Monday, October 10, 2005

there must be an audience for this

the following piece was written and submitted to Collaboraction's Sketch Book. Basically, it's a festival of 5 minute plays (mostly funny stuff) and art and music and it's sooo hip it'll melt your bones to Jell-o. I wrote this play for that, and while it was not selected for the fest, it had a few fans. I'm posting it here because, otherwise, it'll exist for all time on my laptop as a 40kb Word file. Once you read it, you may wish it had stayed that way for all time.

Still Life With Piñata

By Marisa Wegrzyn

[3 Actors can portray the characters in all scenes (2 men, 1 woman)]

Scene 1. Billy’s Birthday Party

(BILLY is blindfolded and taking whacks at a piñata but missing)

STU: That’s it, birthday boy! You almost got it. A little to the right!
MAGGIE: A little to the left!
STU: No the right! His right. Show that piñata who’s the man. Who’s the man? Billy’s the man! How many kids did you invite, Maggie?
MAGGIE: Twenty five. I even invited that little retarded boy in his class.
STU: And not one kid showed up?
MAGGIE: I don’t know, Stu, maybe they’re late. Especially the retarded boy. He’s on crutches.
STU: Did you put the right date on the invitations? (MAGGIE looks at him) Well, I don’t know, Maggie, nobody’s here. Is it really such a stupid thing to ask? That’s it, Billy boy! Oh! So close!
MAGGIE: We should take down the piñata and save it for next year. No need to buy a new one when this one is perfectly fine.
STU: Maybe you’re right. (STU takes down the piñata) Keep at it. We’ll call you in when dinner’s ready!

Scene 2. The Piñata Factory. Mexico.


(A board room. PEDRO, HECTOR, and ROSA)

HECTOR: As you know, my friends, there has been a terrible draught in business. It has gotten so bad our company presidente has committed suicide by repeatedly hitting himself in the head with a baseball bat.
PEDRO and ROSA: Oh no, que triste, que horrible, etc.
HECTOR: Si, si. But we will carry on. We must move forward. Let us think, now. Let us revolutionize the piñata business together. Forward moving! That’s what Mexico is all about!
PEDRO and ROSA: Well, ehh, I dunno about that, etc
HECTOR: I suggest a new filling for our piñatas. There is no excitement in breaking a piñata only to pick rolls of Smarties out of the grass. Let us think of a new non-candy filling. Here are my ideas: Lime Jell-O. Dry ice. Multi-colored pebbles much like those found at the bottom of a fish tank. Postage stamps. A miscellaneous inert gas. The sins of unborn children. Another slightly smaller yet identical piñata. Hamsters. I am out of ideas. Perhaps El Presidente was right to batter his own brains. We are doomed.
PEDRO: How about we fill our piñatas with a beautiful naked woman.
HECTOR: Yes. Yes. That’s it, Pedro! You’ve saved us!
ROSA: How will you ever get a beautiful naked woman inside a piñata.
PEDRO: (directly to Rosa) Hola, pretty lady, would you care to take your clothes off and climb inside my piñata?
ROSA: That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.

(The men leer at her wolfishly)

HECTOR: Rosa, get in the piñata.

Scene 3. Billy Again

(Blindfolded BILLY crosses the stage swinging his bat and passes JOEY, the retarded boy on crutches carrying a birthday present)

Scene 4. Requiem For A Piñata

(Two donkey piñatas stand over the broken body of a fallen comrade, candy spilling out of his guts)

DONKEY #1: I can’t look. I can’t look.
DONKEY #2: You must look. You must see accept our mortality. Every piñata meets the God Stick, be it constructed of sturdy wood or aluminum. LOOK!
(DONKEY #1 wails)
There, there. We are born of paper machet and wire and we return to paper machete and wire. Let us find comfort in each other for that is the only comfort to be found.

(Silence)

DONKEY #1: We were lovers.
DONKEY #2: Lovers? What? But—but— He wasn’t even a donkey piñata! He was one of those weird, you know, bizarro star piñatas with the cones and streamers. Oh god. You didn’t.
DONKEY #1: True love has no boundaries. We exchanged beautiful love candy.
DONKEY #2: You sicken me. I’m going to be sick. (vomits rolls of Smarties)

Scene 5. Billy’s Own Private Idaho

(Blindfolded BILLY whacks at the air with a baseball bat. EARL and EDNA, a loving couple, stand together and watch)

EDNA: Look at him go.
EARL: Been at it for the past hour too. Hello there!
EDNA: HELLO THERE!!! CAN YOU HEAR US?

(BILLY stops swinging. He lifts his blindfold)


BILLY: This isn’t my backyard.
EARL: No, I should say it isn’t. You’re filled with some holy spirit, son, taking whacks at the sky on our front lawn.
BILLY: This isn’t my neighborhood. I live in Wilmette, Illinois.
EARL: Son, you do know you’re in Boise, Idaho.
BILLY: Idaho!?!.
EARL: Heard rumor too you caused a twenty car pileup on Washington Street downtown.
BILLY: Was that all that honking and crushing glass?
EDNA: Why, I should say it was. But don’t worry yourself about it. People here in Boise are real laid back.
BILLY: But I was in my backyard. It was my birthday party. I was trying to hit a piñata.
EDNA: Well, hon, that may be where you started, but this is where you sure ended up. You’re welcome to stay for dinner. We’re having Sloppy Joes and tater tots. Earl’s favorite. Would you like to stay?
BILLY: Well. I am starving and very very tired.
EDNA: We should call your parents, let ‘em know you’re all right.
BILLY: Oh. I guess. If you have to. But can we call them after dinner? I don’t like them very much.
EARL: Sounds all right. Oh. And a happy birthday to you.
EDNA: Happy birthday—what’s your name?
BILLY: Billy.
EARL and EDNA: Happy Birthday, Billy!
EDNA: You’ll hit that piñata next year.

the end