Friday, August 29, 2014

Story 47: Rude Ellen Etiquette

(At a local convenience store, Rude Ellen Etiquette enters and sees someone coming behind her, not all that quickly.  She continues to hold the door open)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: Hurry up!  I don’t have all day to hold this open for you!
(The person increases velocity and speeds through the door under her glare)
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
            (At a fancy dinner, one of the guests is having trouble cutting a filet mignon)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: You’re using the wrong knife and fork, no wonder nothing’s happening.  Here, use mine.  (She throws both at the guest, and they land blade and tines in the table in front of him) You’re welcome.
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
(At a movie theater, two people continually speak loud enough to be a distraction to the rest of the audience.  Rude Ellen Etiquette is sitting behind them and leans in between their heads to whisper)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: On behalf of the entire theater, if you don’t shut up this second, I will kill you.
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
(On a busy highway, a car switches lanes frequently and keeps cutting off drivers, almost causing several accidents.  Rude Ellen Etiquette drives up behind the car, flashing her headlights and beeping her horn before running the car off the road into a ditch)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: (Yelling out the window) Think on your sins!
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
(At an emergency room, one person is finally taken in for a third-degree burn when another person starts complaining loudly for still having to wait to be seen for a sprained finger.  Rude Ellen Etiquette, also waiting, walks over to him)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: Would you like to be taken first?  (The complainer answers in the affirmative; Rude Ellen Etiquette stabs him in the leg with a pen) After you, then.
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
(In prison, Rude Ellen Etiquette is on the chow line when a fight breaks out in the middle of the cafeteria.  She gives up her place in line, walks over to the two main fighters, and whacks both of them upside the head with her tray)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: Remember that we’re all being punished together – if we turn on each other, they win!  (She is beaten by both fighters, but earns the respect of everyone else)
Rude Ellen Etiquette!
(Released on probation, Rude Ellen Etiquette returns home and is disturbed at 2:00 a.m. by loud partying the next yard over.  She goes to their shared fence and turns a garden hose on them and on the stereo system)
Rude Ellen Etiquette: You have neighbors, people!
Rude Ellen Etiquette!  Always has your back.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Story 46: Do You Have What It Takes?

Set up is a typical game show – one podium to the left, three to the right, and bright colors everywhere.  The breathless host runs from the back to make her entrance.
Host: Welcome, folks, to another installment of – (Points to the audience)
Audience: “Do You Have What It Takes?”!
Host: That’s right, the show where we invite everyday people here so we can judge in the court of public opinion whether they would make good parents, or whether they really shouldn’t inflict their spawn upon the Earth.  Now that our new viewers are caught up, please welcome our first wannabe parents, Janet and Tom!
(A bland-looking couple enters and they take their places at the podiums at the right while the Host goes to stand behind the one at the left.  She reads from index cards)
Host: Now, Janet, I understand that you actually have had five children already?
Janet: Yes, but this would be my first with Tom.
Host: And Tom, you already have seven young`uns of your own, correct?
Tom: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………
Host: Great!  Here’s the first question: you’re at a party and all your children are there mixing with strangers.  Do you: A – Ensure that each one of you keep an eye on all your children at all times; B – Enlist a childless adult who has seemingly nothing to do to keep account of your offspring; or C – Let the older kids watch the younger ones while you two go off and enjoy yourselves?
Janet: (Hits the buzzer) C!  The oldest one’s 10 and does fine, and Tom and I have lives of our own, you know!
Tom: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………….
(The sound of a wrong buzzer)
Host: I’m sorry, the correct answer was A.  And Tom and you need to knock it off.  You can go now.  (They are escorted out by Security)  Our next contestants: John and Ryan!
(The couple enters and they stand at the podiums; one of them is typing on his phone)
Ryan: (To John) Would you put that away now?
John: I will when I’m done.  (Types some more and pockets the phone)
Host: Moving along, it says here that you two are both high-ranking businessmen who work 80-hour weeks.  Your question is in the form of a scenario: your 7-year-old child is sick in school for the third time this year.  The principal’s office calls, and both of you are at work.  Who picks up Junior?
John: (Hits the buzzer and points to Ryan) He would!
Ryan: I knew it!  You always dump everything on me, you’re so selfish, it’s always your career, what about my career – ?
Host: Thank you!  Come back when you’ve solved that age-old dilemma.  (They are escorted out by Security, still arguing) Our next contestants: Rachel and Mark.  (The two enter with another woman, who stands at the third podium) Who’s this?
Mark: Our au pair.
Host: For when you have a baby?
Mark: Oh, we’ve needed her for years.
Host: I see.  You have an essay question: your child has been caught stealing, red-handed.  When questioned, the response given is, “I felt like it.”  What should the punishment be and what steps taken to ensure child never feels inclined to do this again?
(Rachel and Mark look at each other)
Rachel: (To the au pair) Uh, Shelley?
Shelley: (Hits the buzzer) Administer 50 lashes of the strap and withhold food for a week.
Host: Thank you!  Please leave – all of you.  (They are escorted out by Security) We have time for one last round – please welcome Leslie and Lesley.  (The Leslieys enter) Now, I’m told that you two have been arrested at different times and simultaneously for disturbance of the peace, shoplifting, public intoxication, trespass, assault, and being a general nuisance?
Leslie: So?  We’re out now.
Lesley: Jeez, everybody’s always on our case!
Host: Can’t imagine why.  Your question is this: your child complains that no one likes him and they call him a bully.  Do you: A – take a long, hard look at what horrible people you are and make amends, or B – fight everyone who calls you out for being all-around a-holes?
(Both hit the buzzer)
Leslie: B!
Lesley: What kind of a stupid question is that?  We’re surrounded by idiots, hon – our kid’s gonna take what he wants, when wants, and there’s nothing any of you losers can do to stop us!
Host: Officers – arrest these two before they spread more of their awfulness across the planet!  (The two are escorted out by Security) Folks, that’s all the time we have for today.  Please join us tomorrow in this important public service as we play “Do You Have What It Takes?”.  And please, for the sake of humanity, realize when the answer is “No”.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Not A Story, Just a Post

