Dogboys

Editor’s Note

John- 

What the actual fuck? This play is a  hate crime, one in which you’ve made me an accessory. They’re going to shoot us. I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS, BUT YOU CAN’T CALL YOURSELF A BLACK TRANS WOMAN. I’m only publishing this garbage because it took 2.5 hours to format it. For fuck’s sake. “I’m Dorf, women like me and want to have sex with me,” nobody cares. If only the three people who read it all the way to the end knew. You think maybe I can get laid in your next play? Also, there is no way to dramatically pause in a text message you dick. I know you didn’t read Ulysses. 

Luke

DOGBOYS

_________

A Play in Two Acts

By

John von Dorf

Cast of Characters:

Narrator
John:     Serious, twenty years old, full of dread and sexual energy
Luke:     Glasses, wild hair, playful, twenty years old
Melissa:     Dead inside, forty years old, metaphorically a puppet
in a wheelchair
Matt:     A journalist who got involved early on, eager
Amy:         The embodiment of sex, happy, ignorant, fleshy

Rodrigo:     An expelled student, something desperate
Mark:     An old friend, more aware than most, tall, a bit awkward
Gunman:     White male
Keeleigh: Tinderella, blonde.

​This mess is a result of eating mechanically separated meats ground into a pulp and repurposed with liquified fat to form pet food, eaten and shat out onto the carpet of a rug bought from Walmart for $17. Dogboys make dogshit.

Scene

An urban place.

Time

The present.

ACT I

Scene one

SETTING:    Two consecutive desks set on stage right, one door stage left.

AT RISE:    LUKE is sitting at the desk on his laptop. JOHN is storming in the door.

JOHN

(ENTER through door. Scratching head. Walking fast. Does not notice LUKE.)

That son of a bitch, that son of a bitch, that son of a bitch, I’ll—

(Nearly walks into LUKE before noticing him)

LUKE

Ted Cruz? Or Tom Brady?

JOHN

(Startled)

You son of a bitch.

LUKE

Hey, Grace Sullivan is a lovely woman.

JOHN

Why the hell did you think it was okay to publish that?

LUKE

(Off in his own world)

Sure, she drinks a bit much, and—

JOHN

What if Rodrigo sees? He’ll off himself.

LUKE

There was that FAMOUS ordeal with the UPS man—

JOHN

Luke!

LUKE

Grace is an angel.

JOHN

You son of a bitch!

LUKE

Look, right, the UPS guy had it coming to him.

JOHN

Take it down, now!

LUKE

Take what down?

JOHN
My alternative lyrics! I’ll dust the cobwebs off of your clown erotica and ship it to Grace, I swear.

LUKE

(Suddenly sarcastically desperate)

Grace hates clowns!

JOHN

(Through his teeth)

Take. It. Down.

LUKE

(Mocking voice)

He’ll off himself, yeah, like that’s a bad thing. We’ll be on the front page of the internet again!

JOHN

We’ll be the most hated black trans women in the nation—

LUKE

(Almost aside.)

Another Buzzfeed article, another VICE interview—

JOHN

They’ll scour our works for every time we used the phrase “thin-necked faggot—”

LUKE

We could use the opportunity to publish Impotence in Obscuria

JOHN

—or “second-rate queer.”

LUKE

The fame!

JOHN

(Getting more desperate)

No, you son of a bitch, we’ll be hanged!

LUKE

Hanged or hung? And Grace is an angel.

JOHN

You don’t understand the gravity of our situation!

LUKE

(Teasing)

That’s because there’s a rope around my neck holding me up.

JOHN

(Checking his phone frantically)

Oh my God, oh my God, my Twitter’s exploding.

LUKE

What? Already? Hey, look up if it’s hanged or hung.

JOHN

(Frantic)

Melissa Parris-Herry just tweeted at me.

LUKE

Fine, I’ll do it.

JOHN

She already wrote an article about us. Said we shamed our university and should be tried for civil crimes.

LUKE

Hanged. We’ll be hanged by our peers for what we’ve done.

JOHN

We? You! My God, our peers aren’t tamed.

LUKE

You wrote it, and you showed me.

JOHN

And you found it in the trash, typed it up, and published it for thirty-thousand and counting to see in under an hour.

LUKE

I love the internet.

(BLACKOUT)

(END OF SCENE)

Scene Two

SETTING:    Twelve mannequins, two rows of six, are placed in a shape like two sides of a cone with the wide opening facing the audience. The mannequins are turned away from the audience. A large mirror, more than ten feet in length, is ready to be wheeled across the stage. A podium with a spotlight on it is centered on the mannequin’s gaze, and a newspaper, headlined “BIGOTS’ BALLS BUSTED,” is attached to the front of the podium. The podium has a microphone and is facing the audience. The mannequins all have cords attached to them on either side that will pull them across stage between each other in rows.

AT RISE:    Stagehands in black wheel the mirror from stage left to right and back, so that the gaze of the mannequins reflects on audience members, juxtaposing the perspective of the podium as well onto them. There’s almost no light on stage besides the spotlight on the podium.

NARRATOR

At this time, audience members are encouraged to take out their phones and turn their backlights on.

(As the mirror moves back and forth, Let it Happen by Tame Impala begins playing. The mannequins rhythmically move side to side, staying in lines with each other and breaking lines, and making waves, building up and breaking down with the song. Lights shift from mannequin to mannequin, from the podium to the empty space in front of the podium, leading the mannequins or following them.)

(On the second time the bridge plays [“All this running around], the entire cast minus JOHN files out, marching out, going backwards then forwards with the synthesizer exploring its own potential variations, sometimes stopping, stalling, and repeating movements. The mirror is still going back and forth and the lights are playing with the case like they did the mannequins until the song slows and the lead synth stops.)

