Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday Excerpts

This week's excerpt comes from yet another playwriting exercise. This one was supposed to be a seduction, but it didn't have to be a sexual one. I am not going to post the whole thing, as it is definitely not PG, but you should get a good sense of what's going on in the bit I give you. A little set up: It's a dormitory cafeteria, lunch time, and Chris, Derek and Kathy are alternately discussing their plans for drinking that night and Derek's failed attempts to get Meghan into bed the previous night, when Derek gets a brilliant idea. Enjoy!

===

from Seduction Exercise, April 2007

CHRIS
What did she say?

DEREK
Oh, you know, I had Dirty Dancing playing on the TV, and we were on the futon getting all cuddly, and I had turned the heat off and opened the window so she’d be compelled to cuddle, and the next thing you know...she’s telling me Jennifer Grey is the world’s worst actress.

CHRIS
(mocking)
The audacity!

DEREK
I know!

CHRIS
Whatever did you do?

DEREK
What was I supposed to do? I told her that by way of apology, she had to go back to her room, dress like Jennifer Gray in the training sequence, and tango with me.
(pause)
Horizontally.
(pause)
On the bed.
(pause)
Without any clothes-

KATHY
Derek! Enough!
(looks at Meghan as she heads offstage right)
Does she ever eat anything but salad?

CHRIS
Well, she is part of the track team. She’s got to stay in shape. She has to offset all those wine coolers with something, and salad is cheaper than diet pills or heroine.

DEREK
Though slightly less effective.
(contemplating)
I’ll be right back.
(gets up, exits stage left)

KATHY
Where is he going?

CHRIS
You can bet it’s something we’ll enjoy. Now, about tonight; I’m skipping my stupid playwriting class to head to the store. But I’ll need a car.
(smiles hopefully at Kathy)

KATHY
(disgusted sigh)
You know I’m going to say yes. But, if we get caught, seriously...I’m not taking the hit for you. You are driving the car. You are going in. If we get caught, I was only along for...um...

CHRIS
We’ll stop and get some ice cream or something.

KATHY
...for the ice cream. All on you.

CHRIS
We won’t get caught. We’ll be fine.
(Derek returns, with a plastic straw)
That’s what you went for? A straw?

DEREK
Wait and see, my friend...wait and see...

KATHY
Derek, not another one of your stupid pranks. I’ll tell you what, after the incident with the flying tampons...

DEREK
Relax, Kathy. Chill. This is not one of my stupid pranks. This is one of my brilliant ones.

CHRIS
No offense, mate, but I haven’t come across one of those yet.

DEREK
This one will make me legendary. At least, amongst the likes of the three of us.
Now, watch: I stick the straw into the cake, like so.
(sticks straw into cake)
I suck with all my might.

KATHY
Sometimes, you do.
(Derek sucks through the straw, then removes it from the cake)

DEREK
I get the cake out of the straw like so.
(blows cake out of straw, onto his tray)
Now, somebody hand me the Tabasco sauce.
(hesitation from Kathy and Chris)
Quick! Before Meghan gets here. Trust me.
(Kathy hands him the Tobasco bottle)
Thank you. Now, you just take the top off,
(takes top off)
and insert the straw,
(inserts straw, etc)
put your finger on top of the straw and pull it out and you’ve got yourself a nice bit of hot sauce in your straw. Genius enough, I know. But wait, it gets better.

CHRIS
Here she comes...wait, heading to the fruit stand. Hurry.

DEREK
Put the straw back into the cake, and release your finger, and voila! Hot cake.
(Derek plunges the straw back into the bottle and repeats his tampering of the cake)

KATHY
Great. Amazing. Except the girl doesn’t eat cake.

DEREK
That’s where I need you two to come in. Take the cake.
(he passes them each a piece of untainted cake, taking the last of these clean pieces for himself)
Now, when she walks by, invite her to sit, be nice, be cordial...and be interested in your cake. And let me do all the verbal persuasion. You do all the mental and culinary type.
(enter Meghan)
Meghan! Come sit with us!
(Meghan, carrying a tray with a large salad and an apple, timidly approaches their table)

MEGHAN
Um...hi. Really, I can sit here?
(all nod, she sits)
Because frankly, Derek, after last night...

DEREK
Ignore it. All my fault. If I skip a meal, my blood sugar gets low and I do all kinds of crazy things.

MEGHAN
I didn’t know you had low blood sugar problems...is that why you have two pieces of cake?

