is that all "Applied Cruelty 101"?
Geneson: Not in the rule book for officer training, is? Well, watch.
Mr. Ames: Is there some kind of problem here, Colonel?
Geneson: Yes, there is. Yozakai Kurochi told me that I could have a good time here, and, so far, I've haven't had a good time.
Mr. Ames (swallowing as the Colonel takes a generous swing of his drink): You'll have to say that name again, slowly.
Geneson: Yozakai Kurochi. Oh, you know him, short, barrel-chested, has a face that looks like someone tried to kill him only he knifed the other guy first, wears expensive clothes, but looks cheap. The Colonel knows him.
Colonel (cautiously): I've only HEARD of him, but that's enough.
Mr. Ames: I-I don't know him.
Geneson: Ohhh, when I tell him you said that, he's not going to be happy.
Mr. Ames (hurriedly): Okay, so he does come in here every once in a while-as a serviceman's guest.
Geneson (taking another sip): See? Your memory's improving. I've got a tough one for you (he holds up a picture): You remember this face?
Mr. Ames: I-I can't say that I do.
Geneson: But you can't say that you don't, can you? I wonder if the barmaids remember him. I'll bet they do.
Mr. Ames (to the Colonel): What is this? Is this guy a drug smuggler or gangster or what?
Colonel: Let's just say he has some heavy connections. With any luck, you'll never have to see him after tonight. Just talk to him and humor him.
Geneson: That's right. You just (mocking the Colonel somewhat) stick with the program, the rules and procedures, and the problems disappear. Now, we're going to put two and two together. Did you ever see my friend, Yozakai Kurochi, and my friend, "Andy," together?
Mr. Ames: They came in here one time. Not together. (As he says this, Ames, Geneson, and the Colonel move off to the side of the set). The guy in the picture was really plastered when Yozakai got here.
Andy (looking through his pockets): Not another cent.
Mr. Ames: I think you should go home, sir.
Andy (drunkely): "Go home"? "Go home"?
Thomas Wolfe said, "You can't go home again."
Yozakai Kurochi (sipping on a drink): I'll buy the American another drink.
Andy: You? You're a damned bully boy. I won't take a drink from you.
Yozakai: You spend the whole day building your war machines, and you call me a "bully boy"?
Yozakai: Look at yourself? The reason you Americans travel so much is you've let your country fall aprt. Now you're falling apart. Pretty soon there won't be anything left for the Japanese to buy.
Andy: If I were Japanese, I'd join the Reds and wipe out all the industrial lords and the big bosses like you, too. Give the ordinary person a shot at running things.
Yozakai: If you were a Japanese, I might be afraid. But it you were Japanese, I'd be an American, and I'd be in your Mafia, and I'd still be wearing a nice clean suit, and you'd be out begging for a job, just like your "Reds."
Andy (collapsing in the chair and taking the drink): You're not so tough.
Yozakai (smiling): And you're not so weak (Andy starts to collapse at the bar, and the yazuka helps him to his feet. The two leave together. As they leave, Geneson and the Colonel re-enter the scene and resume positions with Mr. Ames).
Geneson (taking a shot of iced coffee): That's kind of touching, isn't it. The guilty leaving the scene together, arm in arm, and you (he points to Ames), just watching them go.
Ames (snearing at both but looking at the Colonel): What was I supposed to do, Colonel? I mean, I just work here. If a man wants to associate with those kind of guys, I mean. Uh, (sweating nervously, turns to the Colonel again) what was I supposed to do!
Colonel (swallowing): I don't know.
Geneson: Well, I'll tell you what to do. Get me another iced coffee.
Mr. Ames: 'Till it flows from your veins.
Scene: The two men are in the office again. The Colonel looks rumpled and frazzled. Several empty glasses sit on the table. Geneson looks much the same as before.
Colonel: When are you going to tell me what this man did or you suspect? I don't see the logic of this yet. You suggest Communists connections, and then you show me Japanese Mafia.
Geneson: The connection is weakness.