(JOHN appears center stage from the curtain, out of the light, the rest of the cast parts into two groups and leaves both sides of the stage. This is to be coordinated so that it happens right before the “I will not vanish” line starts. When the line starts, spotlight returns to JOHN for the first time he’s been visible, and he’s at the podium. The mannequins start moving rapidly back and forth, the mirror stops at back-center stage, an iPhone on a string is lowered center stage directly in the middle of the mannequins. Boxes of blank printer paper are dropped from above stage, splitting the difference between the center and the stage exits. JOHN scurries stage left to pick them up. The iPhone dangles. JOHN is on his hands and knees, struggling to pick up individual pieces of paper as more are dropped onto him.

(Song is fading, lights are fading, JOHN gives up, on his knees, and reaches out at the iPhone, which is more than twenty feet away.)

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

Scene Three

SETTING:    A coffeeshop. Two chairs and one table with a vase and two daffodils in it, slightly stage right. Another two tables with two chairs each to either flank. One door, stage left. One French press on the table.

AT RISE:    JOHN and AMY are drinking coffee after having morning sex. AMY appears amorous and satiated, almost bubbly. JOHN is stirring his coffee uneasily. Both are seated facing the audience at the table.

JOHN

(perusing the menu, with forced flirtation; almost going through the motions.)

I’d like to give you my French press, if you know what I mean.

AMY

Stop it, you.

JOHN

(Pause.)
What’s on your plate for the day?
(His attention seems to wander.)

AMY

(Looking away as if to think)
Groceries and starting this paper that I’ve been dreading.

JOHN

Dreading, huh?

AMY

It’s on human sexuality.

JOHN

You don’t really dread, though, do you?

AMY

What? I don’t know, it’s just going to take forever and I’m kind
of over it.

JOHN

(Dry and smug)
I’d like to be over you.

AMY

Stop it.

JOHN

(Long pause as JOHN’s attention goes to the door)
Aren’t you going to ask me what I’m thinking about?

AMY

(Excited)
What are you thinking about?

JOHN

Our waitress has a great pair of legs, and Luke might have put the dogs on our scent.

AMY

You pig.

JOHN

Please, I’m a puppy.

AMY

What do you mean he put the dogs on your scent?

JOHN

Everyone will see that he’s a son of a bitch and I’m just a
puppy.

AMY

I don’t know why I even try to talk to you.

JOHN

Because I know how to make you feel good.

AMY

You’re right and I hate it.

JOHN

And you just want to feel good.

AMY

I’m a feeler.

JOHN

And so am I.

AMY

You feel me.

JOHN

And you feel good when I feel you.

AMY

You’re secretly a good boy.

JOHN

(checks phone)
Luke should be stopping by soon.

AMY

I love Luke.

JOHN

You must live under a rock.

AMY

Don’t be mean.

JOHN

You like it when I’m mean.

AMY

Don’t make me leave.

JOHN

Don’t leave, Luke should be stopping by soon.

AMY

Don’t be mean.

JOHN

I can’t be mean, I’m a black trans woman.

AMY

You keep saying that, and you just can’t.

JOHN

I can, though, I’m a black trans woman.

AMY

Alright, I’m going to leave.

JOHN

(affected)

Don’t go, baby girl.

(slides closer to AMY and puts a hand on her neck, squeezing her trap; she looks like she briefly touches ecstasy)
I do like to feel you.

AMY

I don’t want to go anywhere.

JOHN

(losing enthusiasm)
Where the hell is Luke?

(LUKE enters, looking around frantically.)
LUKE!

LUKE

(almost panting)
It’s bad—hi Amy—John, it’s bad.

AMY

Hey Lukey.
(checks phone for a while.)
(LUKE nods his head at her, which she doesn’t see, and pulls a chair from a nearby table and joins them.)

JOHN

I just ignored my phone all morning.

LUKE

I got more than ten death threats on Twitter.

JOHN

It goes down in the DM.

LUKE

Can we publish those? Or do you think that would work?

JOHN

We do what we want, but why would you publish them?

LUKE

To show them the dogs they are.

AMY

(snapping out of her phone trance)
John said you were a son of a bitch, Luke.

LUKE

Yeah, well, John’s a—hold on, Matt’s calling.

JOHN

This is good, get him over here.

LUKE

Matt! Yeah, I know, yeah, let’s talk about it, where are you? Oh, perfect, we’re actually down the street at the coffee shop.

JOHN

He’s at his office?

LUKE

He’s coming by to talk strategy.

AMY

I think I’m going to get out of here while I can.

JOHN

You’ve sympathized with the enemy already.

LUKE

How thick is your neck?

AMY

My neck? What is it with you guys and necks?

JOHN

It’s a dog thing.

LUKE

Puppies get picked up by the scruff of their necks, we get hung from ours.

AMY

Can someone tell me what’s going on?

JOHN

Luke published some alternative lyrics of mine, sung to the tune of “Devil went down to Georgia,” that poke some good-hearted fun at a gay rapist friend of mine.

AMY

(sips and spews coffee)
Wha—whaa—just why?!

LUKE

We’re artists, we can’t be blamed.

(MATT enters)

JOHN

Matt!

MATT

(frantic, sweating, making all except AMY more stressed)

Did either of you read the article?

JOHN

I can’t read.

(LUKE shakes head no)

MATT

(MATT borrows another chair from a nearby table and sits with them.)

(reading from phone)

“Ignorant, bigoted, racist homophobes who have no tolerance for anything, no idea what they’re saying, and too much time.”

LUKE

But what did she say about the lyrics?

MATT

“Disgraceful, shameful, the worst thing to come out of Fake Forest in its history.”

JOHN

She’s just in the first stage of grief—denial. We’ve diagnosed society, and she’s bitter about the results.