For my play, Change or Death.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Story 45: The Real Magician

(Setting: An outdoor kids’ party in someone’s backyard.  A makeshift stage in back of the house has an overhead banner proclaiming “THE GREAT MOMZINA”.  A gathering of the party guests are seated on the ground in front of the stage and a woman wearing a top hat and cape jumps onto the center of it, waving her wand and startling the elementary audience)

Magician: Hellll-ooooooooooo everybody, and welcome to the greatest show you’ll ever see, one to ruin all shows that follow ever after for the rest of your lives!  By day, most of you know me as “Mrs. Kay-Kay,” but by weekend, I am known as “The Great Momzina”!  Prepare to be amazed.  (She whips off her top hat, waves her wand over it, and pulls out a stuffed rabbit, nodding and smiling as the few adults in the audience clap.  The remainder of the spectators slouch with their mouths open) All right, enough with the amateur stuff.  (She throws the rabbit back over her shoulder – one baby starts crying) Today, I’m going to show you some real magic.  First, who here has a phone I can (she winks exaggeratedly) borrow?  (A bunch of the kids hold up their phones) No, that’s OK, sweeties – I’ll take Mr. Firestein’s.  (She takes his proffered phone, pulling up the antenna on it) Ooh, retro.  Now, watch very closely, (She waves her wand over the phone) because the hand… is quicker… than… the eye!  (The phone disappears)
            Kids: Ooooooooooh….
            (Another baby starts crying)
            Magician: That was the easy part: the real trick lies in making the object – reappear!  (She points with the wand to a middle branch of a tree in the corner of the yard.  Startled applause as Mr. Firestein goes to climb the tree to retrieve his phone) Thank you!  You’re a wonderful audience.  Now, for my next feat of prestidigitation, I now will make something appear that had vanished some time ago.  Do you recall, Margaret, that earlier this afternoon I said I was “borrowing” Cousin Eileen for a few moments?
            Margaret: That’s right – where is Eileen?  Frank, your mom will kill us!  (Frank shrugs his shoulders)
            Magician: Never fear, for soon she shall – reappear!  (She spins to the side, flaring her cape; as she steps aside, Cousin Eileen is revealed to be standing on the stage)
            Cousin Eileen: (Blinking in the sunlight) Where was I?
            Magician: In the Land of Magic, my dear lady, from which you have now returned to the Land of the Everyday.  Off you go.
            Cousin Eileen: (Stepping off the stage into her family’s arms) Was I missing?
            Margaret: It’s all right, dear, have some cake.
            Magician: (To the applause) Thank you, but I’m just getting warmed up.  Who wants to see something really cool?  (Everyone’s hands shoot into the air) All right, then – look to the skies!  (She waves her wand and creates a rainbow over the house)
            Kids: Oooohhh…..
            Adult Guest: How in the world…?
            Magician: Aaaand… easy go.  (She waves her wand in the opposite direction, erasing the rainbow)
            Kids: Aww….
            Magician: (Bows to the cheers and whistles) And now, for my next trick –
            Voice Behind the Audience: Hold it!
            (Everyone turns to the backyard gate, where a Wizard and his entourage have gathered)
            Wizard: (Pointing his wand at the Magician) You have violated our most sacred laws and exploited our world for the crass entertainment of these lowly beings, my lady.  You’re not even getting paid for this!
            Magician: (Pointing her wand at him) I do it FOR THE CHILDREN!
            Adult Guests: (Creating a human wall between the two) Yeah, the children!
            Party Host: I didn’t hire that guy!
            Wizard: That’s all right, because show’s over, folks!  (He and the Magician battle with streams of different colored lights shooting out of their wands as everyone dives for cover and Mr. Firestein falls out of the tree.  The Magician zaps the Wizard, who transforms into a flock of doves that soars across the sky.  The entourage flees)
            Magician: And don’t reappear!
            (The adults and kids come out of hiding and applaud wildly.  The Magician beams, spreads her arms wide, and bows.  She waves to the crowd)
            Magician:  Thank you very much!  Happy Birthday, David!
            (She descends from the stage and leaves through the gate, bumping into the Wizard)
            Wizard: Remember, Mom: if you finally get your big break from this, you owe me 10% of everything you earn.
            Magician: Only if you make sure you’re not so late the next time, kid – I almost had to go around finding quarters in people’s ears if I had to wait any longer for you to show up!