Colonel: I don't see how he could've done anything wrong. Sure he seems secretive, and defensive, but not a bad guy.
Geneson (shaking his head): You don't know what people are capable of. Rita (to phone), send in our "friend."
Rita's voice: He may be your friend...
Yozakai (straightening his tie. He's dressed expensively. He bows to the Colonel who does not respond. He makes no move to sit down): I don't have to talk here.
Geneson: Say, that's great. Take a seat.
Yozakai (sitting down): What do you want?
Geneson (producing the picture): Do you know this man?
Yozakai (not looking): You know, you Americans, you all look alike.
Geneson (to the Colonel): What incredible wit. You see, to get a good Japanese education, you don't need to go to high school.
Yozakai (sneering): Get on with it.
Geneson (leaning forward): In a way, I envy you. With you, it's all business: buy and sell and no complications. You'd sell anything, wouldn't you?
Yozakia: So would you. So what! Besides, there are a few things that I will not sell.
Geneson (chuckling): Oh really? What are those?
Geneson (laughing aloud): Alcohol is not a drug? Gambling is not a drug? And then there are those three house full of rental women, and love is the most potent drug of all! Don't take me for a fool. Tell me about selling information.
Yozakai: Military information? Why (laughing) sell that? You Americans are the best friends we Japanese have. We save a fortune keeping you joes here. Besides, who would I sell information to?
Geneson: Just about anyone.
Yozakai: You can play all the games you want with your Americans, Mr. Suit, but you can't play with me. Sure, I come on base. I like your G.I.s. They come to my places, rent my women, borrow my money. So what? That's fair business. Same as Japanese soldiers would do. If I really wanted to sell information, it would not be about your "war machines," but about your soldiers. A good story always sells better than a good gun.
Colonel (looking bothered): What are you talking about?
Yozakai (smiling): You know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about-nothing.
Geneson (pointing to the picture): What did you sell to him?
Yozakai (shrugging): I took this man to my place, one night. He paid me back, with interest, just like any other G.I.
(The curtain opens to reveal a sybartic interior, like a cheap version of an Oriental movie. The Yazuka is still holding up Andy.)
Yuki Ome (looking as Yozaki dumps the American): Amerikanji?
Yozakai: Tarawa? (As he sees her, he disappears.)
Andy (starting to look around): Where am I?
Tarawa: You are in Kyoto New Gardens.
Andy: How did I get here?
Yuki (starting to bathe his head): Boss, pick you up.
Andy (holding his head): Oh, it's not even the next morning. I've got to do something about this hangover before it happens.
Tarawa (handing him a glass): Drink this.
Andy: Oh (drinking), hm. That helps a little.
Tarawa: You want mesage.
Andy (cautiously): I can't see how that would hurt. (To Tarawa as she starts messaging him): How'd a nice girl like you end up working in a scummy place like this?
Tarawa: Pay better than in bar. I go to college, maybe, next year.
Yozakai (emerging in a long, expensive robe): Is our "guest" all taken care of?
Tarawa: He no sound happy.
Andy (sitting up): These are two beautiful girls.
Yozakia (frowning): You can't afford them, soldier. These girls need a major or colonel to pay for them.
Andy (rubbing his head): Well, I tell you, I'm never gonna drink again. You don't know where you might turn up.
Tarawa: Where you from?
Andy (looking cautious): Well, let's just say I've been around. I could say I was from anywhere in my country, and I'd be telling close to the truth.
Tarawa: Why no go home?
Andy (holding his head): This is my home, much as anywhere. Yazuka, how much is this going to cost me?
Yozakai (frowing): You insult me, call me cheap, tell me off, put down my profession. I will not accept your money.
Andy: I'm sorry. Really am, but (he thinks), maybe I'm not. Damn I'm confused. Nothing's working out right.
Yozakai: Nothing ever does.
(The curtain falls and Yozakai walks back to his seat at the table).
Colonel: What did you give him for the headache?
Yozakia: I gave him-
Geneson: That's irrelevent. In fact, your whole scenario sounds so "pleasant," so "friendly."