MATT

Oh, please, those lyrics were a petty gimmick to get views.

LUKE

Quite clever, you have to admit.

AMY

Can I get a sample of it?

JOHN

Not here, we like this café.

MATT

Have we thought about moving forward?

JOHN

She’s just a bitch—

LUKE

Something about diddles unfolding inside holes, Amy.

MATT

I say we release a statement tonight, but don’t take the lyrics down.

JOHN

She knows nothing about the little dogmen—

AMY

(thinking about it)
That’s not offensive!

LUKE

It gets worse.

MATT

‘The lyrics were a satire, unfortunately misjudged by the masses.’

JOHN

—and their little dogwives in their little doghouses—

LUKE

(reading from phone; frankly)
Rodrigo does cocaine and anally rapes a Christian baseball player.

JOHN

—their little dogchildren and their dog-eat-dog world.

MATT

That is certainly commentary on liberalism and conservatism.

AMY

John, why the hell did you write this?

JOHN

(mispronounced to jew desperate)
It just came to me all at once—a jeu d’esprit.

LUKE

It is genius; society has a history of hating conservative genius.

MATT

I can see why with this.

AMY

I’m leaving.

LUKE

Let’s attack.

(AMY leaves, confused mostly)

MATT

We’re in no place to attack.

JOHN

We’re black trans women; we can attack anyone we want.
(his phone rings)
Mark! You thin-necked… How’re you?

LUKE

Melissa has slandered us like dogs.

MATT

I can see her perspective.

JOHN

Yeah, I saw, yeah, I wrote it.

LUKE

We’ll eat her.

MATT

It’s so hard to talk to you guys.

JOHN

She left a little too much meat on the bone, if you get me.

LUKE

John, Impotence in Obscuria.

MATT

I don’t know what that is, but you were black-out drunk the last time you mentioned it.

JOHN

(still on phone)
No, no, you’re looking at this wrong. She’s can’t say anything.

(gestures at LUKE to shut up)

LUKE

It’s a testicle’s suicide note—

JOHN

(interrupting and briefly marginalizing phone conversation)
Per se.

LUKE

It’s literally a testicle’s suicide note.

MATT

How hateful is it?

JOHN

(back to phone conversation)
She can’t say anything because she’s a handicapped puppet and a raging bitch with no balls to back it up.

LUKE

It uses homophobia as an exploration of something, but it doesn’t slander directly… hard to explain.

MATT

Why did my career in journalism lead me to you two?

JOHN

Mark, I have to go, I’m talking to the Pope.

(hangs up)

LUKE

He’s the dog whisperer.

MATT

Except I can’t talk to you guys.

JOHN

SEXIST! I identify as a black trans woman.

LUKE

And we’re the ones in trouble with Miss Parris-Herry

JOHN

I think I could talk her out of this.

MATT

That’s just grossly incorrect.

LUKE

That’s for us to find out.

JOHN

Matt, do you think you could get us to meet up with her to talk this out?

MATT

I don’t know, guys.

LUKE

You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, you sexist pig.

JOHN

You hate us, but you create us.

MATT

I have only regrets.

JOHN

I kissed a dude in college on the lips twice.

LUKE

I’ve both successfully and unsuccessfully masturbated to gay porn, or group scenes with high ratios of men to women.

MATT

Alright, guys, I’ll give her press agent a call.

JOHN

(long awaited)
—And their little dogjobs, sexist pig.

LUKE

I’m pretty sure dogjobs are illegal.

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

Scene Four

SETTING: A fast food counter. Nothing else on stage.
AT RISE:  LUKE and JOHN are ordering to a lack of person behind the counter

LUKE

(Angrily to the invisible worker)
And a country ham biscuit… A COUNTRY HAM BISCUIT.

JOHN

Country ham, huh?

LUKE

(To the worker)
No, just the COUNTRY HAM BISCUIT.

JOHN

Have you had the cheddar biscuit? Simple, yet sufficient.

LUKE

I don’t want the GODDAMN combo.

JOHN

You’re going to be thirsty.

LUKE

I’ll take the COMBO.

JOHN

You’re a thirsty fucker.

LUKE

MEDIUM.

JOHN

Do you get the sweet tea?

LUKE

No, I’ll get the LARGE.

JOHN

Your mom’s a large.

LUKE

NO THANKS.

JOHN

There’s a trend here..

LUKE

You know what? I will take ONE BLUEBERRY BISCUIT.

JOHN

It isn’t healthy to start with the full order.

LUKE

TWO BLUEBERRY BISCUITS.

JOHN

We’ve really gotta be guided through this process.

LUKE

YES, THANK YOU.

JOHN

You don’t just go from water to whiskey.

LUKE

(relieved to be done with the interaction)

Finally.

JOHN

What if your first sexual experience was anal sex?

LUKE

God, what are you talking about?

JOHN

Looking up from the bottom.

LUKE

What? God, no, I don’t want to see some sweaty, hairy dude—

JOHN

No, I mean seeing things chronologically.

(Enter GUNMAN, standing in line behind them)

LUKE

So he’s not sweaty yet. Wait, no, he’s already hairy, right?

GUNMAN

Have you ordered yet?

JOHN

Go ahead.

(to LUKE)

The man is clean-shaven and appears thin but healthy; he has nice shoes and a tie. His watch looks expensive.

LUKE

I guess that’s more of my type.

GUNMAN

(to invisible worker)
I’ll take a COUNTRY HAM BISCUIT.

JOHN

Have you ever had the cheddar biscuit?

GUNMAN

NO, just the COUNTRY HAM BISCUIT.

LUKE

He’s going to be thirsty.

GUNMAN

I’ll take the COMBO.

JOHN

Where’s our food?

