There is no intermission, and there is no ending.
The play was written
to be performed with ten performers,
doubled as follows:
Melody -- Job
Cramer -- Hamlet
Lorelei -- Nietzsche
Roland -- Santa Claus
Waiter -- Secretary -- Messenger #3
Bus Boy -- Werner -- Satan
Man -- God
Woman -- Mrs. Werner -- Girlfriend
Executive #1 -- Worker #1 -- Messenger #1
Executive #2 -- Worker #2 -- Messenger #2
|This play was
originally produced September 23-25, 1993, at the University of Northern
Iowa, with the following cast:
Amy M. Augustine
Assistant Director, Alison M. Gerlach; Original Music composed by Jeff Young and Todd Munnik; Set and Sound Design, Scott O. Moore; Lighting Design, Jeremy P. Kisling; Costume and Makeup Design, Sonia D. Walsh; Props, Jason Lees; Stage Manager, Abby Rowold; Directed by Scott O. Moore
Note: Although this script is broken into scenes for convenience, the play itself is intended to run fluidly with no interruptions.
(A cafe or restaurant. CRAMER,
MELODY, LORELEI, and ROLAND sit
at a table.)
CRAMER: It's gotta be funny.
Really funny. Really fucking
funny. Drop dead funny. Make 'em laugh til they puke.
Make 'em laugh til they just plain puke. It's gotta be
that funny. That's how I judge funny. It's gotta cause
a physical, visceral, physiological reaction. You hear
sometimes how something'll make someone laugh til they
piss their pants? I want to go BEYOND that. I want to
go FURTHER. I want 'em to laugh til they fucking puke.
I want to have to put a warning at the beginning of the
show that says, "Hey, warning, this show will make you
laugh til you fucking puke." I don't know what it is
with me, why I always gotta go one step FURTHER than ev-
eryone else, but that's the facts: no one else has any-
thing funny enough to make people vomit. And I think we
all know how much I'm into vomit.
ROLAND: You into vomit?
CRAMER: Yeah, I gotta admit, I'm
into vomit. And how. Vomit
really gets me going. Hell, I'll say it, vomit turns me
on. Vomit really gives me, what do you call it?
MELODY: A hard-on?
CRAMER: Yeah, one of those.
Tasty good, know what I mean? God
knows what you can do with a big bucket of vomit -- but I
LORELEI: I had a dream last night
that I was walking on baby
CRAMER: Please, Lorelei, you'll make
me sick. Now we got four
characters. Hamlet, Santa Claus, Nietzsche, and Job.
ROLAND + MELODY: Hamlet, Santa Claus, Nietzsche, and Job.
CRAMER: This is high concept here.
We're talking about Art. Art
with a capital A. Art like you've never seen before on your
local TV set. Or your nonlocal TV set. Why restrict our-
selves? And people won't know how to handle it. Let's face
it: nobody knows what to do with Art anymore, except ban it.
Nobody will have any fucking idea what to do with this show.
MELODY: They'll vomit.
CRAMER: Exactly. And we all
know how much I'm into vomit. So we
got four characters. Hamlet, Santa Claus, Nietzsche, and
Job. In case you didn't know, these are all characters
straight the fuck out of the Jungian collective unconscious.
I don't exactly know how, you're just gonna have to trust me
on this one. So the shtick is, we got Hamlet, Prince of
Denmark, and he runs around in black tights -- I mean, I'm
not into tights myself, but that's what people EXPECT, and
he's this indecisive, suicidal mother lover, who only speaks
in iambic pentameter. Right there you nail the whole Shake-
speare crowd, and all the poets and the artsy-fartsies.
Then you got Santa Claus, and the shtick is, he only works
one night a year, so the rest of the time he hangs out with
his buddies, always givin' 'em presents, little gingerbread
men, whatever. Santa nails the entire under-12 audience,
and imagine the wacky hijinks we'll have on the Christmas
episode. Then, you got Nietzsche, this insane fucking exi-
stentialist, dripping with wisdom and syphilis or whatever,
and the shtick is, he's so insane, all he can do is scream.
