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TELETHON (PART 1, HALLOWEEN)
by Kristin Newbom
Kristinís plays include TELETHON (Trinity Rep/Brown University New Play Festival 2004 and JAW/West-Portland Center Stage 2006), OUR SERIAL REMAINS (Trinity Rep/Brown University New Play Festival 2004 and 2005), EDUCATED FLEAS (commissioned by New City Theatre), HAPPY? (commissioned and produced by Consolidated Works), SAKES ALIVE (produced by The Compound), BLUESTORY (commissioned by A Contemporary Theater, New Play Reading Series, Seattle), THE PIRATE PLAY (commissioned and produced by Youth Theater Northwest), and SUBROSA (commissioned and produced by Alice B. Theater). Before attending Brown University (MFA playwriting 2005), Kristin was Co-founder and Co-artistic director of The Compound, Seattleís experimental performance group. Her film credits include the screenplay adaptation of HEDDA a feature length film which debuted at Seattle International Film Festival 2004, LOVE DOLL and WEDNESDAY, HANK a feature length documentary, and currently in post-production. Kristin has also directed many plays including; THE INCUBUS ARCHIVES, by W. David Hancock at The Playwrights Centerís Hot House New Play Festival, EURYDICE and THE CLEAN HOUSE, by Sarah Ruhl at The Seattle Repís Hot Type New Play Festival, and The Womenís New Play Festival, and FEFU AND HER FRIENDS by Maria Irene Fornes at Cornish College of the Arts.

For production rights, please contact the author at [email protected]


Production notes:

The set is one or two formica covered tables, three uniform chairs and a payphone. On the table, a silver napkin dispenser. Behind and above is a projection screen, on which a Dunkin Donut menu is projected. The lighting is semi-fluorescent. The costumes look cheap, thrown together, second hand. The wheelchairs and crutches are functional. The goldfish, piles of cash and coins are real.


1. HALLOWEEN

SETTING:

FIVE PEOPLE AT A TABLE IN DUNKIN DONUTS. THEY ARE WEARING HALLOWEEN COSTUMES.

IT IS DUSK.

CHARACTERS:

ScottWerewolf costume
AnnPirate costume
JerryClown costume, on crutches
ShellySkeleton costume, in a manual wheelchair
GaryFairy princess costume, in a motorized wheelchair, with a computer


THE NAPKINS IN THE DISPENSER HAVE A SPECIAL HOLIDAY JACK-O-LANTERN DESIGN. SCOTT DUMPS OUT PILES OF MONEY FROM LARGE JACK-O-LANTERN TRICK OR TREAT BUCKETS.

Jerry: My balls itch.

Shelly: Iím hungry.

Scott: Itís too bright in here.

Ann: Whereís my purse?

Shelly: I love Todd. Iím going to marry him.

Jerry: We know. You said.

ANN DUMPS OUT ANOTHER PILE ON THE TABLE.

SHELLY UNWRAPS HER BLOW POP.
SHE HAS IT IN HER MOUTH THROUGHOUT THE SCENE.

Scott: Whereís the rest?

Ann: Garyís bag.

THROUGHOUT THE SCENE SCOTT AND ANN SORT THE PILES OF CASH.

Shelly: (SUCKING HER BLOW POP) I gave Todd a Blow Pop.

Ann: Hand me the rubber bands.

Scott: How do you stack? Fifties or hundredís?

Ann: Fifties.

Scott: I need coffee. Get me a coffee?

Ann: Cream and sugar?

Scott: Just sugar.

SCOTT TAKES A BILL FROM THE PILE OF CASH ON THE TABLE AND GIVES IT HER.

ANN LEAVES TO GET COFFEE.

Jerry: I want coffee.

Scott: You canít have coffee.

Jerry: Why?

Scott: Itíll give you a seizure. I canít do seizure tonight.

Shelly: That napkinís spooky. Iím scared.

Jerry: Itís Halloween. Itís decorations.

Shelly: Linda says it's Satan.

Scott: Linda needs to take a lude.

Jerry: I like the cider. Get me more cider.

