THE RISE AND FALL OF WAIVE GORDON L’PREVE

THE RISE AND FALL OF WAIVE GORDON L’PREVE

By David Lee White

CHARACTERS
Waive Gordon L’Preve – President of the National Firearms Organization
Mabrid McClinter – The NFO’s spokesperson
Crank – A teenage intern

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(We are in Waive Gordon L’Preve’s private room at a large conference center. There is a table, a couple of chairs and a large safe in the corner. There are two doors. The main door leads to the conference hall. There is also a side door which serves as a private entrance and exit.)

WAIVE
(rehearsing)
“And so, once again, I’d like to thank all the members of the National Firearms Organization for once again electing me, Waive Gordon L’Preve to be your president. I promise that I will…will continue…dammit!” (he pulls out his notes and looks at them, then continues) “Will continue to serve and protect the rights of gun and rifle owners all over this great country of ours.” And then they clap a cheer, applause, applause, applause “Thank you! Thank you!” (He stops. Catches his breath. Wipes his brow.) Whew. Wow. (to himself) Come on, Waive Gordon L’Preve. You can do this.

(MABRID MCCLINTER enters via the side door. She is agitated.)

MABRID
Jesus H.

WAIVE
Mabrid! I was just…uh…

MABRID
I mean I knew it would take the membership awhile to get used to an attractive woman being the new spokesperson, but some of these guys can’t stop staring at my boobs .

WAIVE
They’ll get used it just like I did. I hardly think about your boobs anymore. Maybe six, seven times a day, tops.

MABRID
They’re so obvious about it. My eyes are up here!

WAIVE
It’s a new world, Mabrid. Things change. They’ll just have to realize that sometimes that boobs are attached to a real live woman with important things to say.

MABRID
Here’s the cash box, by the way. Half these guys register for the conference with cash only.

WAIVE
They don’t want their wives to know they’re here. They leave less of a trail this way. Put it in the safe will you?

(MABRID puts the money in the safe.)

MABRID
You okay, Waive?

WAIVE
Yeah. Why?

MABRID
You don’t seem right.

WAIVE
Just a little nervous this time.

MABRID
How come?

(CRANK enters via the main door. He is a sullen teenager.)

CRANK
Hey.

WAIVE
What’s up, Crank?

CRANK
I was supposed to come in here and tell you something but now I totally forget what it was.

WAIVE
That doesn’t help me, Crank.

CRANK
Oh, right. Five minutes until your speech.

MABRID
How’s it going out there? Natives getting restless?

CRANK
I can’t tell. It’s like I’m in a dark tunnel. I see things happening but it all seems so far away.I didn’t sleep last night. My head wouldn’t stop thinking about horrible.things. I hate my life.

MABRID
He was really the best intern out of the whole program, huh?

WAIVE
You just need a couple days off, Crank. You’re doing great work.

CRANK
When I’m around these people all the time and all they talk about is how dangerous the world is, it starts to get to me, you know?

WAIVE
World’s a rough place. Right Mabrid?

MABRID
Killers around every corner.

CRANK
It’s like I’m sinking into a pool of impenetrable darkness. Maybe I just need a girlfriend.

WAIVE
A good woman can turn a man’s life around. Right Mabrid?

MABRID
Uh…sure.

CRANK
I was listening to these people out there talk and it was all about how Mexican immigrants are ruining the country and I started thinking, “Isn’t this racist? It sounds so racist.”

MABRID
You know, when you think about it, liberals are far more racist than conservatives. I mean you have to really think really hard before it becomes obvious. It almost feels like you’re forcing yourself to believe something that isn’t true. But then eventually, it starts to make sense.

CRANK
I’m thinking about killing myself if I don’t kiss a girl by the time I’m eighteen. And depending on how things go after that, I might still kill myself.

WAIVE
Oh, don’t be so dramatic. You are an invaluable member of this organization and a real credit to our intern program.

CRANK
Thanks, Mr. L’Preve.

WAIVE
And when the conference is over, I’m going to take you to the range and we’re gonna release some tension by firing off some rounds. Sound like fun?

CRANK
Nothing sounds like fun. Maybe if someone told me they loved me, I’d feel better.

WAIVE
I love you, Crank. Now get out there and set up some chairs for the banquet, will you? Help yourself to some chicken salad.

CRANK
Yes sir.

(CRANK exits)

WAIVE
Kids now are so crazy.

MABRID
Be careful of that one.

WAIVE
Who? Crank?

MABRID
These kids get depressed and the next thing you know, they open fire on their classmates.

WAIVE
Crank doesn’t seem depressed to me. He just needs a sandwich.

MABRID
I don’t know. One more high school kid loses his shit and this whole organization is gonna fold like a house of cards.

WAIVE
But it’s not our fault. It’s mental illness’s fault.

MABRID
Can’t sue a mental illness, Waive. And you know these libtards are just itching for someone to sue.

WAIVE
(snickers)
It makes me giggle when you say libtard.

MABRID
Libtard.

WAIVE
Cut it out.

MABRID
Snowflake libtard.

WAIVE
Don’t! I’m gonna be up there giving my opening remarks and I’m gonna hear your voice saying libtard and I’m gonna start laughing!

MABRID
You have about four minutes to get yourself together.

WAIVE
How do I look?

MABRID
Nice and shiny.

WAIVE
What gun should I take out there?

MABRID
That pretty gold one. I thought that was your luck charm.

WAIVE
Smith & Hunter just sent me a new handgun model and it’s a doozy. I thought I should show it off.

MABRID
Let me see.

(WAIVE goes to the safe, opens it, and pulls out a pistol)

WAIVE
Now, before I do anything with this, I’m gonna check to make sure it’s not loaded. Then you’re gonna check to make sure it’s not loaded. Okay?