LUKE

Where’s this clean-shaven man?

GUNMAN

(turning to LUKE and JOHN)
I just shaved this morning, I promise.

(back to the worker)
MEDIUM.

LUKE

You look like the guy who cleans our building’s toilets.

JOHN

He’s the hero of our generation.

GUNMAN

I’ll actually take the LARGE.

(to LUKE and JOHN)

I actually sell insurance.

LUKE

Can I buy some assurance?

JOHN

That sounds scary.

GUNMAN

NO THANKS.

(to LUKE and JOHN)

You have to make assurance.

JOHN

We’ve been writing assurance, actually.

GUNMAN

I’ll take ONE BLUEBERRY BISCUIT, actually.
(to LUKE and JOHN)
You’re writers?

LUKE

We steal assurance, mostly.

JOHN

We’re in the business of dread.

GUNMAN

Make that TWO BLUEBERRY BISCUITS.

(to LUKE and JOHN)

I’m in the business of the dead.

JOHN

I don’t think we’re that different from one another.

GUNMAN

YES, THANK YOU.

(To LUKE and JOHN)

What do you know about insurance?

JOHN

People buy into it because they’re unsure of the world.

LUKE

We are a little too dependent on each other for certainty.

GUNMAN

How long have you been waiting for your order?

JOHN

Well I got a cheddar biscuit, and they don’t make them until you order them…

LUKE

You see, John here is a biscuit philosopher.

JOHN

I give out nuggets of wisdom.

GUNMAN

Not from this restaurant.

JOHN

Have you ever had the cheddar biscuit?

GUNMAN and LUKE

No!

JOHN

It’s the quintessence of Realpolitik as it applies to biscuits. It’s not on the menu, but biscuits are and they have cheddar in the back.

LUKE

Sounds shallow.

GUNMAN

Is it filling?

JOHN

It’s cheap and it lets them know you know what you’re doing; you come back, and they’ll recognize you.

GUNMAN

I don’t want to be recognized by these people.

JOHN

Pure ideology, insurance-man. What about you, Luke?

LUKE

I like to redefine myself; I’d hate for them to know who I am.

(sees his bag of food appear on the counter; good luck finding a way to stage an invisible person handing over a bag of food.)

There’s my order.

GUNMAN

(sees his also appear)

And mine. I wish you two writers luck with your biscuits.

LUKE

And you too. I’ll just be here waiting for John’s order.

JOHN

(as if talking to a dog.)

Stay, Lukey, stay.

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

Act II

SCENE ONE

SETTING:    A bed center stage. JOHN’s apartment. Beer bottles strewn, cigarette packs and ash trays abundant. AMY’s outfit scattered around the bed. A framed condom is centered above his bed with a ‘for sale’ sign hanging from the picture frame.

AT RISE:    JOHN and AMY are freshly post-coital. AMY is snuggling into JOHN’s chest. JOHN is satiated, arms behind his head. AMY is tracing her finger on his chest.

JOHN

(humming/half-singing “Let It Happen” synthesizer melody)

(pause, phone is incessantly vibrating)

This marks the end.

AMY

At least you guys are blowing up.

JOHN

They don’t have bombs yet.

AMY

Hey, it’ll be alright.

JOHN

Are you alright?

AMY

I feel fine.

JOHN

I bet I can make you feel better.

(JOHN buries his face in her neck and she shrieks as he bites her)

AMY

Careful, puppyboy, don’t mark me up again.

JOHN

(JOHN emerges from neck)
You like it.

(JOHN buries face again. Phone continues to vibrate)

AMY

That has nothing to do with it.

JOHN

(between kisses)
Free yourself.

AMY

Are you free?

JOHN

(stops; somewhat angered by the question)
I’m an exception.

AMY

(rolling away from him)
You’re always your own exception.

JOHN

(takes out a cigarette, lights it.)
Enjoy me while you have me.

AMY

Do you have to do that with me around?

JOHN

Enjoy me while you have me.

AMY

What’s that supposed to mean? Has Mary been texting you again?

JOHN

What does that even mean—she’s been texting me?

AMY

Has she been trying to see you?

JOHN

Is that what we’ve come to? We try to see each other? No thanks, I just see people when I want to see them.

AMY

What if they’re busy? What if I’m busy?

JOHN

What the fuck do you do?

AMY

You’re a jackass. I’m leaving.
(AMY tries to sit up)

JOHN

(JOHN puts out cigarette, bear hugs her and pins her down)
It’s cold out there, Amy.

AMY

No, I’m leaving. You smell like cigarettes.

JOHN

Don’t you want to feel good?

AMY

I have things to do today.

JOHN

(phone buzzing)
What time is it?

AMY

Almost nine.

JOHN

Nine-thirty.

AMY

No! I have to meet my friends for breakfast?

JOHN

(smiling)
What if you’re busy?

AMY

Then they’ll text me, or I’ll text them.

JOHN

Maybe you should text them.

AMY

They hate me when I’m with you.

JOHN

That’s because they’re always trying to see you.

AMY

And yet you keep bringing me back to this den.

JOHN

(sitting up, tracing fingers on her silhouette)
Well, you’re beautiful.

AMY

(cozying back up)
Why do you say exactly what you want to say?

JOHN

It’s a curse.

(phone buzzing)

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

SCENE TWO

SETTING: A nonexistent place. Two chairs, one on each far side of stage, facing away from each other. A desk sits in front of both. Coffee, notebooks, beer bottles, general living paraphernalia appear on both desks.

AT RISE: JOHN is at one of the desks. KEELEIGH is at the other. Notably, both actors should be distracted between phone vibrations. JOHN smoking cigarettes, getting up, writing things, KEELEIGH doing hair/makeup and eating a salad, etc.

