GUNS IN CLASS – A Play for Monday

gun

GUNS IN CLASS – A Play for Monday

By David Lee White

SCENE: A high school classroom in Idaho, on the first day of school.

TEACHER:… and that’s what we’ll be covering in class this semester. Any questions? No? Well, we have a few minutes until the end of class and I thought we could take that time to get to know one another. I like to know a little bit about my students. Just forget that I’m your teacher for a minute and tell me something about you. Any volunteers?

RANDY: Uh…sure. I’ll go.

TEACHER: Great! Randy, is it?

RANDY: Yeah. My name is Randy. I’m a freshman and I’m new to the school. We just moved here so I’m kind of nervous.

TEACHER: No need to be nervous, Randy. We’re all friends here. Tell us something about yourself, Randy. Be brave. We won’t judge.

RANDY: Uh… okay. Well, you know those people that sometimes can have epileptic seizures when they see strobe lights? Well that happens to me, sometimes.

TEACHER: Really?

RANDY: Yeah. Not every time. But strobe lights or any kind of flashing light, really. If it’s completely dark except for a flashing light, I could have a seizure.

MARY (student): Oh, man. That happened to my mom one time. I just started crying. I have no idea what would happen if I saw someone have a seizure again.

TEACHER: Not to worry. There will be no flashing lights in this classroom. And if their were, we would all just remain calm and I assume that the seizure would eventually pass and everything would be fine. Right, Randy?

RANDY: Sure.

TEACHER: Okay, who else?

BOBBY (Student): I guess I’ll go. My name is Bobby. I’m a sophomore. And I guess my private thing is that I throw up really easily. Like if I see someone else throw up, I will definitely throw up.

CINDY (Student): Oh, man. This is a brand new sweater. If he throws up, I will scream and run right out of this room.

TEACHER: Ha, ha. Don’t worry, guys. No one is going to throw up.

BILLY (Student): Only one thing makes me throw up and that’s if I see someone crying really hard and snot comes out. I almost never throw up, but if I see snot I might throw up.

MARY: I am TOTALLY that kind of crier! Ha, ha! I hope I never cry around you!

BILLY: I hope not!

MARY: Nah, the last time I cried that hard was when my mom had that seizure.

RANDY: I only have seizures if there are flashing lights.

CINDY: I will scream if someone throws up!

TEACHER: Okay, everybody. Just calm down. Ha, ha. You guys are hilarious. Okay, it’s my turn. As you know, my name is Mr. Simpson and I’m your teacher. Also, in the interest of disclosure (opens jacket revealing a shoulder holster) I am carrying a legally registered, loaded firearm. I am trained to use this firearm and I carry it for protection. Both my protection and your protection. If more teachers were armed and trained in the correct use of firearms, I believe we wouldn’t have the kind of problems we’re seeing in schools, these days, with the shootings by disgruntled students and whatnot.

RANDY: What was the firearm training like, Mr. Simpson? Was it difficult?

TEACHER: It was! And I confess that I did have one embarrassing moment early on. I had to go to a shooting range where cardboard cutouts of people would pop out of nowhere and I had a split second to decide whether to fire my weapon or not. What I didn’t realize was that there were sound effects. At one point, there was a recording of a woman screaming and it scared me so badly that I just started firing like crazy and I destroyed all the fake people! My trainer was very understanding, though.

MARY: Why did you do that?

TEACHER: I have no idea. Something about the sound of a woman screaming just made me lose control.

CINDY: I would only scream if Bobby threw up.

BOBBY: And I would only throw up if Billy threw up.

BILLY: I only throw up when I see snot.

MARY: I snot when I cry, but the last time I cried was when my mom had that seizure.

RANDY: I only have seizures if there are flashing lights.

TEACHER: Ha, ha. Relax, everyone. None of that is going to happen. Back to me. Now that I’ve completed my firearm training, I’m prepared to protect and defend. I know how to look at a situation, assess the risks and make snap judgements without endangering innocent children. Rest assured, there will be no embarrassing firearm incidents in my classroom.