Yozakia (getting up): That's all there is, Colonel, and I will say that your friend at least was a man, and not a suit like this one. You (to Geneson) look like the kind of man who'd send his government after me or some of my businesses. Let me warn you, Mr. Suit, that as far as you can go, (he reaches out his hand), so can my hand reach out and SMASH you (he hits the table).
Geneson (mocking): See how I'm shaking. Go on. Leave.
Yozakai: Watch what you say!
Genson (chuckling): This from a man who's entire life is a kind of bargain basement sale? Get lost. (The Yazuka stomps out.)
Colonel: You must be crazy insulting a man like that.
Geneson (taking a deep swig): No, I'd be crazy not to insult a man like that. Besides, I have nothing to fear: Barking dogs never bite.
Colonel: Do you think he told the truth.
Geneson: I doubt he knows the truth.
Scene: By now, the table is covered with torn and worn papers along with glasses and a plate or two. It looks as though the men have lived there for eight hours. The Colonel is now wearing only his t-shirt. Geneson looks as before.
Colonel (sounding eight hours tired): So I think I finally see what you're after. Andy sold information about our Mission to the Yazuka who sold it to the Enemy. No wonder (he gets up and starts to dress) they're scared in Washington.
Geneson (holding his hands up): I didn't say that. You said it. It's best not to say all you know or think. Don't give the truth 'till they rip it out of your heart.
Colonel (standing up): What I don't understand is where you get all this information. How can you know all these people to talk to?
Geneson: Let's call it "priveleged information."
Colonel (looking at his watch): It's four 'o' clock, and you said you had to leave then, right? Well, my driver should be here, in a minute, to pick us and take you to the plane.
Rita's voice: Colonel, your wife is here to drive you to the plane.
Colonel: My wife? I didn't ask you to-
Geneson: Your wife? Very good. Send her in.
Colonel: Wait, what do you-
Sandra Adamson (walking in): Are you too ready to go? I got Rita's call a few minutes ago.
Colonel (getting up quickly): But I didn't tell her to...
Geneson: Please sit down. Relax. I have a few questions to ask you.
Colonel (moving towards Sandra): Oh no, you don't. I've seen the way you treated the others. You've gotten all the truth (he grasps his wife's hand) you'll need.
Geneson (smiling): But have YOU gotten all the truth?
Sandra (confused): What is this?
Colonel (to Sandra): Come on, let's go. He can call a cab.
Geneson (leaping to his feet): Oh, my God, I forgot all about the hospital. Somebody has to go down and identify the body.
Sandra (uneasily): Body? What body?
Geneson: Somebody should recognize that big white scar in the middle of the back.
Sandra (more uneasily): Scar?
Colonel (hastily): Don't believe a word he's-
Geneson (with relish): Yep, shaped about like a diamond-or a star.
Sandra: Oh, my God, Andy.
Colonel (releasing her hand): Andy? Andy!
Sandra: What happened to him?
Geneson (walking over pats her shoulder): Oh, I'm so sorry that you've lost him. It's okay.
Colonel (distancing himself from his wife): Wait! Sandra, what do you know about this "Andy"?
Geneson (mocking the Colonel): You unfeeling brute. How can you ignore her obvious pain.
Colonel (throwing a long punch that knocks Geneson to the floor): Sandra, talk to me.
Sandra (sitting up): There's not so much to tell.
Colonel (angrily): Then tell me all of it.
Sandra (walking towards the curtain): Well, it all started at that officers' party at our house, seven months ago.
(The curtain draws to show couples dancing. The Colonel is dancing with an unidentified woman. Several others are congregating near the punch bowl. Lieutenant Deliasson is standing by himself, looking rather lonely. The Colonel's wife finally gathers the courage to say something to him.)
Sandra: Hello, I'm Sandra Adamson. I've seen you on the Base before. What's your name.
Andy: My name is Lieutenant Aram Mathies Deliasson.
Sandra: That doesn't exactly trip off the tongue. Don't you have something a little shorter.