JOHN

(loud, direct)

BECKY, TWENTY-ONE. “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE HERE. I’M CHILL IF YOU’RE CHILL.” SWIPE RIGHT. BIKINI PICTURES.

JILL, TWENTY-FIVE. “FIRST THINGS FIRST, I’M A SINGLE MOTHER. IF YOU CAN’T STAND TO BE THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE, THEN SWIPE LEFT. I’M SICK OF TWO-FACED GUYS, SO SWIPE LEFT IF YOU’RE TWO-FACED.” SEVERAL EMOJIS, NONE OF ANY MERIT. SWIPE LEFT.

KEELEIGH, SPELLED KAY EE EE EL EE AYE JEE AYTCH, TWENTY. NO PROFILE. SWIPE RIGHT; SHE IS PRETTY AND BLONDE. CONGRATULATIONS! NEW MATCH; CLICK HERE TO BREAK THE ICE.

SHE HAS A PICTURE OF HER WITH A COUPLE LAMBDAS IN HER PROFILE. USE THAT, JOHN.

“DO YOU HANG OUT WITH LAMBDAS THOUGH?”

KEELEIGH

(picks up her phone on its vibrating; equally as inappropriately loud, direct)
“I’VE BEEN OVER THERE BEFORE LAUGHING EMOJI”

JOHN

“THEY’VE GOT SUCH THIN NECKS I CAN’T STAND THEM.”
(pause)
“AND THIN WRISTS.”

KEELEIGH

“THEY’RE LOW KEY KINDA WIMPY BUT THEY’RE ALWAYS NICE.”

JOHN

“YOU SHOULD DATE RUGBY PLAYERS.���
(pause)
“PERFECT GENTLEMEN AND RUGGED SAVAGES AT THE SAME TIME.”

KEELEIGH

“I DON’T LIKE GUYS I CAN WALK ALL OVER, AND I DON’T LIKE GUYS WHO THINK THEY CAN WALK ALL OVER ME. SASSY WOMAN EMOJI.”

JOHN

“HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME?”

KEELEIGH

“KAY EE WHY KEY ELL EE EE LEE”

JOHN

“KAY EE WHY KEY ELL EE WHY LEE OR KAY EE EE KEY ELL EE EE LEE?”

KEELEIGH

“KAY EE EE KEY ELL EE EE LEE.”
(pause)
“KAY EE EE ELL EE AYE JEE AYTCH.”

JOHN

“AH, SAY NO MORE. IT ALMOST RHYMES WITH TEA LEAF.”

KEELEIGH

“OH MY GOD.”

JOHN

“YOU DO SEEM PEPPERMINTY.”
KEELEIGH
“SO FRESH SO CLEAN”

JOHN

“FRESH ON THE BREATH, A DIGESTIVE AID, NO DOUBT.”
(pause)
“DO YOU READ?”

KEELEIGH

“OF COURSE LAUGHING EMOJI.”

JOHN

“I CAN’T READ.”
(pause)
“CAN YOU READ ME SOME BOOKS?”

KEELEIGH

“I SUPPOSE, BUT HOW ARE YOU ANSWERING RIGHT NOW?”

JOHN

“WELL I KNOW HOW TO WRITE, I’M NOT STUPID”
(pause)
“I ALSO KNOW HOW TO WRITE CLEVER DIALOGUE. I’VE WRITTEN SEVERAL OFFENSIVE SCREENPLAYS.”
(long pause)
“MINTY GIRL COME BACK AND WHISPER SWEET THINGS IN MY EAR!”

KEELEIGH

“OH EMM JEE JOHN STOP.”

JOHN

“HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME? HAVE YOU EVER READ ANY OF EDWARD ALBEE’S PLAYS?”

KEELEIGH

“I HAVE NOT.”

JOHN

“YOU MUST NOT KNOW HOW TO WRITE GOOD DIALOGUE.”
(pause)
“THOUGH IT’S EASY TO LISTEN TO AND COMICAL TO HAVE ONE PARTY SORT OF BEARING DOWN ON THE OTHER, TALKING ABOUT MINT LEAVES AND SCREENPLAYS AND FAGGY LAMBDAS.”

KEELEIGH

“WHO EVEN ARE YOU CRYING-LAUGHING EMOJI?”

JOHN

“EXCELLENT QUESTION, LEAF, I’VE GOT A HUGE CRISIS OF IDENTITY. I’M TRAPPED IN OBSCURIA, AND ONLY WHISPERED SWEET THINGS COULD EVER FREE ME FROM MY ABSTRACTION OF A CELL. THE POSTMODERN MAN HAS NO HARDSHIP, SO I CAPTAINED A TEAM OF THIRTY BRUTISH MEN WHO SPEND THEIR SATURDAY AFTERNOONS SMASHING FACES WITH OTHER SELF-SELECTED GUYS FOR EIGHTY CONSECUTIVE MINUTES. BUT THEN I GO BACK TO MY LITTLE DEN, BEATEN AND BRUISED, AND SNORT LOTS OF COCAINE UNTIL SCHÖNER GÖTTERFUNKEN FROM BOG PLAYS THROUGH MY FINGERTIPS AND BEAUTIFUL DIALOGUE IS WRITTEN. TRAGICALLY, I’VE QUIT DOING DRUGS, SO NOW I JUST DRINK BEER AND BROWSE TINDER. WHO EVEN ARE YOU LAUGHING-CRYING EMOJI?”

KEELEIGH

“I’M A WASP AT A PRIVATE WOMEN’S COLLEGE, WHO WEARS LILLY AND J CREW TO CLASS THEN GOES TO THE GYM TO TRAIN FOR MARINE OFFICER CANDIDACY SCHOOL. I’M A WALKING CONTRADICTION.”