INTERCOM: “Hello, teachers and students. Please excuse this untimely interruption. With the cooperation of the police department, we will shortly have a lock down drill. This is to insure that everyone knows what to do if our building is suddenly under siege by one or more people carrying loaded firearms. After the final bell rings, please lock your classroom doors and turn out all the lights in the room. Do not be alarmed by the flashing lights outside your windows. Those are members of the police department taking part in the drill.”

CINDY: I’ll lock the door!

BILLY: I’ll turn out the lights!

TEACHER: Yes. The classroom must be in complete darkness.

RANDY: What did he say about flashing lights?

TEACHER: (looking at watch) Class is about to end. The lock down drill will being in five, four, three, two –

END OF PLAY

 

 

 

STOP RIOTING – A Play for Monday (on a Thursday)

STOP RIOTING

A Play for Monday (on a Thursday) by David Lee White

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SCENE: A police department. The OFFICER is sitting at his desk. A REPORTER enters

REPORTER: Hi. I’m a reporter and I have a few questions about the young man that was shot last weekend –

OFFICER: (pulling out bullhorn)  *Squawk* STOP RIOTING.

REPORTER: I’m sorry?

OFFICER: *Squawk* STOP RIOTING AND STEP AWAY FROM MY DESK!

REPORTER: Uh… okay…sorry.

OFFICER: *Squawk*  I AM OPEN TO ALL INQUIRIES FROM THE PRESS. HOW MAY I HELP YOU?

REPORTER: Well, um, a member of your department shot a young man and witnesses say he was unarmed, so I’m wondering if you have any information about –

OFFICER: *Squawk* IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT RIOTING, JUST FORGET ABOUT IT.

REPORTER: I’m not thinking about… I mean…

OFFICER: *Squawk*  I’M SERIOUS

(PROTESTER enters)

PROTESTER: Justice! We want justice!

OFFICER: *Squawk* STOP RIOTING RIGHT NOW AND I MEAN IT.

PROTESTER: I’m not rioting! This is a peaceful protest!

OFFICER: *Squawk* DON’T SHOUT AT ME.

REPORTER: But you’re shouting at her.

OFFICER: *Squawk* I’M NOT SHOUTING. I’M SPEAKING IN A NORMAL TONE AND THIS BULLHORN IS AMPLIFYING MY VOICE. YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND, SEEM ANGRY.

REPORTER: I’m not angry. I’m just trying to find out –

PROTESTOR: I’m fucking angry!

OFFICER: *Squawk* STAND AWAY FROM MY DESK OR I WILL THROW TEAR GAS AT YOU.

REPORTER: Jesus… (puts shirt collar over face)

PROTESTOR: We have the right to assemble! (wraps kerchief over her nose and mouth)

OFFICER: *Squawk* NOW YOU LOOK SCARY TO ME. LIKE YOU’RE WEARING DISGUISES. MY GOD, I’M BEING ATTACKED.

(RIOTER runs in carrying a widescreen TV)

RIOTER: ‘Scuse me, ‘scuse me, ‘scuse me

PROTESTOR: Wait! Don’t do that! Come on, man!

(RIOTER exits)

OFFICER: *Squawk* THERE’S A RIOTER. I KNEW IT. (to PROTESTOR) STOP RIOTING.

PROTESTOR: I’m not rioting! That other guy was rioting! I’m protesting!

OFFICER: *Squawk* BUT HE LOOKED SIMILAR TO YOU. HE’S PROBABLY YOUR FRIEND.

PROTESTOR: I didn’t want him to do that! We were doing two different things!

OFFICER: *Squawk* THAT’S CONFUSING TO ME. MY HEAD HURTS. I MIGHT JUST SHOOT EVERYONE.

REPORTER: The people need to see this. (takes out a camera)

OFFICER: *Squawk* YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FILM THIS.

REPORTER: Yes I am.

PROTESTOR: We want justice!

OFFICER: *Squawk* NO YOU’RE NOT. IT’S ILLEGAL.

REPORTER: No it’s not.

OFFICER: *Squawk* YES IT IS. IT’S ILLEGAL IN THEORY.