Andy: No Ma'm.
Sandra: They never called you "Andy"?
Andy (smiling): "Andy"? I like that. It has a sweet sound, something that only a beautiful woman would think of.
Sandra (blushing slightly): Thank-you. What do you do for the Air Force?
Andy: I can't talk about it. Let's just say that it has to do with gathering and using information.
Sandra: Okay. Where are from?
Andy (holding up fingers): Well, about five states and seven or eight countries.
Sandra: That's interesting. Which one is home?
Andy: Which one do you think I should come from?
Sandra: Give me some choices.
Andy (hesitating): I'd better not.
Sandra: Are you always this "open" with people?
Andy: For me, this is talking up a storm. That's why (he indicates his drink), I don't usually drink. This music's getting to me. You want to step outside for a minute.
Sandra (warily): I don't usally step outside with strange men. And my husband-
Andy (shaking his head): -won't notice.
(Sandra and Andy walk off the stage. The house lights on stage dim, and there's a pattern of stars overhead. A soft light plays on the two.)
Sandra: It's dead out here tonight. Not a star in the sky.
Andy: There's lots of stars. It's just they're hiding behind those clouds. You have to look carefully, sometimes, to see things. You know, I bet there's a star up there for everyone in the world.
Sandra: What's the name of your star?
Andy: I don't know. How 'bout my naming it, "Sandra"?
Sandra (chuckling): You better be careful. You only get one star to name. My husband's star might be named after me.
Andy: I've studied him a bit. If he has a star, it's almost certainly named "The Colonel."
Sandra: Well, I've got to get back inside.
Andy: No, you don't. No one will ever notice, you or me. There's nothing more important at this moment than you and me and the stars.
Colonel (from stage right): Sandra.
Sandra: It's been so long since anyone said anything like that to me.
Andy: Someone ignoring you would almost be evil.
Sandra: There's more to you than secrets.
Andy: There's far more to anyone than most people suspect. As for secrets, there can be only secret between us (they turn slowly and kiss).
Colonel (screaming and jumping): SANDRA!!
Sandra (runs back across to stage left): I didn't do anything but talk, I swear it. All we ever did was...
Geneson (rubbing his chin): "Swear not by the moon, for the moon is fickle. Swear by the stars." Juliet said that.
Sandra: You, you (she starts towards Geneson), you know where Andy is...
Geneson (cynically jovial): I admit it. I stole the line from Shakespeare. Juliet was, after all, only his puppet. Now (he gets up), it's time for me to leave. I have a plane to catch. Work, you know.
Colonel (lowering his head into his hands): Oh God. Sandra, we have to talk. Listen to me.
Sandra: Andy talked to me like I was a human, like I was important. He was human, and YOU (she approaches Geneson), I think you killed him. I could kill YOU.
Geneson (sighing): No, (conclusively) no you couldn't. Now can we all just get in the car and go. Maybe I should call that cab.
Colonel (swallowing): Sandara, please, Sandra.
Sandra (looking up suddenly as though she's figured something out): Who are you? Why are you doing this! This is as bad as mur-
Geneson (yawning): Obviously, you two have a lot to talk about. Talk all you want on the way back from the plane. I'm done talking for the day. (He looks at the Colonel) I've done THE JOB, again, or I will be finished in a second, and Colonel, like I said before, I'm leaving YOU to take care of the matter. Rita (he sighs into the phone) can I get one more ICED COFFEE for the road.
Colonel (looking up): Wait a second. "Iced coffee"? Isn't that what some Japanese use a hangover remedy?
Geneson (taking off his glasses): How should I know? I'm not Japanese. I've only been here on one other assignment.
Sandra (looking frightened): And Andy, Andy..Andy, isn't dead, is he? Is he?
Colonel: He said "I could be from anywhere. I've been many places." Oh, the liar!
Sandra: Oh God, please help me (as she says that the Colonel slowly moves next to her), I don't want to see.
Colonel: "Anyone can betray anyone." "He's guilty. He's guilty." "You've sold love, the most powerful drug of all."