JOHN

“OH, EXCELLENT, I’M A POOR KID, LIKE DIRT POOR, WHO GOT AN ALMOST COMPLETELY FREE RIDE TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL, AND NOW I HATE RICH PEOPLE WITH A BURNING PASSION. THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE GOOD DIALOGUE.”
(pause)
“WOULD YOU COME VISIT ME?”
(pause)
“I’M DRUNK AND MY DOG IS ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM.”

KEELEIGH

“OH MY GOD, WHAT KIND OF DOG IS IT?”
(pause)
“WHAT’S HIS NAME?”

JOHN

“SIR ALDOUS ‘DUMB STUPID DUMB DOG CUNT DOGBOY DUMB DUMB’ HUXLEY.”
(pause)
“COME SEE HIM.”

KEELEIGH

“I WISH.”

JOHN

“I WISH TOO, AND YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT WISHES.”

KEELEIGH

“WHAT DO THEY SAY?”

JOHN

“I DON’T KNOW, I THOUGHT YOU KNOW. WHAT THE HELL, LEAF?”
(pause)
“YOU’RE GOING TO NEED TO GET BETTER AT WRITING DIALOGUE IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE OFFICER CANDIDACY SCHOOL.”

KEELEIGH

(aside)
I’LL SEND HIM AN ANIMATED IMAGE OF A MAN OBSERVING A LEAF.
(pause)
“THAT’S WHAT THIS CONVERSATION IS LIKE.”

JOHN

“EXCEPT IF I WAS HOLDING YOU, MY LEAF, I’D PROBABLY KISS YOU TO YOUR DISMAY.”
(pause)
“AND THEN I’D CALL YOU A BASIC BITCH FOR SENDING ME AN ANIMATED IMAGE TO DESCRIBE OUR CONVERSATION.”

KEELEIGH

“YOU’RE A HILARIOUS DRUNK.”

JOHN

“COME KISS ME.”
(pause)
“I SMELL LIKE BEER AND LITERARY REFERENCES.”

KEELEIGH

“WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?”

JOHN

“MY MOM READ ME ULYSSES ONCE, AND I GOT ANOTHER TINDERELLA TO READ IT TO ME A SECOND TIME.”
(pause)
“YOU’RE NOT VERY SASSY FOR A PRIVATE WOMEN’S COLLEGE WASPY BLONDE?”

KEELEIGH

“I’M SASSIER IN PERSON, BUT I’M NICE I THINK.”

JOHN

“PROVE IT. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SASS ME.
(pause)
“I’M TOO GOOD AT DIALOGUE.”

KEELEIGH

“I’M DEAD SEVERAL LAUGHING-CRYING EMOJIS.”

JOHN

“I FEEL LIKE I’VE EARNED A KISS ON THE CHEEK.”

KEELEIGH

“OR MY NUMBER.”

JOHN

“I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR NUMBERS. COME VISIT ME TOMORROW.”

KEELEIGH

“I HAVE WORK.”

JOHN

“LOOK, IT BOILS DOWN TO THIS–DO YOU WANT TO SAY THAT YOU KNEW ME, THAT YOU LIVED LIFE WITH ME, AND THAT YOU SMILED WITH ME FOR AN AFTERNOON DRINKING RED WINE IN THE SUNSHINE AND MAKING FUN OF ANTIQUATED ART?”

KEELEIGH

“YOU ROMANTIC MOTHERFUCKER.”

(END SCENE)

(BLACKOUT)

SCENE THREE

SETTING: A different office, where MATT works. Two desks split the stage. A folded up wheelchair is in the corner, and a door at stage right.

AT RISE: MATT is at the one of the desks. MARK is across the stage, involved in his laptop; MARK has not been introduced, so he should be relatively unlit and in the periphery. Voices are yelling things like ‘SEXIST,’ ‘BIGOT,’ ‘FUCK YOU, YOU HOMOPHOBIC SHITS.’ LUKE and JOHN are going to storm in wearing trenchcoats; LUKE’s has a huge stain after someone poured milk onto him.

(LUKE and JOHN storm in, as someone throws a banana with a condom on it at them and it hits the door.)

JOHN

(panting; MARK never notices anything going on)
Fuck me, those dogs will kill us!

LUKE

What did that lady dump on me?

JOHN

It looked like milk, but not cow milk.

MATT

It’s getting bad out there, isn’t it?

LUKE

They’re all transphobic scum.

MATT

It’s only getting worse; good news and bad news.

JOHN

Luke, you smell quite sour.

MATT

The bad news is that Melissa denied our request to meet with us.

LUKE

Dumb bitch.

MATT

The good news is that the internet rioted until they got her to meet with us.

JOHN

Democracy: the voice of the people.

LUKE

When can we meet?

JOHN

(noticing and pointing towards the wheelchair)
Isn’t that her wheelchair? Oh, shit, Mark’s here.

MATT

Mark! What are you so caught up in?

MARK

I just posted an expressionless selfie, and now I’m going through my friends’ posts from eight or more years ago and sharing all of them.

JOHN

You’re an artist. Come help us brainstorm how we comport ourselves here for the public.

MATT

(MARK walks over, laptop in hand)
So you two seemed pretty adamant about attacking, no?

JOHN

Her type implies preconceived notions to present logics.

LUKE

Little doglaws written by little doghands.

MATT

Let’s leave the poetry at the door, please.

MARK

She doesn’t see her determinate dog-glands.

MATT

Mark, shut up. Guys?

JOHN

Mark’s right. She only sees little doghouses on little doglands.

LUKE

Matt, are you familiar with 2chainz?

MATT

(directed at MARK and JOHN)
Can we move past this dog-imagery? What, Luke?

LUKE

“Watch out, lil’ bitch, you getting mad, I’m getting rich.”