Scott: Youíre putting sugar in it. Donít dump the sugar in it.

Shelly: I love Todd. He gave me this. Wanna see?

SHELLY SHOWS SCOTT HER BATTERED GOLDEN BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA

Scott: Yeah, you showed us.

Shelly: (TO JERRY) Itís like a dictionary.

Jerry: Yeah, we know. You showed us.

Shelly: Itís full of meanings.

Scott: Definitions.

Shelly: What?

Jerry: Def-i-ni-tions. Theyíre called definitions stupid. Here, give me the book.

Shelly: Why?

Jerry: I want to look up something.

JERRY GRABS IT AWAY FROM HER.

Shelly: Donít wreck it. Itís Volume 7.

HE FLIPS THROUGH THE BOOK, SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING.

Jerry: Hey look Shelly, hereís your picture -right here under DEFINITION OF RETARD. How Ďbout that?

Shelly: Youíre the retard. It doesnít have the Rís. Itís volume 7. Ghost to Houston. Youíre the retard.

SHELLY GRABS IT BACK JUST AS ANN RETURNS WITH THE COFFEE.
ANN HANDS SCOTT HIS CUP.

Ann: Hereís your coffee. Iím cold.

Scott: Youíre cold a lot.

Ann: I wanna take a bubble bath.

Jerry: She likes the hydroflatus.

Scott: The what?

Jerry: Farting underwater. The bubbles can be ignited at the surface, like gas. You ever try that?

Ann: Youíre sick. This neighborhood sucks. We gotta hit the good one.

Scott: Where?

Ann: Up on the hill.

Scott: By the Falls?

Ann: Thatís the place to go.

Ann: Iím cold.

Scott: Whyíd you wear that then?

Ann: You donít like it?

Jerry: I think itís sexy.

Scott: Iím just saying you shouldnít complain if thatís what youíre wearing.

Shelly: Iím hungry.

Ann: Eat your doughnut.

Shelly: I canít taste it. Itís airy.

Jerry: Youíre airy.

Shelly: Iím a skeleton. Boo.

Jerry: Oh Shelly, youíre terrifying.

Shelly: I like crafts. (TO SCOTT) Do you like crafts?

Jerry: Crafts suck.

Shelly: I like crafts. Iím learning crafts at the center.

Jerry: You just like to eat the paste. No wonder youíre such a tard.

Shelly: Iím not a tard.

Jerry: You eat paste. Youíre a tard.

Gary: Aaahm hammasecccuaahhl.

Jerry: (TO SCOTT) He says heís gay.

Scott: Yeah. Got it.

Jerry: (TO SCOTT) Shelly eats paste.

Shelly: Iím hungry.

Scott: Hey Gary, do you suck cock?

Ann: Donít get into that.

Gary: Aaahhm hammasecccuaahhl-

Scott: Well, how can he say heís gay if he hasnít even sucked cock.

Jerry: I suck cock.

Scott: You do not. Shut up. Hereís your straw Gary.

GARY DRINKS HIS JUICE WITH A STRAW. SCOTT HOLDS HIS CUP.

Shelly: I love Todd. He gave me this.

SHOWS ANN HER BOOK.

Ann: Toddís a freak.

Shelly: Heís not a freak.

Ann: He lives with his mom.

Shelly: So?

Ann: Heís 40 years old.

Shelly: So.

Ann: He doesnít have a job.

Shelly: Yes he does.

Ann: What.

Shelly: He does the puppet show.

Ann: He doesnít do the puppet show- he takes tickets for the puppet show.

Shelly: He sets up the chairs.

Jerry: Big deal.

Shelly: He counts the money.

Ann: But he doesnít do the show. Heís a freak.

Shelly: Iím going to marry him.

Scott: Doesnít he hang out at the dump all the time?

Shelly: Thatís where he found this. Wanna see?

SHOWS SCOTT HER BOOK.

Scott: We saw.

Shelly: His mom is pretty.

Jerry: Yeah sheís a babe. Iíd bone her.

Ann: Sheís 62!

Jerry: So. Sheís still a babe.

Ann: Youíre sick.