PROTESTANT: Justice!

REPORTER: You can’t just arbitrarily decide what is and isn’t legal.

OFFICER: *Squawk* I’M SORRY. I CAN’T HEAR YOU. I’M WEARING EARPLUGS BECAUSE OF THE SIREN.

PROTESTOR: What siren?

(OFFICER pulls out hand-held siren and blares it in their faces)

REPORTER: Jesus!

(OFFICER pulls out gun and shoots REPORTER)

REPORTER: Ow!

PROTESTOR: What the fuck!

OFFICER: *Squawk* CALM DOWN. IT’S JUST A RUBBER BULLET.

REPORTER: Ow! It doesn’t matter! You still can’t do that!

OFFICER: (shoots PROTESTOR)

PROTESTOR: Ow! I didn’t say anything!

OFFICER: *Squawk* YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT IT. I’M A GOOD JUDGE OF CHARACTER. NOW PLEASE DISBURSE. I AM TIRED OF FIGHTING RIOTS AND I WANT TO GO HOME AND WATCH TOP CHEF.

REPORTER: (to PROTESTOR) Come on!

(REPORTER and PROTESTOR exit)

OFFICER: (lowering bullhorn) They always riot.

(VIEWER enters, eating popcorn.)

VIEWER: Hey, man. Nice job.

OFFICER: Thanks. Who are you?

VIEWER: Just been watching things unfold.

OFFICER: You from here? You have family here?

VIEWER: No. But I’m still entitled to an opinion and I think you’re handling everything beautifully. It’s hard work.

OFFICER: Everyone thinks I’m the bad guy. But try to imagine this. You’re a cop, right? And you just pull some guy over for speeding and it seems like it’s just routine. But then the guy pulls out a gun and opens fire at you and you come this close to losing your life. So you take out your gun and do what you’re trained to do. You get rid of the threat. Not only for your immediate safety but for the safety of the community.

VIEWER: Is that what happened?

OFFICER: No. But it could have.

VIEWER: The guy that was killed. He opened fire on a cop?

OFFICER: No. But you’re missing the point. He could have done that.

VIEWER: Did he have a gun?

OFFICER: No, but he could have had a gun.

VIEWER: Had he ever done anything like that ever before?

OFFICER: Not specifically, but people like him have done it before.

VIEWER: To you?

OFFICER: No, but to other people.

VIEWER: That you know?

OFFICER: Not really. But I’ve heard about things like that happening.

VIEWER: From who?

OFFICER: Other people. I don’t mean to sound vague. It’s just that this is all official business.

VIEWER: No problem. I understand. The whole thing is scary.

OFFICER: It is. It’s very scary.

VIEWER: I’m scared all the time.

OFFICER: I am too.

VIEWER: But it helps when I turn on the TV and see the people that I’m scared of in my imagination get beaten. It makes me feel like I have someone on my side. Can I borrow your bullhorn?

OFFICER: Sure (hands him bullhorn)

VIEWER: *Squawk* HI. HEY THERE, PEOPLE THAT I’M NERVOUS ABOUT. STAND AWAY FROM ME AND DO WHAT I SAY.

OFFICER: Feels good, doesn’t it?

VIEWER: Sure does.

END OF PLAY

DRINK MORE WATER – A Play for Monday, 05/18/14

ImageDRINK MORE WATER

A Play for Monday – 05/18/14

By David Lee White

 

Scene: A restaurant. Jim is seated at a table. Stan enters.

Stan: Hey!

Jim: What’s up?

Stan: How long has it been? Two years?

Jim: I can’t believe it! Two years!

Stan: Great to see you, man! You look great!

Jim: You too! How’s life treating you?

Stan: You know…not bad. I’m a little under the weather right now. I’ve got some stomach bug –

Jim: Uh-oh.

Stan: Or an intestinal thing.

Jim: Do you drink a lot of water?

Stan: Oh, yeah. Plenty of water.

Jim: Really?

Stan: Sure.

(pause)

Jim: Really?

Stan: Yeah. I drink water.