I figure, Nietzsche nails the whole academic-slash-philoso-
phic scene, gets us the college age, God is dead, I-wear-
nothing-but-black crowd, he gets us the whole nutball crowd,
and maybe we get the Nazi fringe audience too, you never
know. And then, of course, there's Job, and this guy, you
know, he's the Gilligan of the bunch, nothing ever goes his
way, his wife and family all bite it, he's covered with ooz-
ing sores and bleeding pustules, I figure, we nail the reli-
gious right, the midwestern Bible-thumpin' Fundamentalists.
And you figure, here's Nietzsche, whose slogan is "God is
dead," hanging around with Job -- Job knows God ain't dead,
if it weren't for God, his family'd still be alive. So
there you go. I figure, maybe they run a bar or something.
ROLAND: We could have guest stars too.
CRAMER: Oh, hell yeah. We'll have awesome guest stars.
ROLAND: Karl Marx.
MELODY: Sigmund Freud.
CRAMER: Stanley Kowalski.
MELODY: Luke Skywalker.
ROLAND: The Easter Bunny.
CRAMER: The Apostle Paul.
MELODY: The Elephant Man.
ROLAND: The Great Gonzo.
CRAMER: The entire fucking cast of
"Love Boat." My grandma'll
shit her diapers when I tell her.
WAITER: May I take your orders?
CRAMER: Gimme a big, fat, thick steak,
rare, and I mean rare,
still breathing, blood just dripping out.
MELODY: I'll have the special.
WAITER: Pardon me?
MELODY: The special. Whatever
the special is, that's what I
WAITER: No matter what the special is, that's what you want?
MELODY: It wouldn't be the special
if it wasn't something
special. I'll have the special. I want the special.
ROLAND: I'd just like a strawberry shortcake, if you don't mind.
WAITER: (to LORELEI) And you, madam?
LORELEI: (after a pause) Sometimes
the sky's as dark as the
inside of a garbage can, and I wonder if the world still
spins, or if it was all just my imagination and a bottle of
WAITER: Soup and salad it is, madam.
Would you care for anything
CRAMER: A bottle of your cheapest,
most obnoxious, sewer-strained
wine, if you will. And make it snappy. We're in a hurry.
Time is money, all that shit. (WAITER goes toward the exit)
ROLAND: Time is money?
CRAMER: That's what I said.
ROLAND: I wonder if Einstein knew about that.
(WAITER is stopped at the door by
the entrance of two
ROLAND: Look who just walked in.
(WAITER leads EXECUTIVES to a table of their own.)
CRAMER: Those fucks. I can't believe--
MELODY: Cramer, forget about it.
ROLAND: Yeah, they're shit -- don't step in it.
MELODY: We've got a great show in
the works, and no one's going
to pass it up. We're on our way. Just ignore them.
EXECUTIVE #1: (calling over) Hey,
Cramer! Sorry about your last
show. I hear the ratings were so low they could only detect
them at the quantum level. (the two EXECUTIVES laugh)
(CRAMER stands, pulls a gun, and
shoots EXECUTIVE #1, who flies
back out of his chair. CRAMER sits.)
CRAMER: I think we need to think
about a romantic interest for
one of these characters. At first, I thought Hamlet could
have Ophelia, but then I thought, those two are made for
each other, there's just no conflict there, and anyway,
she'd be a waterlogged corpse, which I think is a problem.
(WAITER + BUS BOY enter to drag EXECUTIVE #1 away.) We know
Job can't have a romantic interest. His wife died, and we
need that sorrow there as a kind of anchor for all the
hilarious hijinks that go on in this bar. Santa Claus could
have Mrs. Claus, but again, where's the tension? She bakes
cookies and watches the elves while he hangs out at the
bar -- seems perfectly acceptable to me. So. It's gotta be
Nietzsche. Nietzsche's gotta have a babe. And the gag is,
Nietzsche's nuts, he's wacko, he's insane, he's flipped his
lid, he's loony as a jaybird, he's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,
and of course, all he does is scream. So you figure we got
lots of laughs right there, a really comical tension between
Nietzsche and his babe.
WAITER: (at EXECUTIVE #2's table) May I take your order?
EXECUTIVE #2: I'll have the special.
MELODY: So Nietzsche's girlfriend is a regular character.