Scott: Are you jealous?

Ann: Of a grandma? Yeah, right.

Jerry: What do you get when you eat out a senior citizen?

Scott: What?

Jerry: Depends.

Ann: Gross.

Shelly: Depends on what? I donít get it.

Ann: What house did you work in before this?

Scott: First Greenwood, then the Aurora house, then Hedgewood.

Ann: Is that the one with whatís his name-that Charlie guy?

Scott: You mean Chuck? Yeah. It was pretty skanky.

Jerry: Ours is better.

Scott: Chuck has those sores you gotta dress every day. Oozy shit makes me queasy.

Ann: You wear the gloves though.

Scott: Yeah, but still. I always had the morning shift-so itís getting them up and doing the showers and wiping the ass.

Ann: I hate the ass wiping. Itís burning me out.

Jerry: I have a sweet ass.

Ann: You love your ass-you got an unnatural affection for your own ass.

Jerry: Itís sweet. And my poop is clean. I eat the roughage.

Ann: Yeah, Iíll give you that. It is clean. He has clean poop.

Jerry: And I can hold my own dick.

Scott: Weíre happy for you Jerry.

Ann: You hear about Walter?

Scott: Walter the team leader?

Ann: Yeah.

Scott: What about him?

Ann: He stepped down.

Scott: When?

Ann: Last week.

Scott: But he was the one who started the whole spud independence thing. He really quit?

Ann: Yep.

Scott: But he was so into the idea. He wrote the doctrine. He was like the Thomas Jefferson for spud independence.

Ann: Yeah, I know. He was really passionate about it.

Scott: What happened? Something must have happened-he couldnít have just quit. I mean it was all just starting to take root.

Ann: Now he drives the river trolley.

Scott: He drives the river trolley?

Ann: Dings the bell and everything.

Scott: Thatís whacked. Damn. So whoís taking his place?

Ann: Cindy.

Scott: Cindy? No way.

Ann: Yup.

Scott: Ah man, sheís a freak. She hates me.

Ann: Weíre supposed to have a house meeting next week. She wants to make a few changes in ďpolicyĒ.

Scott: Weíre fucked.

Shelly: Sheís Seventh Day.

Scott: Is that what Gary is?

Gary: Aaahhm hammasecccuaahhl.

Jerry: No, heís Jehovah.

Scott: (TO GARY) You tell them yet? About being a fag?

Shelly: He canít tell them.

Scott: (TO GARY) What are they gonna do, kick you out of the church? So what. You hate it anyway.

Shelly: He canít tell them.

Ann: Itís his mother. Heís afraid of his mother.

Scott: Sheís big in the church?

Shelly: Donít talk about his mother.

Ann: (TO JERRY) He got another package didnít he?

Jerry: Donít talk about the package, heíll seize.

Ann: Itís those tapes. You hear them?

Jerry: Some. They freak me out.

Ann: (TO SCOTT) They speak in tongues.

Scott: (TO GARY) They teach you that?

Shelly: He can do it. I heard him.

Jerry: Youíre not supposed to listen.

Shelly: The door was open.

Scott: Jehovahís the ones that started in Ohio with the old guy that saw the angel in his back yard? Whatís his name, John something?

Ann: No, thatís the Mormons. His name was Joseph Smith and he was a farm boy in upstate New York and he was like 14 or something when the angel came and gave him a golden plate with like the new commandments or something. And he had a bunch of wives.

Scott: He believed in polygamy?

Shelly: Whatís polygamy?

Ann: Multiple wives.

Jerry: Thatís my kind of prophet.

Ann: He was lynched.

Shelly: Are the Mormons the ones that ate each other on the mountain?

Ann: I forget. But they ended up in Utah. You ever been to Utah?

Scott: No.

Ann: I went there for a wedding once.

Jerry: You go to the Tabernacle?

Ann: That place is scary. Bunch of in-breds. And they got that inner sanctum thing. I dated a Mormon guy in high school.

Scott: No way. With the short sleeve shirt and tie and shit?

Ann: His family was Mormon. He was kind of a skate punk.

