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PERVERSION: a Short Play
[Culture & société]

PERVERSION: a Short Play

Jean(17 Oct 2011)
A short play and satire by John SUSS about the absurdity of the dominant economic policy paradigm and the disconnection of government officials.

PERVERSION

John Suss ©2006

ACT I — SCENE I


Knucklehead, a patrolman=K
Pithead, the police lieutenant=L
Stargazer=S
A young lady is looking at the sky in a city street. Two policemen approach her.
KHey you! What are you doing?
SHello officer, what can I do for you?
KYou heard that lieutenant; she's asking me what she can do for me.
SIf I can be of service.
KLieutenant she is asking me if she can be of service.
He tries to handcuff her.
S What are you doing officer? Are you crazy?The lieutenant comes near her.
L Let me handle it, Knucklehead. No need to handcuff her, she's not going anywhere.The lieutenant blocks the stargazer's escape.
S What did I do, officer? What did I do? I only wanted to be of service.
KThere she goes again, Lieutenant. She admits her guilt. She is shameless.
LCalm down, Knucklehead. - Young lady, can you tell me what you were doing before we came?
SOfficer, I was only looking at the sky, I swear. I felt so good. The sky is so blue, the sun is so gorgeous.The lieutenant writes things down, notepad in hand.
LSo you admit that you were looking at the sky?
SYes, the whole beautiful sky. Isn't it wonderful?
LYoung lady, were you looking at a small portion of the sky, at a quarter of the sky, at half the sky, at three quarters of the sky or at the whole sky?
SThe whole beautiful sky, officer.
KAAAAAaaaah!
LCalm down, Knucklehead. The whole sky, is that it?
S(Ecstatically) - Yes, officer.
LLieutenant, dear, not officer.
SSorry officer.. euh lieutenant, sorry, very sorry.
LThat's all right dear. Were you looking at something else, besides the sky?
SYes, lieutenant, I was looking at the sun.
KAAAAAaaaah!
LCalm down, Knucklehead. Were you looking at the whole sun, or just a part of the sun? A quarter, one half, three quarters perhaps?...
SNo, lieutenant, at the whole sun, the whole gorgeous sun...
KLet me handcuff this pervert, lieutenant. I can't take it anymore.
LCalm down, Knucklehead, let me proceed with the investigation. So you were looking at the whole sun and the whole sky, is that it?
Seagerly-yes, lieutenant, at the whole gorgeous sun and the whole gorgeous sky and I felt so happy!
KAAAAaaaah! I can't take it lieutenant. Let me take care of this pervert. You can see that she's making fun of us.
LRelax, Knucklehead. You're interrupting my interrogation.
KSorry, lieutenant.
LDon't do it again.
KNo, lieutenant.
LSweetly. Were you looking at anything else beside the sun and the sky, at the clouds, perhaps?
SO yes, officer. I was looking at the beautiful white clouds.
KAAAAaaaah!(he acts as if he's about to strangle her)
LKnucklehead!
KSorry, lieutenant.
LWere you looking at only one cloud, several clouds or at all the clouds?
SAll the marvelous clouds, lieutenant.
KAAAAaaaah!
LYoung lady, I am lieutenant Pithead of the City Vice Brigade,(he shows identification).
You have just admitted to committing serious violations of the obscenity laws.
SThe obscenity laws?
LYes, the obscenity laws.
SBut I was only looking at the sun, the sky and the clouds.
LPrecisely. What is the definition of obscenity, dear?
SI don't know, lieutenant.
LObscenity consists in either revealing too much or in seeing or looking at too much, isn't that so?
SEuh...maybe lieutenant, I'm not sure.
LIt is so, dear. He looks at his notes. You have just admitted that you looked at the whole sky, the whole sun, and the whole of the clouds, haven't you?
SI have lieutenant, but...
LThat constitutes obscenity. You have committed three acts of obscenities and have admitted them. (He pulls out his manual and reads the law on obscenity)... Obscenity...blah...blah...blah...blah...blah...blah...(His reading is incomprehensible)
SThis is crazy, lieutenant. Why would seeing the whole sun, the clouds and the sky be considered acts of obscenity before the law?
LThe law defines your acts as crimes of economic obscenity.
SEconomic obscenity, why, that's crazy!
KLieutenant, she's insulting our laws.
LQuiet, Knucklehead. Young lady, these laws are not crazy, they are carefully thought
SBut why?
LI shouldn't be explaining this to you, you should ask your lawyer or the judge, but since you seem to be a nice young lady, in spite of your perversity, I'll tell you.
SLieutenant, I'm not a pervert, I'm a nice person. I just wanted to see the sky...
KThere she goes again.
LShut up, Knucklehead. Let me explain. You see the skyscrapers, the elevated trains, the elevated highways?
SYes, they are ugly.
LNo, young lady, they are beautiful. They are the economy. No skyscrapers, no construction, no economy. No economy, no salary for Knucklehead and me.
KGrrr!
LAnd no drug rehabilitation for you.
SI don't take drugs, lieutenant.
KThat's what they all say.
LIf you don't take drugs now, you will after your incarceration.
SMy incarceration, o my God! But, lieutenant, what does it have to do with obscenity?
LIf you want to see too much of the sun, the sky and the clouds, and everybody is like you, the government will have to tear down the skyscrapers, the elevated trains, the highways, and the economy will collapse. If the economy collapses, no money for Knucklehead and me.
SI think I'm beginning to understand, o my God!
LIf the economy collapses, Knucklehead and I, lieutenant Pithead, will be unemployed and very angry. If we are unemployed, we get to keep our service revolvers, get it?
SI think I'm beginning to understand.
LAre there others like you that you know who are engaging in the activity of looking at the sun, the sky and the clouds?
SI can't say, lieutenant.
KCan I handcuff the perpetrator now, lieutenant?
LYou may, Knucklehead. I'm afraid, I'm gonna have to take you in for further interrogation at the police precinct. These are very serious crimes you have committed. I have to write a report and you will have to tell us about your accomplices.
Khandcuffs her. They exit.