CRAMER: Maybe. Depends who we can get. Has to be a babe.
(BUS BOY enters, leading a MAN + WOMAN)
BUS BOY: If you'll follow me...
(They pass WAITER, who exits.
BUS BOY leads MAN + WOMAN to
ROLAND: Look who just walked in.
BUS BOY: (as MAN + WOMAN sit) A waiter
will be with you in a
CRAMER: (awestruck) Will you look at HER...
MELODY: Will you look at HIM...
MAN: (turning) Don't look at us.
(CRAMER + MELODY turn away)
EXECUTIVE #2: (stands) Hey! Is that you?
WOMAN: (stands, smiles) Of COURSE it's us!
MAN: You old clown! What are YOU doing here?
EXECUTIVE #2: Eating!
WOMAN: So are we!
EXECUTIVE #2: Oh!
(Awkward pause; then, they sit.
WAITER + BUS BOY enter with a
tray of yummies, head to CRAMER et al's table.)
WAITER: Here we are.
(During the next dialogue, BUS BOY
puts plates on table in front
of each character, and WAITER ladles disgusting green slop from a
dirty old paint bucket onto each plate.)
CRAMER: That woman...she'd be the
perfect woman for Nietzsche's
babe. She's perfect. She's beautiful, abjectly beautiful.
ROLAND: You're objectifying again.
CRAMER: So what? I need an
object, not a person, for Christ's
sake. One of us needs to talk to her.
ROLAND: Sorry, not me. I haven't had a square meal in weeks.
CRAMER: You and your geometry. Lorelei?
LORELEI: I've died a thousand deaths
when moonlit nights have so
overthrown my senses, synesthesia singing from beyond a
self-fulfilling singularity. The tremendum smiles if you
want it to.
CRAMER: You hear her, Melody -- go talk to that woman.
MELODY: (distracted) What?
(During the next, WAITER sets out
wine glasses and BUS BOY pours
wine from a laundry detergent container; then, BUS BOY exits.)
CRAMER: Talk to her. Go over
there and talk to her. Cast her.
Tell her she's gonna be on TV. Everybody wants to be a part
of the mass media that controls the minds of all the kids
and stupid people on the planet. I hear pretty soon you'll
be able to plug right into your TV, you'll be able to com-
pletely submerse yourself into a world entirely designed by
the networks, and through them, the government. Who
wouldn't want to be a part of that? Sleep with her if you
have to -- or heck, I'll sleep with her, I'll be a martyr
for this fucking show. I'll fucking sleep with BOTH of
MELODY: That won't be necessary.
WAITER: Can I get you anything else?
MELODY: (rises) Do you know the names of that woman and that man?
WAITER: They have no names, madam.
(exaggerated stage whisper)
They're from another planet.
ROLAND: I'd like some soy sauce, if you don't mind.
WAITER: Right away, sir. (goes)
MELODY: (crossing to MAN + WOMAN's
table) My name is Melody.
Mind if I join you?
EXECUTIVE #2: (rises) Hey, don't talk to her! She works for NBC!
(CRAMER stands quickly and shoots
EXECUTIVE #2, who flies back
over his chair. CRAMER sits.)
MELODY: (to WOMAN, perfunctorily) You're very beautiful.
WOMAN: So it goes.
MELODY: Would you like to be on TV?
WOMAN: No, thank you.
MELODY: Ah, well. (to MAN) Would you have sex with me?
MAN: Not right now. We're just about to order dinner.
MELODY: How about tonight? I'm free.
MAN: (to WOMAN) Did we have anything planned tonight?
WOMAN: Just more of the same.
MAN: Ah. Well, there's no getting around that I suppose.
CRAMER: (to MELODY) What's taking you so long?
WAITER: (arriving quickly) I'm sorry,
sir. Your soy sauce. (he
sets down a tub of butter.)
CRAMER: Not you. Melody!
MELODY: She won't do it. (to MAN)
You must understand, I've just
realized that I've needed you all these years.
CRAMER: She won't do it!
ROLAND: (opens tub, finds more green
sludge inside) Wow, this
stuff is ritzy.
(WAITER + BUS BOY drag EXECUTIVE #2 away.)
WOMAN: You'll surely find him as boring as I do.