Jim: Do you drink enough water?

Stan: Well…yeah.

Jim: I’ll bet you don’t.

Stan: I don’t understand.

Jim: A lot of people think they drink enough water but they really should be drinking more water.

Stan: That’s…okay…but I really think I drink a lot of water.

Jim: I’ll bet you don’t. You should drink more water.

Stan: I’m sorry…how do you know how much water I drink?

Jim: How much water do you drink?

Stan: I don’t know… several glasses a day I guess.

Jim: Big glasses or medium sized glasses?

Stan: I don’t know…like…normal glass-sized glasses.

Jim: Yeah. You need to drink more water. You wouldn’t be having this stomach thing if you drank more water.

Stan: How do you know that? How do you even know what’s causing the stomach thing?

Jim: Look, all I know is I used to be the same way. I thought I was drinking enough water and people were always going “drink more water” and I was like “I drink plenty of water,” but then I suddenly realized what they meant when they said “more water.” They were talking about a lot more water.

Stan: So you started drinking more water.

Jim: Yep.

Stan: And you feel better?

Jim: I feel great!

Stan: How much water do you drink?

Jim: More than you.

Stan: How do you know that??

Jim: It’s the way you talk. Like you drink some water but you don’t really think it’s that big a deal. If you were drinking more water you would understand just what a big deal it is.

Stan: This is…look, I drink water when I’m thirsty and sometimes even a little more than that.

Jim: You realize that I’m not talking about juice or coffee, right?

Stan: No! I know you’re talking about actual water!

Jim: Hey. Calm down. There’s no reason to yell.

Stan: Well why are you just assuming that there’s something wrong with me?

Jim: Hey. I just want you to drink more water.

Stan: I. Drink. Water.

Jim: Okay.

(Pause)

Jim: But you don’t drink enough water.

Stan: I don’t think we can hang out anymore.

Jim: I’m trying to help you.

Stan: No you’re not. You want to get me to drink more water so that you can tell everyone “Hey, look. Stan didn’t used to drink enough water but I got him to drink water.”

Jim: That’s ridiculous. I’m concerned for your health.

Stan: You are not concerned for my health. You just want me to admit that I don’t drink enough water so that you can be right.

Jim: That hurts me.

Stan: I’m sorry. That’s just what it feels like.

Jim: Maybe we should change the subject.

Stan: Okay. Great. Maybe we got off on the wrong foot.

Jim: Sure.

Stan: I mean it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen each other.

Jim: Right.

Stan: So I saw the new James Bond film.

Jim: Yeah?

Stan: Yeah. I remember you were a fan.

Jim: I still am. You want to know a fun fact about Daniel Craig?

Stan: Drinks a lot of water?

Jim: Yep.

Stan: I want to shoot you in the face.

Jim: Whoa, whoa, whoa! There is no need to get violent! I am just expressing myself to you! I am trying to get you to see that you should drink more water and you’re getting all violent!

Stan: Don’t do that! Don’t just keep poking at me over and over again and then pretending like it’s all my fault if I lose my temper!

Jim: It is your fault! I don’t know why you hate water!

Stan: I don’t hate water! I drink it all the time! I fucking bathe in it! I went on a cruise and snorkled with the goddamn stingrays! Water was all over me!

Jim: I can’t talk to you if you’re gonna yell and cuss at me like that.

Stan: Forget it. Just…forget it. I’m sorry I yelled.

(Waiter enters)

Waiter: Can I get you gentlemen anything to drink?

Stan: Just a glass of water.

Waiter: Water for you?

Jim: Whiskey.

END OF PLAY

 

THE SPY WHO THOUGHT HARD – A Play for Monday 04/21/2014

THE SPY WHO THOUGHT HARD
A status update play for Monday
By David Lee White

Q: Good morning, Bond.Image

BOND: Morning, Q.

Q: You have received your briefing from M?

BOND: I have. But no time chit-chat. Time is of the essence. Let’s have at it, shall we?

Q: Yes of course, Bond. First things first. On your next mission, you will wear this wristwatch. If necessary, click this button twice and it becomes a high-powered explosive.