Sandra (looking off into nothingness): Gerald, where are you? The stars. The stars.
Colonel: Sandra (they suddenly hug and hold one another as if in mutual terror)!
` Sandra (her voice dying): Andy...
Geneson (sipping slowly from the glass and wiping his forehead): I've heard enough about this "Andy." Yeah, you could say he's dead. He's certainly guilty enough to be dead. Human? Perhaps. But I'm done talking about him. I want to finish my iced coffee, I want to get on that plane (getting more emotional with each phrase), and I want a new assignment! After all (long pause), there's a war going on.
******************************************************** XIV. THE RAPMAN'S RETURN (or Return of the Dread I) **************************************************************
Rapman: #1 crimefighter and poet
Chairman Chunk: head of the People's Republic of Wimpistan
Won Dum Fool: the guard at the prison
Commandant Clunk: jailor of the Rapman
Cardman: an important assistance to translating Wimpistani
Dr. Mindbender: a noted psychological expert
Dr. Whack: Dr. Mindbender's helpful asistance
Announcer: the voice of sanity in a crazy, mixed-up world
Presley Elvis: ahunk, ahunk of burned out love
Chief Gorftin: the always reasonable regular policeman
Commisioner: the city's chief crime fighter
Ernie Shiftless: a Western wastrel with a truck problem
Modonut: a rather portly sex symbol
Son of Rapman: a seedling from a tree of justice
Man in the Audience: a spectator with a problem
Rockin': a voice of hippie wisdom
Scene: It is a rather dismal looking room with just two chairs and men in dull grey uniforms. They sit studying piles of files at a table.
Announcer: The sun had sunk peacefully into the west. Understanding, like a blanket, descended upon Gotham City with the warmth of night. (Suddenly stops). Alright, alright, it's yet another stressful day in Gotham City, but Rapman is far away in the Prison of No Escape in the city of Onemall, in the southern part of the northern southeastern country of the People's Republic of Wimpistan.
Won Dum Fool(stupidly): aha huyoa wako wako wotombi. (As he speaks, Cardman comes out with a stack of cards. He picks up a card and shows is to the audience saying "Why do we have to keep this prisoner?")
Commandant Clunk: O hyo, hyo, silver, don mess e tus with the resitus. (The Cardman holds up a card saying: "You know how it is; the 'Party' always has some long-term goal.")
Won Dum Fool: Hoo so wacko wacko on da backo. (The card says: "Why can't they listen to this fool's lines all day then.")
Commandant Clunk: Oh mayo sigho who Ohio don cryo. (As he says this, the man with the cards fumbles and drops one on the floor. As he stoops to pick it up, the two continue speaking.
Won Dum Fool: No wapo sapo lopi sign upo. (As he says this the man holds up a card saying: "I want to go to the cell and beat on him." Wait, (to Cardman) that's not what my line means. You're one card off.
Cardman (standing up and throwing the cards): Hey? They're not even paying me Union scale here. You can show your own cards (he walks off stage).
Commandant Clunk (points to the Cardman): It's hard to find to find good help these days. Now (he looks back at Won Dum Fool), what were you saying Comrade Won Dum Fool?
Won Dum Fool: I'll be glad when we get rid of this prisoner and those two doctors. (Suddenly both men rise as Chairman Chunk enters the room. He wears a uniform also and a Castro-style beard. Behind him walks a man with a big sign bearing the Chairman's smiling likeness and the words "Chairman Chunk.")
Commandant and Won Dum Fool (clicking their boots twice, bowing twice, and then coughing twice): Hail Chairman Chunk!
Chairman Clunk: (smiling, obviously pleased): Where is the prisoner taken from the lackey imperial pigeonry of Japan?
Won Dom Ful (rising and running off): I'll get him.
Commandant: I'm certainly honored by your visit, your Supreme Social Explicatorness, and I'd be even more more honored to execute this very annoying man.