Shelly: Iím a vegan.

Jerry: We know.

Shelly: Toddís not. But Iím gonna marry him anyway.

Ann: We know.

Scott: You ever bone him?

Ann: Who? Todd? Gross.

Shelly: She doesnít love Todd. I love Todd.

Scott: No, the Mormon guy in high school.

Ann: No. But we did everything else. Took me to one of those Mormon dances, except I didnít know you had to dress a certain way- I wore this really sexy spaghetti strap little dress and when we got there the elders made me change.

Shelly: Whatís an elder?

Jerry: The grown ups stupid.

Scott: Change into what?

Ann: It was awful. It was this long sleeve Gunnysack thing.

Scott: Gunnysack?

Ann: Yeah, you know, with the high lace collar and ribbons. It was pastel.

Scott: You must of freaked.

Ann: Yeah, Evan-that was the guy I dated- he felt really bad for me-so later we snuck out and went to the lake and smoked weed and he went down on me. Under the gunnysack dress. We were late getting home and his dad grounded him for like a month. It was harsh. But he was really good at it. Know what I mean?

Scott: His family hated you.

Ann: What do you mean?

Scott: Some people, they think theyíre so much better than you. They think they know how you should feel, how you should act. What the hell do they know? Iím so sick of their shit. I just want to pound them, fucking rip them apart!

SILENCE.
SCOTT RESUMES COUNTING AND SORTING THE CASH.

Jerry: I got a new fish. Wanna see?

JERRY HOLDS UP HIS PLASTIC CONTAINER.

Jerry: Itís a Piranha. It eats flesh.

Shelly: Thatís not a Piranha.

Jerry: Yes it is.

Scott: Itís a Gold fish.

Jerry: I got it in Haiti.

Shelly: You didnít go to Hades, shut up.

Jerry: I was born there.

Shelly: Shut up, you were not.

Jerry: (TO SCOTT) She really annoys me.

Shelly: Iím not death Jerry, I can hear you.

Jerry: Death? You are so retarded. Itís deaf stupid.

Shelly: Youíre gonna be sorry.

Jerry: I am sorry. Sorry I ever met you.

Shelly: Todd Ďs gonna beat you up.

Jerry: Toddís not gonna beat me up.

Shelly: Yes he is.

Jerry: Todd canít even beat off.

Shelly: Youíre gonna be sorry.

Ann: Would you cut it out?

Scott: I canít concentrate with all your bullshit.

Shelly: Yeah, cut it out.

Jerry: She really annoys me!

Ann: Settle down, youíre gonna spill your fish.

Scott: You better chill man or weíll take it away.

Jerry: Fuck you! You canít take it.

Scott: All right. Hand it over.

Jerry: You canít take my fish! Itís mine!

Scott: Címon, give it up man. You know the rules.

Jerry: She started it!

Shelly: I did not.

Scott: Can you keep a lid on?

Jerry: It canít have a lid- it has to breath!

Scott: I mean on you. You keep it contained and you can keep it. Thatís the deal.

Jerry: The deal stinks.


SILENCE


Shelly: (TO SCOTT) You smell nice.

Scott: Thanks.

Shelly: Do you wear perfume?

Scott: Cologne.

Shelly: My mom wore perfume. She smelled nice. She died. I miss her. She took care of me. She brushed my hair. My dad couldnít take care of me. Heís sad now. He calls sometimes. He said he was sorry that that guy raped me. I made him a valentines card with heart doilies. He liked it.

Ann: I hate Valentines Day.

Shelly: He still has his dog. A poodle. He takes it to the groomer and gets ribbons in her hair. Itís old and itís going blind but he still keeps it.

Scott: I hate poodles. They yip. Fucking annoy me. I like Labs. Theyíre loyal.

Shelly: Toddís loyal.

Scott: I had a Lab.

Ann: (TO SCOTT) What kind?

Scott: Chocolate. She died.

Shelly: Iím hungry.

Ann: How?

Scott: I ran her over in my pick-up.

Ann: On purpose?

Scott: I was backing out of the driveway. I didnít see her.