MELODY: Boring is in the perception of the perceiver.
WOMAN: What's the difference?
MAN: Ah, how existential.
WOMAN: He'll sleep with you.
WOMAN: When the moment calls for it.
MAN: At present, I seem to be enjoying this conversation.
CRAMER: Melody! Tell her she
needs to be on TV or I'll have to
WOMAN: It won't be the first time.
MELODY: When you're ready for me, let me know.
MAN: You'll know. These things
always turn out just the way you
LORELEI: Why am I the only one who
smells the impending disaster?
Why has my tongue been cut out and fed to small children, so
that there's no time like the present, and we can't see that
everything is? It's you on the other side where nothing is
but what it was somewhere else, only here, different, as be-
fore, depending on where you sit and how much they charge
for cable. Plastic is the wave of the future, except when
the future is made of particles. That's the way the cookie
(The lights suddenly change; loud
John Zorn music comes up, and
the cast begins dancing wildly, knocking the tables over,
spilling sludge to the floor. The two EXECUTIVES return, bloody,
and join them, as do the WAITER + BUS BOY. The dance may at
times resemble a brawl, or a ritual, or whatever it needs to, and
the audience is encouraged to join in. In the midst of this, the
crew enters and changes the scene. A desk and chair need to be
in place, with four TVs behind it, each one showing a different
program. Confetti, glitter, streamers, garbage, candy, cupcakes,
bran cereal, sugar, and whatever else falls in waves and
particles from the catwalks. The dance takes itself into the
audience if it needs to, and lasts as long as the performers care
to dance. Costume changes happen during the dance. At some
point, the music stops. WERNER sits behind his desk. CRAMER,
LORELEI, MELODY, + ROLAND are in his office; others clear the
CRAMER: Werner! Have I got a fucking show for you!
WERNER: Cramer! It's fucking great to see you!
CRAMER: Listen, Werner, have I got
a fucking show for you. We'll
call it "Hamlet, Santa Claus --
WERNER: Cramer, have you heard the
news? They predicted the end
of the world -- it's happening tonight, a little after mid-
night! Can you fucking believe that?
CRAMER: No, I can't. Listen,
it's called "Hamlet, Santa Claus,
Nietzsche, and Job." It's in a bar. It's a sitcom. Need I
WERNER: Cramer! Don't you get
it? The world's fucking ending.
That means TV too. They predicted it. Jig's up, dig?
CRAMER: Werner, I don't have time for this bullshit.
WERNER: MAKE time for it! Make
time for the end of the world,
pal, because you're bound to be there!
SECRETARY: (enters quickly) Mr. Werner,
your wife is here. She's
going into labor.
WERNER: Send her in! (SECRETARY goes)
(MAN enters from opposite)
(SECRETARY enters with MRS. WERNER,
who is visibly and incredibly
MRS. WERNER: (in pain, etc.) This
is it, honey. Our little
Werner is on the way.
WERNER: Just in time for the apocalypse!
ROLAND: Is this going to take long?
MELODY: (to MAN) I wondered when I would see you again.
SECRETARY: Here, lie down on the
desk, Mrs. Werner. (helps MRS.
WERNER onto the desk)
ROLAND: Shouldn't you boil some water or something?
WERNER: What the fuck for? You wanna make tea or something?
(MAN + MELODY move to each other.
A waltz begins, and the two
start to dance.)
CRAMER: Listen, Werner, I don't give
a shit if your wife's about
to EXPLODE. It's--
(WERNER pulls a gun and shoots CRAMER, who falls over.)
WERNER: (to MRS. WERNER) Honey, are you going to be all right?
MAN: (to MELODY) You're amazingly beautiful.
MRS. WERNER: (screams in pain)
ROLAND: (to LORELEI) Let's get his
wallet. (they move to CRAMER's
MELODY: (to MAN) You're incredibly handsome.
MRS. WERNER: Fucking bitch!
SECRETARY: It's all right! Think happy thoughts!
WERNER: There are no happy thoughts! The world is ending!
MRS. WERNER: (screaming) Jesus Christ
has ripped apart my liver!
Where's the fucking spaghetti sauce?
(Two WORKERS wheel a bed onstage.)