Chairman Clunk (laughing): That's why, Commandant, you will always remain only a mere jailkeeper and never rise to be Chairman of the Antisocialist Party. Now, have you read my book about thoughts of the West entitled (suddenly pointing like a quizzing teacher): What is the title!
Commandant: Er, eh, (obviously not remembering), your books relate so much to my life that the titles could be the same as my name.
Chairman (beeming snaps his fingers, and a man runs on stage with a copy of a book): This book is entitled Taming the Dogs: Dealing With the Culture of a Decript Western Society or Selling Revolution At a Discout.
Commandant (nodding): It was right on the tip of my tongue!
Chairman: Page 1. "In order to tame the dogs, you must understand their culture and use it against them, like making a dog use its own leg as a dinner bone."
Commandant: Brilliant, Chairman, brilliant. (As he says that, Won Dum Fool brings the prisoner in. It is Rapman in his usual sunglasses and cape with, only with handcuffs around his wrists and an iron collar).
Chairman (pointing): Observe this exhausted remnant of a culture built on old materialistic ideas of right and wrong. Ha!
Rapman: You've committed lots of crimes, skynapping for a start, But worse than that you left the Raplane doubleparked. You think that you can hold me in a rat-infested jail. Well, I'm gonna escape, and then I'm gonna wail. Cause I'm Rapman...
Won Dum Fool(putting a gag over Rapman's mouth): It's been like this for three weeks. Please let us execute him, (falling to his knees), please!
Chairman: Oh no. This musical materialistic moron is going to tell us all about the Gotham City Music awards.
Rapman(the gag falls from his mouth): Well I give my information by Geneva convention. My name is "Rapman" that goes without mention. My cereal number's "Product 19," you lousy scum, And you'd better watch out cause my rank's "number 1!" Cause I'm Rapman (the Commandant and Won Dum wrestle to put the gag over his mouth).
Chairman: He'll be rapping a different rhyme when we're done with him. (He says to his henchman). Bring in Dr. Mindbender.
Mindbender: (He's wearing a long lab coat as his assistant. Both have white hair and scowling faces. Mindbender is wearing a stethoscope around his neck. He stops and looks at Won Dum Fool): Tell me about your mother.
Chairman: Doctor? (Dr. Whack hits Dr. Mindbender)
Dr. Mindbender. Ya? Ya? Vat do you want? I'm in a hurry. My rats are almost finished.
Commandant (curiously): Are they running a maze?
Dr. Mindbender. No they're recording data. I'm running the maze. (He makes jogging motions until Dr. Whack hits him). Vank-yu, Doctor Wvack.
Chairman: Have you studied the prisoner (he points).
Dr. Mindbender (crossing over to stand next to Rapman, he holds the stethoscope to Rapman's glasses): It is a classic case of conflict in ....
Dr. Mindbender and Whack together (slowly): The Reactive Mind.
Won Dum Ful: What does that mean?
Dr. Mindbender (moving as he explains): Zomewhere deep in hiz id dere iz a message zaying "Pu Pu." Then in his ego there is another message saying "Pa Pa." Finally, in his superego there is another message saying "Ha Ha." So you get "Pu Pu Pa Pa Ha Ha." (He repeats and starts going faster). Poo Poo Paa Pa pa Ha Ha.....(Finally Dr. Whack hits him.) A problem as I said before in his..
Dr. Mindbender and Whack together: reactive mind....
Dr. Mindbender: A classical example of ze Rodipus Complex.
Commandant: You mean the Oedipus Complex.
Dr. Mindbender (to Commandant): Do you often feel the need to correct others? Tell me about your childhood.
Chairman: Will the brainwasher work on him?
Rapman (suddenly struggling free): You can try to wash my brain, even set it out to dry, But you can never beat me; I'm gonna tell you why. My lines are stronger than torture, inspiration to the free, The end product of a rap and roll democracy. Cause I'm Rapm.....
Dr. Mindbender (considering): Let me do a scientific study. (He flips an imaginary coin in the air and slaps it). Ya it will work.