Ann: Harsh.

Scott: It was on Thanksgiving. The vet was closed.

Ann: She didnít die right away?

Scott: No. She was bleeding internally. It takes a while. The organs kinda shut down one by one. It takes a while.

Jerry: Why didnít you just shoot her?

Scott: Itís against the law. It has to be by injection and you have to go to the vet.

Jerry: Even on a holiday?

Ann: But what if you canít afford it?

Scott: Then youíre screwed.

Ann: How much does it cost?

Scott: What?

Jerry: To kill a dog.

Scott: I donít know. A lot.

Scott: Will you hand me that stack there?

Ann: Which? This?

SHE HANDS HIM A STACK OF CASH

Ann: My dadís a Vet.

Jerry: Does he kill dogs?

Ann: No. Vietnam.

Scott: He get fucked up?

Jerry: I went to Nam.

Shelly: No you didnít. Shut up.

Jerry: I got the Agent Orange. Thatís how I got this way.

Shelly: No you didnít. He was born like this. Shut up.

Scott: What did he do?

Ann: Who? Jerry?

Scott: Your dad.

Ann: He was a colonel.

Jerry: He ever kill anyone?

Ann: No. He gave orders.

Scott: Whatís he do now?

Ann: Heís retired. He plays with dolls. He lives with my twin sister. We donít speak.

Scott: Why?

Ann: Sheís a bitch.


ANN RESUMES COUNTING AND SORTING THE CASH.


Ann: You ever get an urge?

Scott: What kind of urge?

Ann: To, you know, just, like, do something crazy.

Jerry: I have an urge.

Shelly: Can I have an urge? I want an urge.

Ann: Like, right now, if I had a dick, Iíd take it out and wag it around. Iíd wag it around and speak through it. It could have a little speaker so it would be amplified- It would say, ďGive me a glazed doughnut or Iíll shootĒ If I had a dick, thatís what Iíd do.

Jerry: You can have mine. It sings.

Shelly: Toddís does tricks.

Jerry: I think we should go to Haiti. I know a guy there. They do voodoo in Haiti. I like that.

Ann: You donít want to mess with that voodoo shit, itís serious.

Scott: How do you know?

Ann: Cuz Iíve been there. Itís serious man. You ever hear of the walking dead?

Gary: Aaahhm hammasecccuaahhl.

Jerry: No, but I live with the rolling dead.

Scott: Jerry, you are so hilarious man. God, you just fucking bust my gut.

Jerry: What can I say. I got the touch.

Scott: Yes my man, you are definitely touched. (TO ANN) When did you go to Haiti?

Ann: I was an exchange student. I wanted to go to Norway but I signed up too late.

Scott: My grandfather was Norwegian. Came over on the boat.

Ann: He fish?

Scott: He was a lumberjack. Crazy bastard.

Ann: He drink?

Scott: Hell yeah. They go up there in the woods and rot their brains on potato alcohol.

Ann: That shit is gnarly.

Jerry: You like the hooch?

Ann: Used to. Not anymore.

Jerry: You a friend of Bill W.?

Ann: Yeah.

Shelly: Todd knows Bill. He drives the van on Mondayís.

Jerry: You get the key chain?

Ann: Lighter.

Scott: You believe in that shit?

Shelly: Believe?

Ann: What?

Scott: Seems like a bunch of bullshit to me. I mean who wants to sit around drinking coffee and eating donuts with a bunch of loser drunks and talk about not getting drunk?

Jerry: I donít buy it.

Scott: I mean, thatís the last thing I would want to do. I think if you got a problem then itís your deal, not anyone elseís. Work it out yourself buddy. Itís nobodyís business but your own.

Jerry: Yeah, mind your own business man.

Ann: Itís a process.

Scott: What is there to process? Look, if you got a problem, if you canít do something- then you stop doing it. If youíre fat, you stop eating. If youíre a drunk, you stop drinking. Simple. Why the fuck do you have to drag it out? Itís fucking will power. Doesnít anyone believe in will power?

Shelly: Will powder?

Jerry: Ashes to ashes dust to dust.