ACT I — SCENE II

Officer Snakehead=SN
Officer Skunkhead=SK
LLE=Long Live the Economy
The salute LLE is done by placing a closed fist on top of the head, then placing the fist to the right and left temple or vice versa, then the fist is placed on the chin, or on the chest near the sternum. This is then followed by a gentle coming together of the leg, as if snapping at attention.
At a police precinct in the City of Concrete.
SN & SK are seated at a table. SK is writing a report.
SNSo you made your quota of arrests this week?
SKYeah, it was a little slow at first but I made it.
SNWere you able to confiscate any property?
SKYeah, I was lucky, drugs, weapons, some merchandise.
SNWhat percentage do you get?
SKI get 10%.
SNEh! I get only 5%!
SKDon't complain, you're on the force only five years, I got ten.
SNThat's true. What are you writing up?
SKThe reports on highway collections.
SNEh! Did you put mine in? I ran over one skunk, two foxes and ten squirrels.
SKYou did good. I put them in.
SNHow much do I get for each?
SKWell, a skunk is one hundred money units, a fox is two hundred and each squirrel is ten.
That makes six hundred units. You did good. The minimum is three hundred units per week, below that you get penalized.
SNHow about you?
SKI got lucky. I got a deer, that's worth 500 units, a bear, worth 750 units and a coyote, that's 600 units.
SNWow! You're lucky. I never ran over a bear or a coyote. You're gonna be rich.
SKNaw. It was just luck. They're getting rarer. They avoid the highways. They don't block or slow down traffic any more. No slowing down of traffic, no pest to run over. No pest to run over, no prize money.
SNYou're telling me! Nowadays you only find stray squirrels, maybe a cat or a dog.
SKCats and dogs are out! Pet owners are against running over cats or dogs.
SNIs it true that we are soon going to be allowed to run over pedestrians on the highways outside the city just like we do on city streets? They slow down traffic don't they? And slowing traffic is slowing the economy. LLE(makes the signs).
SKLLE (makes the signs) The mayor is thinking about it but the governor is against it. The legislature is split, half is for it, the other half is against it.
SNIf it passes and we run them over, will we get a bonus?
SKProbably.
SNHow much will it be?
SKOh I don't know. Maybe something between a skunk and a gopher.
SNThat little?
SKI'm afraid so. Don't count on pedestrian bonuses to help you pay your bills.
SNToo bad. Can you tell me why a skunk is a 100 units, a fox 200 and a squirrel is 10?
SKIt's calculated on how much they slow down traffic. A fox slows down cars more than a skunk and a skunk more than a squirrel.
SNI see. Clever!
SKI can't believe how slow it is today.
SNAin't that the truth.
SKWatch out! Someone's coming.