WORKER #1: (to MAN) We got the bed
you ordered. Where do you
MAN: Right over there.
MELODY: You're so thoughtful.
SECRETARY: Think about clowns, and funny jokes, and cupcakes --
MRS. WERNER: (screaming) My ass is
rotting off! I'm swallowing
(MAN + MELODY move to bed, begin
kissing and petting and so on.
WORKERS take seats somewhere nearby, whip out notebooks to take
notes. MRS. WERNER continues screaming throughout the next.)
WERNER: All of civilization is hurtling
toward its final destina-
tion, an endpoint fixed in time, a temporal gravity well
sucking us into a metaphysical singularity! We've made more
progress in the last hundred years than we have in the last
thousand! We've made more progress in the last ten years
than we have in the last hundred! We've made more progress
in the last year than we have in the last ten! Do you see
where this is heading?
WORKER #2: (commenting on MELODY)
She's got style, I'll give her
MRS. WERNER: Werner! Werner!
WERNER: Not now, honey!
SECRETARY: Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!
WERNER: We've made more progress
in the last month than we have
in the last year! We've made more progress in the last week
than we have in the last month! We've made --
MRS. WERNER: (screaming) Who's this "we" you keep babbling about?
ROLAND: (taking a stand; LORELEI
has CRAMER's gun) Mr. Werner, I
hate to interrupt, but we came here to get ourselves a TV
show, and we don't intend to leave until we get one.
LORELEI: (bitter) The penguins are not gregarious.
WERNER: (incredulous) Haven't you heard a single word I've said?
SECRETARY: Push, Mrs. Werner!
WERNER: (turns) Push Mrs. Werner? What the hell for?
MRS. WERNER: (screams)
SECRETARY: Push! Push!
WORKER #1: Now we're getting somewhere.
WORKER #2: They'll lose twenty points
if they go under the
WERNER: We don't have time for any
more TV shows, don't you see?
(ROLAND leaves, WERNER addresses LORELEI) Humanity can't
keep up. The progress of civilization, the incredible tech-
nological and biological advances, why, the poor human brain
just can't keep up. Face it, the universe is a swamp of
randomness, and as order breaks down and dissolves into
chaos, consciousness itself will be radically transformed.
The entire global biostructure will come alive, will reson-
ate throughout the galaxy! This is no time to resist! Give
in! Give in!
SECRETARY: Will you fucking push, Mrs. Werner?
MRS. WERNER: (horrendous scream)
(MAN + MELODY are now having sex;
they have, of course, wrapped
themselves in the covers inadvertently. Their clothes are strewn
about the bed and floor.)
WORKER #1: Give it to her! Yeehah!
(ROLAND reenters, wheeling onstage
a large metal drum. A harness
is lowered to the stage. LORELEI leads WERNER toward it. MELODY
+ MAN are beginning to thrash and moan wildly.)
WERNER: Heisenberg never knew what
he was talking about. None of
them knew, none of them suspected. Each individual human
being is just another neuron firing in the great global
neural net -- isn't that fucking exciting? (ROLAND + LORELEI
strap WERNER into the harness, which then begins to lift him
off the stage) I know, I know, I must sound like an incredi-
SECRETARY: Keep pushing! I can see it coming!
MELODY: Jesus fucking Christ!
WERNER: But it's true! It's
all true! Look out the window!
Look at the riots, the mayhem, the destruction! The human
race can't stand the pressure of the attractor! We're all
beginning to implode, can't you feel it? (ROLAND + LORELEI
wheel the drum underneath WERNER) I can feel it! I can feel
everything! Good God, but it's glorious!
MELODY: Holy mother of God!
MRS. WERNER: (screaming) Where the fuck is the spaghetti sauce?
WERNER: (he is now slowly being lowered
into the drum) I can feel
a new awareness creeping over the planet, subsuming the
ROLAND: I will have my TV show, Mr. Werner! I will have it!
WORKER #1: How much longer is this gonna take?
MRS. WERNER: I can't push any more!
SECRETARY: I think it's stuck!
I'm going to have to cut you
open, Mrs. Werner!
ROLAND: You're being lowered into
sulfuric acid, Mr. Werner!