MATT

(disappointed in LUKE, thinking he was only using the dog metaphor)
I don’t get this dog wordplay.

JOHN

Matt, you don’t get anything.

MARK

Check this out, Amy posted that she was ‘sooo hungry’ in 2008.

JOHN

(pantomiming news headline)
Collected Shared Posts: Friends of Mark. Sure to be a hit.

LUKE

(mimicking pantomime)
Collected Images of Luke and John Being Hanged by College-Aged White Bitches.

MARK

Hanged or hung?

MATT

What’s our angle?

JOHN

That we identify as black trans women.

LUKE

Hanged. The puppy was hanged from the scruff of his neck by a bitch.

MATT

Jesus Christ, I don’t want to think about hanging puppies.

MARK

Those would be hung puppies, right?

JOHN

Aren’t we getting lynched, anyway?

MATT

Do NOT use that term with Melissa.

LUKE

We should hide out in Mississippi so you can say we were lynched by homophobic racists if we get killed.

MARK

You two would make excellent martyrs. What’s that smell, anyway?

JOHN

Luke is lactating.

LUKE

Some bitch tried to feed me.

MATT

Guys, focus.

MARK

I hate the smell of wet dog.

JOHN

You’d hate Amy, am I right?
(nudges all like good ol’ boys)

LUKE

Got’em.

MATT

GUYS!

JOHN

Matt, chill out. We’re ready. Let’s do this.

MATT

My career is over.

LUKE

Do you think Melissa is single?

JOHN

Where is Amy?

MARK

Oh, Melissa’s quite single.

JOHN

(putting it all together and smug with both himself and MARK)
You dirty dog.

LUKE

I don’t know what that means.

JOHN

(bluntly)
Mark has had carnal relations with Melissa, that’s why her wheelchair’s in the corner.

MARK

Allegedly.
(he shrugs)
She’s asleep in the cot in the back.

JOHN

Tired as a dog.

LUKE

You’re a son of a bitch.

MARK

Angie’s a nice lady.

MATT

I’m not going to be a journalist next week.

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

SCENE FOUR

SETTING: Luke and John’s home office, same set up, but with a camera to record the interview. Camera is behind them so that the lens is apparent between where the two parties will talk so that the audience can see the lens.

AT RISE: LUKE and JOHN are sitting at the desk, checking their phones. MELISSA is ready to be wheeled in by MATT

LUKE

Death threats.

JOHN

George Takei just threatened to give me oral sex.

LUKE

Do you think that would quell the masses?

JOHN

It’s up to interpretation.

LUKE

(pause)
Are we going to release Impotence in Obscuria?
(he pulls a packet of papers out of his letterman’s bag)

JOHN

(suddenly very cautious as if talking to a gunman)

Luke. Think about what you’re doing. The indefinite combination of human fallibility and postmodern weapons will destroy nations. We, as human beings, need to think long and hard about writing.

LUKE

Rationality will not save us.
(Enter MATT wheeling MELISSA through the door. MELISSA is literally a puppet in a wheelchair)

JOHN

Melissa! What an honor it is to meet you!

MELISSA

(under-exaggerated motions for a puppet)
There’s no charming to be done.

JOHN

(aside to LUKE)
She just got laid.

LUKE

(hearing but ignoring the aside)
We’re not here to charm, Miss Parris-Herry.

MELISSA

Let’s get down to it then. Will you start with a statement?

MATT

Let me get the camera rolling.

LUKE

Good luck.

MATT

(with neutral voice)
Hello, and welcome to what will surely be a riveting discussion between Fake Forest’s Luke Patrick and John von Dorf, authors of very controversial and popular works, and Melissa Parris-Herry, a professor there and ex-host of a daytime television show. We’re going to be talking about the release of alternative lyrics to a song that has polarized the entire internet in the last day and a half. We’re going to start with some opening statements from the authors. John?

JOHN

I’d like to first call attention to the fact that I’ve made a lot of money off of those of you who are adamantly against me. Your internet traffic has fed my ad revenue, and your Facebook shares of anti-JVD articles have led to more and more of my literature being purchased. Thank you for your time.

MATT

Wow, that is extremely apolitical and unsatisfying. Luke?

LUKE

Okay, I’d like to start by asking if you need a drink or anything.
(MELISSA shakes head no)
No? Okay. When John and I started this venture some months ago, we knew that we were going to face strong reactions, and that we could make people question their worldviews by eliciting these reactions. In this case, I’m glad to see hundreds of thousands rush to defend a cocaine-addicted rapist—

MELISSA

Our problem with the lyrics was definitely not—!

LUKE

Can I finish?
(looks at MATT)
Can I finish, Matt, internet?
(Matt signals to go ahead)
That’s all I had.

MATT

Luke, come on, man.

LUKE

Woah, woah, woah, I am NOT a man. I’m a proud, black trans woman. We’re black trans women.

MELISSA

(enraged)
THIS is exactly the problem that I have with you two! You have zero sensitivity!

JOHN

I’m a feeler, though.

MELISSA

You’re not black trans women!

LUKE

(Incredulous)
Is she for real right now?

MELISSA

That’s incredibly offensive and you’re marginalizing a minority by stealing their identities!

JOHN

Do you hear yourself right now? You’re attacking my choice of identity!

MELISSA

It’s not YOUR identity!

JOHN

Because I wasn’t BORN this way I have to be condemned to this body?

LUKE

Is that exactly against what you stand for?

JOHN

You have invisible ropes of corrosive logic that bundle your worldview together.

MELISSA

This is absurd; you two are absurd.

JOHN

(LUKE and JOHN are suddenly impressed)
So there’s life in the old dog, after all.

MELISSA

(flustered and deflated by confusion)
…What?

LUKE

We’d like to play you a song.