ACT I — SCENE III

Officer Snakehead=SN
Officer Skunkhead=SK
Officer Katrina=Ka
Lieutenant Pithead=L
Stargazer=S
Same police precinct.
The Lieutenant and arresting officer Knucklehead come with the handcuffed female prisoner.
LTo Skunkhead and SnakeheadLLE. Officers! Put the perpetrator in the holding pen, remove her handcuffs and get her fingerprinted.
He leaves with arresting officer Knucklehead. Later.
SPlaintivelyOfficer!No reaction from SN or SKOfficer!
SNWhat do you want?
SI gotta go, officer.
SNYou're not going anywhere, young lady.
SBut I gotta go!
SNI said you're not going anywhere, so shut up!
SBut officer, I gotta make wee wee.
SNWhat do you mean you gotta make wee wee?
SI gotta make wee wee.
SNlaughingDo you have to make the big one or the small one?
SplaintivelyThe small one, officer.
SNThen do it. You got a toilet in the cell.
SBut officer there's no privacy.
SNYou want privacy too? What else do you want? Use the toilet I tell you.
SBut officer you can see through the bars. I need a place with walls.
SKStopping writing his report Get officer Katrina, Snakehead, or shell pee on the floor and mess up the cell.
SNThat's all we need. Katrina!SilenceKatrina!!
KaWalks inWhat is it?
SNWe need you here. There's a female perp who needs to make pee wee and wants privacy.
KaAngry lookingSo that's why you need me, to help a perp make pee wee?
That's why I became a patrolwoman? I'm going to call the union and file a complaint. Why am I needed anyway? She has a toilet.
SKCalm down, Katrina. This young lady is ashamed to be seen through the bars by us two men. So if you could place yourself in front of her so we cant see her, shell have her privacy and we'll have a clean holding pen.
KaBring her a curtain instead.
SKWe are not allowed to have a curtain, not even for body searches. She must be visible at all time.
KaOh, all right. Procedures, procedures.To Stargazer Sweetheart I'm hiding you so you can make your wee wee, just don't make noises and don't splash me.She places herself in front of the Stargazer.
SAfter a short timeOfficer!
KaWhat do you want now?
SI can't flush it.
KaAngrilyNow you want me to flush your piss for you? You have a lot of nerve, young lady. I'm losing my patience with you.
SKRelax, Katrina. In the 10 years I've been here, this toilet has never flushed.
SFranticallyWhat am I going to do?
KaPull down the toilet seat cover and shut up!
SWhiningThere's no toilet seat cover!
KaThen hold your nose and shut up. Young lady, I don't want to hear anything from you anymore, not one word! You understand?
Enters the lieutenant