BOND: Ah. And why would that be necessary?

Q: In case you need a bomb.

BOND: Why don’t I just use a normal bomb? Why do I have to give up my wristwatch?

Q: Well –

BOND: How will I know what time it is without my wristwatch? And what if I accidentally brush up against something with my wrist and set off the bomb? How am I supposed to concentrate knowing I have a bomb on my wrist? The whole time I’m at the embassy I’m gonna be thinking “Bomb on my wrist, bomb on my wrist…”

Q: Okay. Don’t take the wristwatch.

BOND: THANK YOU! (picks up another object) What’s this?

Q: Lipstick.

BOND: Just lipstick?

Q: Well…no.

BOND: What else is it?

Q: It’s also a bomb.

BOND: Jesus Christ! What is it with you and bombs? You put a bomb in lipstick? Why? To blow up someone’s lips? What is wrong with you?

Q: It’s not the lipstick itself that’s the bomb. It’s the container. You sneak it into a woman’s bedroom…

BOND: When is that supposed to happen? I’m on a mission. Why would I just detour into a woman’s bedroom?

Q: (sigh) Well… I mean… in case you wind up having sex –

BOND: WHAT? Now I have to have sex with someone? Back up! Good God, Q! Let me just review. I’m spying on the diplomat but at some point I’m just supposed to say “Okay, now I think I’ll take a sex break!” Why, why, why would that happen?

Q: Bond, these things are part of the job.

BOND: Oh, well no pressure! Have you ever tried to have sex knowing that afterward you’re just gonna wind up blowing up the room with lipstick? That is a boner-shrinker, my friend!

Q: Really, James.

BOND: No. I’m not taking the lipstick bomb. Fuck you, you psycho. Blow up some woman lips on your own time. Leave me the fuck out of it. What’s next?

Q: A ballpoint pen that shoots out a grappling hook.

BOND: Because that makes so much sense.

Q: Say you’re falling off a mountain and you aren’t tethered to anything –

BOND: Why wouldn’t I be tethered to anything? Do I look like a moron?

Q: It’s hypothetical. I’m just saying pretend.

BOND: Why would I even pretend that? It’s stupid.

Q: Maybe your tethering mechanism has been severed by an enemy agent.

BOND: Which one? Jaws? That guy freaks me out. He’s too tall.

Q: Yes, Jaws.

BOND: Is there something wrong with him? Does he have rickets? Abraham Lincoln had rickets.

Q: I don’t know. So say you’re falling off a mountain. You can take out this pen, aim it at the mountain and shoot out a grappling hook to break your fall.

BOND: Wait. So you think while I’m falling off a mother-effing mountain, I’m going to calmly reach into my breast pocket, pull out a ballpoint pen, aim it at a cluster of rock, fire a shot, secure the line on my first try, then break my fall without snapping my neck and it’s just going to support my weight?

Q: That’s the plan.

BOND: You know what you should call it? The “false hope ballpoint grappling hook.” What a waste of time. If I fall off a mountain, you know what? I’m dead. Let’s not pretend I’m not dead. You know what I’m going to do while I’m falling? I’m going to scream like a sissy. And so would you, you bastard. You really think I’m going to have the wherewithal to take out a ballpoint pen and shoot it at some rocks? What is wrong with you? No seriously. Do you have a mental problem? Where do you come up with this? A ballpoint grappling hook? Wait! Is it also a bomb? I know how much you love them. Please tell me that that I’ll be carrying three bombs on me. That’s so awesome.

Q: You know what? Never mind.

BOND: How many times am I gonna need to blow shit up? And what makes you think I’m just going to randomly go mountain climbing? Is that like randomly having sex?

Q: That’s enough.

BOND: Maybe I’ll go mountain climbing after stopping my mission just to have sex and blow up some woman’s lips with my secret bomb lipstick. And what time will I do that? Fuck, I don’t know. Because why? Because my watch blew up.

(Q presses a button. BOND blows up. The dust settles.)

Q: God, I hate that guy.

END OF PLAY