(uses his phone to cue 2 Chainz’ “Watch out” playing loudly over speakers)

MELISSA

(periodically trying to interrupt, to which LUKE and JOHN hush her and appeal to MATT with nudges and bumps that he transfers to her.)
Guys…
Is this necessary? …
I don’t see the relevance…
Can we stop this? …

Okay, guys, I get it…
(when the verse “they say that I’m crazy / I used to talk to a stove” plays, both LUKE and JOHN gesture to listen closely.)

JOHN

Alright, that’s enough, Luke.

(LUKE signals to hold on just a second, then uses his phone to turn the song off around the “Nigga watch the assist” line)

What we’re dealing with here is equally or more offensive than my own writing, undoubtedly. Here we have murder, an extremely sexist world-view, drug trafficking, you name it.

MELISSA

We’re not here to compare your writings with other sexist works.

LUKE

(excited)
Then why are you here?

MELISSA

I’m here to teach you two about your abuse of identity.

JOHN

What would you identify us as?

MELISSA

Well, I don’t know for sure, but from your writing I would say you are two heterosexual white males.

LUKE

Mmm, yes, the privileged white male.

MELISSA

Exactly! Do you understand this privilege?

JOHN

In theory, yes. In reality, we’re black trans women.

LUKE

We call your type ‘fascists’.

JOHN

And, let me tell you, I’m totally with you. One homogenous culture- no problems. Black trans women.

LUKE

But an infinitely-complicated network of interactions within the history of humanity?

JOHN

Do you understand us?

MELISSA

Yes, I get your opinion, but it’s hard to ignore the statistics of hate crime, poverty rates, differences in education, existence of overtly racist institutions, the necessity of—

JOHN

Luke, hit it.

LUKE

Ayy, my BITCH!
(uses his phone to start the song again, cutting MELISSA off. LUKE and JOHN immediately start dancing their asses off)

MELISSA

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE; YOU TWO LITTLE SHITS WILL PAY FOR THIS! I’LL GET A LAWYER ON YOU! PEOPLE ARE ANGRY! I WILL NOT REST UNTIL—

(her verbage gradually descends into her barking at LUKE and JOHN until MATT wheels her out, still barking, while LUKE and JOHN are standing, dancing, and ‘wilding out.’)

JOHN

(yelling over the music as she’s escorted out)
IF YOU LIE DOWN WITH DOGS, YOU WILL GET UP WITH FLEAS!

(LUKE throws the packet of papers into the air)
(Fade lights and sound as song ends)

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

SCENE FIVE

SETTING: A street. A door near back center-left stage with a sign above it that says “Vern & Sisters Publishing House.”

AT RISE: RODRIGO storms on from stage left.

RODRIGO

I’VE HAD ENOUGH. I CAN’T LIVE LIKE THIS. I’VE BEEN DEFAMED. I’M SORRY ABOUT WHAT I DID, BUT THIS IS TORTURE! HOW COULD I EVER LIVE NORMALLY AFTER THIS SLANDEROUS INFAMY! I WAS NOT ON COCAINE AT THE TIME!
(RODRIGO stabs himself in the chest; screams and dies)
(JOHN and AMY enter stage through the Vern & Sisters door)

AMY

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, JOHN? You killed him! You killed him!

JOHN

He’s a white male! He had it coming!

AMY

I’M DONE WITH YOU, YOU SICK FREAK!
(AMY storms off stage, crying)

JOHN

Fuck! I didn’t kill him! I don’t believe in grand narratives! It was that bitch Parris-Herry! She threw us all to the wolves!
(Enter GUNMAN stage right)

GUNMAN

John von Dorf, you’ve done enough!

(shoots JOHN, who falls over silently, holding his gut, and dies)

(GUNMAN runs off stage left)

(LUKE, MATT, and MARK emerge from the door)

LUKE and MATT

What the fuck have I done?

MARK

(resignedly)
He lived no dog’s life.

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)

SCENE SIX

SETTING: A bar, late at night. Stools at the bar.

AT RISE: MELISSA is sitting at the bar. LUKE is about to walk in.

LUKE

Thank you so much for meeting with me.

MELISSA

This has been horrible.

LUKE

I keep blaming myself, I’m losing myself, I don’t know what to do with myself.

MELISSA

(puts a puppet hand on LUKE’s shoulder and LUKE leans in and sobs gently)
This will all be past us in a year.

LUKE

(Sitting up again, somewhat hostile.)

You don’t get it. I’ve lived the last two years more than the rest of my life combined, more than playing tee ball against Bruce Springsteen’s son and hitting a triple, more than the first time I indulged in writing clown erotica, more than the time I threw up next to the Obama family.

MELISSA

(Pulls him back in)
It’ll be alright. We’ll be alright.

LUKE

I don’t know anything anymore.
(heavily)
I think I might be a lesbian.
(He leans in to try and kiss her. She pushes him away.)

MELISSA

No, Luke–what? This isn’t appropriate.

LUKE

No, please.

MELISSA

Luke, you’re not a lesbian.

LUKE

I’m impotent. I’m stuck in obscuria. I’m a lesbian black trans women.
(he gets up, takes a packet out of his bag, leaves it on the bar, and leaves, sobbing.)
(MELISSA picks up the packet)

(BLACKOUT)

(END SCENE)
(END)

NOTES

A discussion must take place between LUKE and JOHN about the necessity of progression to understand a work; classic into jazz; coffee into espresso; beer into whiskey; weed into acid; handjobs to anal; nuances to appreciate. Liberalism is a top-down look, ignoring all the nuances. Like traveling from liberalism to conservatism without stopping at nihilism; like assigning students homework and expecting learning to take place.

By | 2018-05-22T10:34:42+00:00 January 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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