(Dr. Whack and Won Dum Ful put Rapman inside the chamber. After the two men are inside the chamber, you hear sounds of coming from both of them. Rap lines mix with karate calls and screams as the cardboard, shower-sized brainwash chamber rocks back and forth).
Chairman: A week from now Rapman will win the award for Best Male Rap Vocalist, and then he'll tell everyone to buy my records. In a month, they'll be ready for my Antisocialist Party! (Behind him, you hear flushing sounds).
Dr. Mindbender's Voice: Jes zinging in za rain, jus zinging in the rain...
Chairman: Men, take out this month's edition of my official party magazine and turn to p. 15 (They take out magazines with the title of Redbook.) Let's do those "Running Dog Capitalistic Blues!" (The henchmen bow ceremoniously).
Won Dum: American horns are always honking, Everyone wants the biggest piece, People talk so loud and rudely,
Chairman Chunk: What you needs a secret police.
Commandant: The skirts are rising, falling, Western clothes don't cover forms, You all need some way of matching
What's you need are uniforms.
Chunk and henchmen: Hey, hey, It's time for you to choose. Go to the record store, Buy Chairman Chunk's Indoctrination Blues.
Dr. Mindbender (emerging from the chamber with Rapman on a leash): aaaaah that felt good. Towel? (Dr. Whack hands him a towel).
Commandant: Was the brainwash a success?
Won Dum Ful (to Rapman): Speak, boy, speak!
Rapman: Well I got a little message that's stronger than beer, I want to tell you all the Revolution is here. If you wanna invest, well you gotta pay your dues, Go to the record store, Buy Chairman Chunk's Indoctrination Blues. Chairman Chunk(continuing) Yes, first they buy the records. Then they buy our revolution. One more time! Won Dum:
People have to choose their mouthwash, Pick their soap out for themselves, You can eliminate the tension-
Put only one brand on the shelves.
Western music's all gone crazy, With rap, new wave, and funk. Just listen to this song now,
Indoctrinate yourself with Chairman Chunk.
All, (including Rapman, locking arms): Hey, hey, It's time for you to choose. Go to the record store, Buy Chairman Chunk Indoctrinates the Blues.
Scene Two: Announcer: Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, crime and crimefighting went on more or less as usual. Chief Gorftin and the Commisioner were standing backstage at the Gotham City annual music awards.
Chief: I do hope Rapman will be back from Japan for tonight's show.
Commisioner: Are you sure he's going to win Best Male Rap Vocalist.
Both (pausing): No-doubt-about it!
Chief (pointing): Rockin'! What happened?
Rockin'(pushing a chair with the Rapmobile sign on stage): Huh Huh. Ran out of gas dudes. Shoulda stopped for burritos.(He falls down, exhausted, into the chair).
Son of Rapman (entering the stage with handcuffs around the arms of a guy dressed in a cowboy suit with hat):
Cause I'm Rapman's child and I'm on prowl, To find the find the criminals and to make them crawl, I'll make the big city a nice-to-live-in place. And keep the cockroaches out of everyone's face.
Commisioner: He's captured Ernie Shiftless.
Chief (to Ernie): What have you got to say for yourself!
Ernie Shiftless: I've tried so hard to stay within the law, I can explain the things I've done, When I've got my sixgun in my hand, It's not just there for having fun: My life's troubles driven me to crime, I've got a find a way to change my luck. I'll take the risk for money every time, 'Cause I need to fix my pick-up truck.
Chief: Ha! A likely story.
Commisioner (to Son of Rapman): How did you (he slaps his hand over his face as though afraid of the answer):
Son of Rapman: Well I wrestled him down like a steer on the run, I hogtied him, and I took away his gun. After the show you can nail this lame cowpoke, So he doesn't truck around and rob other folk. Cause I'm Rapman's child......
Chief (interrupting): Hey, the show is about to begin. I want to see it.
Everybody not on stage: Shsssssss.
Chief: There she is. She's so sexy. There she is....
Chief and Commisioner: Madonut!
Madonut (comes in from off stage. She's short and fat):