ACT I — SCENE IV

Officer Snakehead=SN
Officer Skunkhead=SK
Officer Katrina=Ka
Lieutenant Pithead=L
Stargazer=S
Same police precinct.
LLLE.
All togetherLLE.
LHas the perpetrator been fingerprinted yet?
KaNo, Lieutenant. The perp. is making wee-wee.
LWee-wee?
KaYes.
The Stargazer has moved away from the toilet bowl and cowers in a comer of the cell. Katrina moves out of the way so the Lieutenant can see the toilet bowl and far away in the corner he sees the Stargazer.
LLooks at the bowl. That's disgusting! Officer, get this young lady fingerprinted and processed right now!
SKOK, Lieutenant.The Lieutenant exits.
KaTo the StargazerYou see what you've done with your bladder? You got me in trouble. I may get a bad report. Get out of the cell!
Ka opens the holding pen.
SKThat's all right, Katrina, I'll handle it and I'll fix it with the lieutenant.
KaYou promise?
SKYes, I promise, sweetheart.Ka exits.
SKCome on, young lady, I'm going to laser fingerprint you and record your iris pattern.
He takes a hand probe and moves it along each of the Stargazer's fingers.
SKYou're scared?
SA little. What does the contraption do?
SKIt records your fingerprint for each finger and sends it through the Internet to the national police database. Isn't that wonderful? With the Internet you'll be identifiable instantaneously throughout the world. The fingers are done. Now the eyes.He places the probe in front of the Stargazer's eyes. Open your eyes wide dear. Wider. Wider. That's it. Right eye... Left eye. Each pupil is recorded. Good! Now for your picture.He takes a camera-probe from his desk. Smile and say Aaah.
SAaah.
SKI was only joking. You don't need to say aaah. I need you to identify yourself. What is your name?
SVirginia Beanhead.
SKAge and birthdate? Don't give the year, just the day and the month, the computer will calculate the year from today on.
S23. December 3rd.
SKSex?
SFemale.
SKAddress?
S23-12 Carrot cake avenue. City of Concrete.
SKPlace of birth?
SCity of Concrete.
SKNationality?
SState of Concrete.
SKSign here.
SShe signs.
The lieutenant reappears,
LAre you done yet?
SKYes, lieutenant
LTake her to the interrogation room.
CURTAIN.