DEREK
(exchanging looks with Chris and Kathy)
No, actually...I noticed they were running low so I grabbed an extra one in case you showed up. Would you like it?

MEGHAN
Well...
(she looks longingly at the cake, then looks dejectedly at her salad)
...I shouldn’t. I mean, I know one piece of cake isn’t going to hurt me, but then I’ll just want more and more.

CHRIS
(taking a large bite of his cake)
Mmmm.
(mouth full)
This is fantastic.

MEGHAN
(distracted by Chris’ reaction)
And...I mean, with the team heading to Springfield this weekend, you know, I should really wait until after the races to start-

KATHY
(mouth full)
Oh God. Oh, my God.

DEREK
(taking a bite of his cake)
Mm hm.
(mouth full)
You said it, Kathy.

KATHY
Mm.

DEREK
Mm.

CHRIS
Mm.

KATHY
Mm mm mm mm mm!

CHRIS
Mm!

DEREK
Mmmmmmm hm.

MEGHAN
(looking with intense desire at the piece of tainted cake)
It’s just that...sugars like these can sit in the system for days and-

KATHY
(almost obscenely loud)
Mm!
(Derek shoots her a look which plainly says “Don’t overdo it!”)
Sorry, it’s just that...I haven’t had cake like this since grade school.

DEREK
Are you sure you don’t want some, Meghan?
(he pushes the cake towards her)

MEGHAN
(staring at the cake)
No.
(pushes it away)
Yes.
(takes it back)
No.
(pushes it away)
No.
(firmly)
No!

DEREK
Suit yourself!
(finishes the last bite of his cake, takes the cake he offered Meghan in his hand)
Chris?
(offers Chris the cake)

CHRIS
I couldn’t possibly...I mean, it’s good, but it’s also rich, so one piece is more than enough for me.

MEGHAN
Ooh...

DEREK
Okay. Kathy?
(offers cake to Kathy)

KATHY
Well, as you can see, I’ve still got some left...
(indicates her half eaten cake)
...but if nobody else wants it, I mean...

DEREK
Chocolate does release all the same hormones in women as sex does, I can’t see how you’d pass it up. I mean, even if you are gettin’ some every night, it comes at a price, right?
(indicates Chris)

KATHY
Who says he puts out every night? “Kathy, I’m too tired. Kathy I have a play to read for class. Kathy, I got tired of waiting for you to come back from class so I just downloaded some porn and jerked myself off, maybe tomorrow night.” Gimme that cake!

CHRIS
Hey! I...well...that did happen, once...

KATHY
My sex hormones are gonna feel all overloaded after this sweet piece of cake!
(she starts to move her fork toward it, but...)

MEGHAN
Stop!
(all freeze, look at her)
Actually, um...I have all this pent up...well...
(blushes)
...and it’s been...well...
(blushes again)
...just...could I have the cake, please?

KATHY
(suddenly defensive)
What about your track meet?

DEREK
Yeah, what about the sugars sitting in your system for days?

CHRIS
Yeah, what about my girlfriend violently molesting me in the middle of the night because one piece of cake got her all riled up and you took the one that would have calmed her back down?

MEGHAN
Well...please? It’s just that, you all made it sound so good...

DEREK
...and all the cool kids are doing it.

CHRIS
That’s how I lost my virginity.

KATHY
That’s how I got my hip tattooed.

DEREK
That’s why I went to college.

CHRIS
Those are all good things.

KATHY
This could be good for her, I suppose.

DEREK
You’re sure you want it?

MEGHAN
(after a pause)
Absolutely.

DEREK
(takes cake from Kathy, hands the cake to Meghan)
Bon Apetite!

MEGHAN
Thanks.
(as she sinks her fork into the cake and lifts the cake to her mouth, the lights fade)

Curtain

===

Based on actual events...the cake part, not the Derek/Meghan part. That was sheer invention. Well, not really. But the two events were unrelated in real life.

"It's not plagiarism - I'm recycling words, as any good environmentally conscious writer would do." -Uniek Swain

2 comments:

Becca said...

I know that wasn't based on real life events, but why does all of your writing remind me of college - more specifically, living in Bailey? We've gotta make some new memories for you to write about, Elliot.

the wife said...

this story is bailey and the poisoned cake- were you not there? Derek is Chris, everybody else is a conglomeration of people.

But yes, new memories would be good- when are you coming to visit :)?