We're taking over your network! "Hamlet, Santa Claus,
Nietzsche, and Job" will soon be coming to a television set
LORELEI: There's a titmouse in the closet, Mr. Werner!
WERNER: It's too late to stop the plunge! We're on our way!
SECRETARY: (holding a large knife
over MRS. WERNER's stomach)
This won't hurt a bit, Mrs. Werner.
(SECRETARY begins cutting open MRS.
WERNER's stomach, slowly, as
if sawing a board. MRS. WERNER screams appropriately.)
WERNER: Don't worry, honey! I'll be with you soon enough!
LORELEI: I don't think you understand
the gravity of the
(WERNER's toes touch the acid, and
he begins screaming as well)
MELODY: It hurts!
WORKER #2: It's about time!
SECRETARY: I've almost got it, Mrs.
Werner! (blood is spilling
from Mrs. Werner's stomach. SECRETARY plunges a hand in and
begins fishing around)
MELODY: (no longer enjoying herself)
Stop...you must be from ano-
(WERNER's screams intensify, as do
MRS. WERNER's. Suddenly,
WERNER, MRS. WERNER, + MELODY all scream at the top of their
lungs for a bit, spasm, and stop. WERNER + MRS. WERNER are dead.
MELODY collapses onto her back. SECRETARY pulls a bloody ham
from MRS. WERNER's stomach.)
SECRETARY: Congratulations, Mrs.
Werner! You're the mother of a
beautiful five-pound candied ham!
(Lights shift -- the stage is blue.
A wash comes up on the bed.
During the following monologues, WERNER is raised up and away,
ROLAND + LORELEI exit with the drum, CRAMER crawls across the
stage slowly on his belly toward an exit, and the two WORKERS,
the SECRETARY, and the bloody MRS. WERNER begin singing
alternating Gregorian chant/doo-wop a capella, with no lyrics.)
Sometimes the only way to get There's no time like the pre-
through life is to imagine all sent. Someday we'll all live
the different ways that life in climate-controlled domes.
could be worse than it is right The temperature will always be
now. And then, you say to a pleasant 72 degrees, we'll
yourself, "At least I'm not in have a light shower every
that situation. At least I'm Tuesday evening, and maybe a
not THAT person." Sometimes the beautiful snowfall on Christ-
only way to get through life is mas Eve, but by the 26th, it
to take pleasure in the misfor- will have all melted. Fuck na-
tune of others. You think, ture. Kill all the trees. May-
"Well, at least I'm not starv- be, if we're idealists, we'll
ing to death." You think, "Good have a zoo or some such non-
God, that would be the worst, sense, but the only animals we
to be thoroughly and complete- really need are the kind that
ly starving to death, to have go into McDonald's food. We'll
NO FOOD whatsoever, to have a have a minimum IQ requirement.
distended belly and all sorts Kids who are born a little
of deficiencies and imbalances slow will be put to sleep.
and to have so much agony and Criminals will be shot into
to be on the verge of dying. outer space. No such thing as
THAT would be the worst." And an appeal. Murder. I just want
when you think about people murder. I just want a chance
like that, nothing you ever do to kill. There's no moral im-
will ever seem significant a- perative. You can't derive
gain, and nothing that happens meaning from the fact that
to you will ever be quite so there isn't any meaning. I
awful again. Your own suffer- want to be dead. I'll wake up
ing won't ever matter again, and I won't be there. The day
and you'll never take pride in the dog went supernova was a
your own survival again. And very bad day for me. The Tao
when your husband comes home is conscious, it lives and
late again and knocks you breathes and pulses. I am the
straight to the floor with a Tao. Have you checked the Tao
vicious punch, his wedding Jones lately? I'm sick. What
ring tearing open your cheek do I mean? What can I mean?
again, and when he lifts you How can I mean? The mind's on-
to your feet again by a hand- ly function is to mean in a
ful of hair and spits in your world that lacks meaning en-
face and punches you again, tirely. How shall I reconcile
this time ripping open your this? I'll stare at a wall til
lip, and when he flings you my eyes roll back into my
against the wall so hard that head. I just want a chance to
your head snaps back and your kill. I just want a chance to
extremities go numb, and when bathe in blood. I'm not a bad
he throws the nearest lamp at person. There's no such thing.