Shelly: Pixie dust. (CLAPPING) I believe.

Gary: Aaah naeeed maahh bbahhg-

Jerry: He needs his bag changed.

Scott: Already?

Jerry: Itís full.

Scott: Fuck. Youíre drinking too much. I told you to take it easy man.

Ann: You want me to change it?

Scott: No, Iíll do it. You pack the gloves?

Ann: Side pocket.

Scott: Come on Dairy Queen. Letís go drain the fag bag.

SCOTT GETS UP.

Ann: Do you need a key?

GARY PUSHES THE LEVER ON HIS MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR.
THE WHEELS JUST SPIN IN PLACE.

Scott: You got your brakes on- unlock his brakes would ya?

ANN UNLOCKS HIS BRAKES.

Ann: There.

Scott: Come on.

THEY GO
ANN SMILES AFTER THEM.
SILENCE.

Jerry: You smile too much. Ann: What? I canít smile?

Shelly: She has nice teeth. Are they real?

Jerry: Youíre nervous.

Ann: Nervous about what? Shut up.

Shelly: Yeah, shut up.

Jerry: Iím telepathic.

Shelly: Youíre tele-tarted.

Ann: You need your meds.

Jerry: I can read your mind.

Ann: Oh yeah? Read this.

SHE POINTS TO HER FOREHEAD USING HER MIDDLE FINGER.

Shelly: What did it say?

Jerry: You like him donít you?

Ann: Who?

Jerry: Scott.

Shelly: Yeah, I like him. He seems okay. Do you like him?

Shelly: I like Todd.

Jerry: You like him like him.

Ann: What are you talking about?

Jerry: Youíre in love with him.

Shelly: Are you gonna marry him?

Ann: Would you cut it out. Youíre giving me a headache.

Jerry: Heís your type.

Ann: What type?

Jerry: You always go for that type.

Ann: I donít have a type. What do you know?

Jerry: Itíll never work.

Shelly: Todd works.

Jerry: You should just sail on silver girl. Sail on by.

Ann: Are you jealous?

Shelly: Hey, thatís from that song.

Jerry: Simon and Garfunkel. Artís a good friend of mine. We hang.

Shelly: He is not. Shut up.

Ann: I need a cigarette.

Jerry: Smoky treat?

Ann: Smell my feet.

Shelly: Give me something good to eat.

SCOTT COMES BACK, ALONE.

Scott: He seized.

Shelly: Call 911.

Ann: Shit. Where? In the John?

Scott: Yeah.

Ann: Did he hurl?

Scott: I canít do it. I told you-Iím at my limit. I canít do it.

Ann: What made him seize?

Scott: I canít go back in. I canít breath.

Shelly: Call 911.

Ann: Iíll do it. Do I need a key?

Jerry: To the portal?

Scott: What?

Jerry: The key to the portal has been bequeathed to the chosen one.

Shelly: Linda has a key. Sheís my crafts teacher. Sheís a witch.

Ann: Do I need a key to the bathroom?

Scott: My skin hurts. Itís too small. Iím gonna bust open. Iím ripping.

Shelly: I donít bleed. They took it out of me. I donít bleed now.

Scott: Itís burning. Peeling.

Ann: What are you talking about?

Shelly: My eggs.

Ann: What? What are you talking about-what eggs?

Shelly: They took out my eggs. Now I donít bleed. Iím hungry.

Jerry: Iím a vampire.

Shelly: I donít bleed.

Scott: My skin.

Ann: Okay, you guys are freaking me out. Stop it.

Shelly: I need to pee.

Scott: I canít do it. (PUTS HIS HEAD DOWN) I canít breath.

Ann: Can you hold it?

Shelly: I canít hold it.

Ann: Okay, lets go. Unlock your brakes.

Jerry: Iíll go hang with tinker bell.

ANN PUSHES SHELLY TO THE WOMENS ROOM.
JERRY FOLLOWS ON CRUTCHES INTO THE MENS ROOM.
SCOTT REMAINS AT THE TABLE, HIS HEAD DOWN.
BLACK OUT.
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