ACT I — SCENE V

Detective Viper=V
Lieutenant Pithead=L
Stargazer-Virginia=S
Officer Skunkhead=SK
Officer Katrina=Ka
Same police precinct. Interrogation room.
Officer Skunkhead, Lieutenant Pithead and the Stargazer enter the interrogation room. Detective Viper, seated at a desk, gets up to greet them,
LYoung lady, this is detective Viper. He's a very nice man. He's going to ask you a few questions. He is your friend. Answer the questions truthfully.
VLLE, lieutenant.
L & SKLLE.
They both leave.
VViper sits at his desk and turns to the StargazerYoung lady, I'm a very nice man. You are a good person, I'm sure, and you always tell the truth, don't you?
SI do, detective.
VAnd you don't mind if I ask you a few simple questions, do you?
SNo, detective.
VWould you like a cup of tea or a cup of coffee perhaps?
SNo, officer.
VYou drink soda perhaps?
SNo, detective.
VWine or beer?
SNo officer.
VAny other alcoholic beverages?Viper is beginning to look annoyed.
SNo, detective.
VYou don't consume anything? What do you drink?
SWater, detective.
VAh, water, that's better. Mineral water, bottled water, bottled spring water perhaps?
SNo, officer, only tap water.
VWhat! You don't buy any tea, coffee, sodas, alcoholic beverages or mineral water? You just drink free water?
SYes, detective.
VEnragedWhy, that's an abomination...catching himself Euh, I mean... Young lady don't you want to consume? Don't you want to help the economy?
SNo, detective.
VAha! Let me make a note of this... Young lady, this apartment where you live, you own the apartment?
SNo, officer.
VBut you intend to buy this apartment soon?
SNo, detective.
VYou don't own and you won't buy but you pay rent, a big rent?
SNo, detective.
VYou mean no big rent?
SI don't pay a big rent, detective.
VBut you pay rent, don't you? You pay something? Tell me you pay something.
SNo, officer, I don't pay rent
VAaaah! My nitroglycerine pill!He takes a pill for his heartYou don't pay rent. You don't consume. You want to ruin the economy?
SNo, officer.
VDetective, perpetrator! Detective, not officer! I'am Detective Viper. He strikes his chest
SYes, detective Viper.
VScreamingYes detective? You mean you want to ruin the economy?
SNo, detective.
VCalming down.Ah! That's better.
The lieutenant enters quietly to observe.
VYou don't pay rent, so how do you live at this address?
SIt's my father's apartment.
VAnd he bought it?
SYes, detective.
VAh, that's better. And he paid a big price for it?
SYes, detective, he paid a very big price.
VThat's much better. Delightful! And where is your father now?
SHe died, detective.
VI am sorry, dear. Did he die a long time ago?
SHe died ten years ago, detective.
VI am sorry, dear. What did he die of?
SHe died of a heart attack.
VCaused by? Excessive consumption, perhaps?
SNo, sir. He got a heart attack because he paid too much money for the apartment.
VMarvelous! Er... I mean, I'm sorry. I make a note. Father died of excessive debt, not excessive consumption. Very good. It helps your case. How old was he when he died?
SSixty.
VSixty. Before he received Social Security payments?
SAlas, detective.
VMarvelous! I mean... it's terrible, dear.
LWe share your bereavement, young lady. Detective Viper is a very nice man, he shares your pain. You're doing well, continue to provide truthful answers to detective Viper.
VYes, I am a very nice man. Tell me dear, do you consume?
SWhat do you mean?
VDo you buy a lot of things?
SNo, sir.
VYou don't buy clothes?
SNo, sir.
VNo? You don't buy jewelry, pretty jewelry?
SNever, sir.
VNever? My god! You don't buy food?
SJust enough to survive.
VThat's treason! Do you go to movies, theatres, take vacations?
SNever, sir.
VSo you spend nothing at all?
SNothing, sir.
VExcitedly You're going to ruin the economy. You must spend! You must spend! You must spend! He moves as if he wants to strangle her.
LViper! Take a hold of yourself. Don't mind him, dear, he's a very nice man.
VYes, I'm a very nice man, Sorry, lieutenant,
LProceed with the questioning. Viper.
VPerpetrator! Do you have debts?
SNo, sir, no debts.
VVery agitatedNo debts, no consumption, what do you think you are doing? You want to be the ruin of this country?
LViper keep your opinions to yourself and proceed. Don't mind him, dear, he's a very nice man.
VDo you work? Do you earn money, a lot of money? You have a lot of savings, an inheritance?
SNo, sir. I earn nothing. I have no money, no inheritance.
VAaah, my heart!He takes a nitroglycerine pill for his angina pectoris.
LCalm down, Viper. Young lady, you may be of benefit to the economy after all. If detective Viper dies, the state will save a lot of money.
VOh lieutenant, that's mean!
LOnly kidding, Viper, you're a very nice man. Young lady, will you provide us with the names, addresses and occupations of your friends who look at the sun, the clouds, and the sky?
SOh yes, lieutenant. I love them very much. I would like you to meet them. You'll like them.
LI'd be delighted to meet them, dear. What about detective Viper, could he meet them too? He is a very nice man and he has a very good heart, even though he has a very bad heart.
SDetective Viper can meet them too. I like him a lot and I am sorry he has a bad heart.
LAnd can officers Skunkhead, Knucklehead, Snakehead and Katrina meet your friends too?
SYes, lieutenant, I like them all very much.
LThey are all very nice men and women and you are a very nice girl.
SOh thank you, lieutenant
LDo you love everybody?
SYes, lieutenant. I love everybody and I love all flowers, animals, the sun, the sky, the moon.
LThe moon too, eh?
SYes, lieutenant.
LDo you look at the whole moon, half the moon, or a small part of the moon?
SThe whole moon, lieutenant.L writes things down
VAaah! aaah! My heart, my pills!
LAnd you see the moon often?
SWhenever I can, lieutenant,
LEven every day?
SEvery day if can.
VWhines   Wooooh!
LQuiet, Viper! Take a hold of yourself. You love everyone and you love animals, plants, the moon, the sky, the sun, and the clouds, but do you also love money, spending, debt accumulation, consumption and possessions?
SAh, no lieutenant, I don't care at all about that.
VAaaah! Aaaaah!
LHe's a very nice man, I hope he won't die tonight.
SPoor man, why is he sick?
LHe cares too much about what you don't care about. He's a very nice man.
SPoor dear, I hope you feel better. Can I go now, lieutenant, my friends will be looking for me and worry.
LNot yet, dear, not today. But don't worry, well go see your friends together.
SOh thank you, sir.
KaEntersThe Chief of Police is coming.
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