MABRID
Safety first.

WAIVE
(checking gun)
I have checked the gun and it is not loaded.

(WAIVE hands the gun to MABRID. She checks it.)

MABRID
I have also checked the gun and I can confirm it’s not loaded.

WAIVE
Okay. What do you think?

(WAIVE poses with the gun.)

MABRID
I like it. It’s classy.

WAIVE
I think I’m gonna go with it.

(WAIVE opens his coat, revealing a shoulder holster. He puts the gun in the holster.)

WAIVE
Man. Why am I so nervous?

MABRID
You’re sweating.

WAIVE
I’ve done this a thousand times. This should be easy.

MABRID
You’re under a lot of pressure Waive. Things aren’t like they were ten years ago. Gun owners are an oppressed minority now.

WAIVE
I was listening to MSNBC yesterday –

MABRID
There was your first mistake.

WAIVE
They were saying such hateful things about me. I just kept thinking…”These people don’t even know me.”

MABRID
I’m telling you, the media hypes all this stuff up. It’s irrational. They’re trying to make it seem like we’re the bad guys.

WAIVE
We’re not, right? We’re not the bad guys.

MABRID
Of course not.

(CRANK enters)

CRANK
Two minutes, Mr. L’Preve.

WAIVE
Thanks.

(CRANK exits)

WAIVE
Wow. My stomach.

MABRID
What’s wrong?

WAIVE
I need to sit down. Is this stage fright? Am I getting stage fright? I don’t know if I can go out there.

MABRID
Now you listen to me Waive Gordon L’Preve. You are an American hero.

WAIVE
I am?

MABRID
And there are thousands of people out there ready to listen to how you’re going to fight for their god given rights. We are under fire, right now. All of us. And I can go out there and talk and let strangers look at my boobs all damn day but that’s not going to inspire them like you are. This is why you were put on this planet. This is your job. You are Waive Gordon L’Preve. Now get up, go out there and kick some ass.

WAIVE
Yes. I can do this.

(WAIVE stands up)

WAIVE
Thank you.

MABRID
No, Waive. Thank you. Now get out there.

WAIVE
Wait!

(WAIVE takes the gun out of his holster and goes to the safe.)

MABRID
You’re not gonna use the Smith & Hunter?

(WAIVE puts the gun in the safe, then takes out a gold gun)

WAIVE
Nope. I think I need my lucky gun.

(The gold gun goes off, shooting MABRID. She falls over, dead, dead, dead.)

WAIVE
(Pause) Mabrid? Mabrid? Oh my God.

(CRANK enters)

CRANK
You okay, Mr. L’Preve? (sees MABRID’S body) Oh, my God. Oh, sweet lord.

WAIVE
It was…it just…

CRANK
What happened?

WAIVE
It was an accident.

CRANK
Didn’t you check to see if it was loaded? You always check to see if it was loaded!

WAIVE
I checked the other one!

CRANK
Why didn’t you check that one!

WAIVE
You were supposed to check that one!

CRANK
I didn’t check that one because you said you were using the other one!

WAIVE
Dammit! Godammit!

CRANK
Oh, this is bad. This is real fucking bad.

WAIVE
Don’t curse! There is a code of conduct for the interns at National Firearms and it includes refraining from cursing so stop fucking cursing!

CRANK
Does the code of conduct include shooting the organization’s spokesperson? Because you just shot the organization’s spokesperson!

WAIVE
It was not my fault!

CRANK
Well it wasn’t my fault!

WAIVE
It was more your fault than my fault!

CRANK
Oh, my God. I knew something like this would happen. The world is so awful. God, I’m so depressed.

WAIVE
What do you have to be depressed about?

CRANK
There’s no way out of this! Walls closing in…sinking into pit of despair –

(There’s a knock on the door)

VOICE
Waive? You in there?

WAIVE
Don’t come in! I’m…um…masturbating!

(pause)

VOICE
Okaaaayyyyy…

WAIVE
I’ll be out in two minutes!

VOICE
Everyone’s waiting.

WAIVE
Two minutes!

CRANK
I mean I may as well just die. That’s the only way out of this.

(WAIVE gets an idea)

WAIVE
You know what, Crank? This wasn’t your fault.

CRANK
It wasn’t?

WAIVE
No. You’ve been depressed lately, yeah?

CRANK
Yeah. Pretty bad.

WAIVE
So you haven’t been thinking clearly.

CRANK
I haven’t.

WAIVE
People just don’t understand what that’s like.

CRANK
It’s true. They don’t.

(WAIVE leads CRANK to a chair and sits him down behind it.)

WAIVE
It’s like everyone is coming after you and no one wants to give you a fair shake.

CRANK
That’s exactly what it feels like.

(There’s more knocking on the door.)

VOICE
Waive? Waive? You in there?

WAIVE
(putting the gun in CRANK’s hand)
When the world starts crashing down on you, you’ve got no choice but to defend yourself, right?

CRANK
Right.

VOICE
Okay, Waive! I know something’s wrong in there! Unlock the door or I’m breaking it down!

WAIVE
Repeat after me. I am not responsible.

CRANK
I am not responsible.

WAIVE
This is not my fault.

CRANK
This is not my fault.

(WAIVE goes to the safe, takes out the cash box and tucks it under his arm. The pounding on the door gets louder and louder.)

WAIVE
You just keep saying that over and over.

CRANK
This is not my fault. I am not responsible.

VOICE
We’re coming in, Waive!

(WAIVE sneaks out the side door and exits. The pounding on the main door gets louder. CRANK holds out the gun and aims it directly at the main door as the voices outside get louder.)

CRANK
This is not my fault. I am not responsible. This is not my fault! I am not responsible!

END OF PLAY

 

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