NCDSB Google Collaborative Writing Challenge: Playwright Edition!
Google Hangout on Air: Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 10:30 am
A young man, ERIC, and an older woman, THEA, are sitting at a bus stop. They’ve been waiting for the 315 for a long time. They watch as the 303 bus across the street picks up another batch of passengers. The 303 has been running efficiently — every fifteen minutes.
THEA Do you see that? Are you seeing that?
ERIC Yeah. I am.
THEA I think they’re discriminating against us because we’re going North. Do you think
that’s what’s happening?
Eric: It has to be! The 303 has gone by four times already!
THEA I know. (Beat) I’m calling the police.
ERIC You can’t call the police.
THEA Why not?
ERIC Because nothing has happened?
THEA That’s exactly why I’m calling the police!
ERIC If you call the police about the transit, then I’m going to call the police on you!
THEA Oh great. So, you have a phone? I don’t have a cell phone. Can I borrow it?
ERIC Can you just…? Like, I appreciate you’re frustrated. But I have a very...like...I’m
stressed, okay? Do you see this box? (He holds up a box)
THEA Were all stressed out, okay? Huh? What’s that box for?
ERIC I don’t even know if I can trust you. You seem hysterical. Or maybe that’s
just...okay, look, what do you think is in here? I mean...do I look like I’m responsible? Like someone you could see your...do you have kids? Do you have a daughter? My age? I just...I’m really nervous.
(He gets up and paces. Leaves the box.)
THEA You’re nervous, but you leave your precious box out in the open like that? I
wonder what’s inside the box… I’m sure a little peak wouldnt hurt. (Opens the box up wide)
ERIC (Watching her) ...do you like it?
THEA You know...I would have expected something a little…
ERIC More exciting? Now, don't let this box fool you. It may look small, but what's
inside it can change your life forever!
THEA What do you mean? I’m looking at what’s inside. You don’t think I don’t know
that? You think this is a small gesture? And, yes, if you want to know, I do think it’s small. Are you proposing to a dwarf?
ERIC A dwarf, no. I'd really compare my wife more to a pig if you must know.
THEA Wait, wait. WAIT A SECOND. She’s your wife already? Is that supposed to be
one of those anniversary rings? You know? The ones the wives want to add on like they’re a car with a broken air conditioner?
ERIC No. No. No. (Screams)
THEA Okay. Calm down. Nobody needs to hear your anguish.
ERIC Calm down… you want to calm down? Do you have any idea how stressed I
am? Do you have any idea how important it is that I keep this ring safe?
THEA Any idea? You’re foaming at the mouth!
(The bus comes into view. It stops. THEA goes to get on, but thinks better of it. She lets it pass so that she can stay with ERIC.)
THEA Sit down. Sit down next to me, for the love of—
ERIC You just don’t understand, do you? I can’t sit down, and I can't get on the bus. If I
move from this bus stop, even just once, I’ll ruin everything!
THEA Well, I’m older than that tree over there and I can afford to skip my bingo plans,
so if you want to tell me what’s going on with you, I’ll turn my ears to your ruined love or your botched proposal or whatever the hell it is.
ERIC If you must know, this has nothing to do with love. This is about danger. I am on
a very important mission and if I don’t keep this ring safe then everything will be ruined!
THEA Well, now I understand your disdain for the police…
ERIC I don’t dislike the police. I am the police.
ERIC Okay, no I’m not.
THEA: You didnt have to tell me that twice. If your not the police, though, why are YOU the one in charge of keeping that ring safe?
ERIC This is exactly...okay, our perception of safety, as a society, as people, you know? Like, I’m just a civilian. I’m just who I am. I can’t help that. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO COMPLETE THEIR PHYSICAL EXAM? I threw up. (Beat) Twice.
THEA: Maybe if you had laid off the doughnuts you could have actually passed the physical. Seriously, you expected to pass with a beer gut like that?
ERIC I STRESS EAT. (He pulls out a power bar and starts eating.)
THEA I mean...what’s that? A candy bar?
ERIC It has protein!
THEA It’s clearly chocolate!
ERIC: if you must know, dark chocolate is considered healthy for you in some places.
THEA Where? The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory? Get a grip on life! Look at you! You’re a disaster! You’re sweating and it’s not even hot outside! Look, I’m taking this box and I’m going to bury it where you can’t find it. That’ll solve your stress, or at least make you lay off the “dark chocolate”...dark chocolate…
ERIC: Hey! Over-active sweat glands run in my family! If you even try to take this box from me...(Thea takes box and starts to run) Hey! Get back here with that, you know I’m no good at running!
(It appears neither is THEA. She collapses in a heap.)
THEA MY GOD. We’re the WORST! Both of us! Why are we even alive?
ERIC I don’t know! I don’t know anything! (His cell phone rings) Oh. My. God.