you and watches it shatter a- I'll pluck my fingernails from
gainst the side of your head, the wall and swallow them
and the blood from your fore- whole. I am composed of bile
head and the blood from your and sickness. The Ressurec-
cheek and the blood from your tion was a fraud. Don't smile.
lip runs down your neck onto Don't move. Your life is a ne-
just about the only clean gation. Even despair has no
shirt you have left, and when angle. Where is Euclid now? I
he kicks and kicks and kicks need to take communion. To
and doesn't care what he fra- hang myself by own genitals.
ctures, and when his coup de To cut out my spleen with a
grace is to strangle you shrimp fork. To cut off my
within an inch of your life feet with a weedeater. Listen
with the lamp cord, all be- to me, just listen--I know
cause you didn't have a plate what you're saying, and it's
of food for him when he walk- hard to live in a world like
ed in the door--none of that this, but so it goes, there it
will matter. It won't matter is, death is just too much of
to you, and it certainly an immediate gamble. I make
won't matter to him, never connections with whoever I
mind that there are men in can, whenever I can, however I
the world who don't have the can. I can't exists. I am my
strength to beat a woman be- own essence, I am an ideal, I
cause they haven't seen food am a substantiated absolute
in weeks and they just watch- that walks and lives and
ed their own wives and chil- breathes, the concepts that I
dren die overnight from the embody strike fear and tremb-
heat and the hunger, never ling into every human being's
mind all that, and better yet, intestines. Blow your horns,
take pleasure in it, because and watch the walls of Jericho
those are people worse off crumble. Charge in and slaugh-
than you, thank God. Let 'em ter every man, woman, and an-
starve, that's the way to drogynous child. I shall hard-
help you, is to let every last en their hearts against thee,
one of them starve to death, such that repentance is duly
so that their situation is no impossible. We won't survive
longer the worst in the world, the cataclysm. There is no un-
and finally, you might be able iversal community, we were
to try a little self-pity. But better off back in the Stone
until they're all dead...until Age. I want you, Melody. I
there are no more starving want to make you the recepta-
people in the world...you'll cle of my rage. I'm not crazy.
forget to have his food ready Humanity is a Gaian belch. I
the next night...and someday have nothing to say, but I can
you'll just have to kill him, say it incredibly fast, I wear
your life will be a TV movie, my influences on my sleeve,
and you won't take any more at a distance where I can keep
pleasure in holding a shotgun a baleful eye on them. Who do
to his head and pulling the think is listening to you? Who
trigger than you did when you do you think cares one whit?
swallowed four of your teeth These people don't care, they
that time--you won't take speak a different language,
pleasure in that at all, they live in a different
because the only pleasure world, there's no such thing
left in the world is thinking as hope and everything we are
about starving people. Let's is what we're not.
order a pizza.
(A sudden silence follows.
Then, TV theme show music, brassy and
big, comes up. The quartet wheels the bed off, and a bar appears
with HAMLET(Cramer) standing on top of it, in front of a gold sparkle
curtain, in tights, in a spot, big smile.)
HAMLET: To be or not to be -- that
is the question! (big canned
laughter) O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! (big
canned laughter) Alas, poor Yorick! (more laughter) I can
keep 'em coming all night! Neither a borrower nor a len-
der be! (canned laughs) The play's the thing! (laughs)
(Lights up on JOB(Melody) with a sheet wrapped around her.)
JOB: There lived in the land of Uz
a man of blameless and upright
life named Job, who feared God and set his face against
wrongdoing. Job was the greatest man in all the East.
(Lights up on SANTA CLAUS(Roland), drunk, holding a bottle of whiskey.)
SANTA CLAUS: Yes, Virginia, there
is a Santa Claus! He sees you
when you're sleeping, Virginia! He knows when you're awake!
Ho ho fucking ho ho ho! (big canned laughs)
(Lights up on NIETZSCHE(Lorelei),
in a chair. He screams insanely. Canned
(Lights up on HAMLET.)
HAMLET: Speak the speech, I pray
you...trippingly on the tongue!
(canned laughs) The lady doth protest too much methinks!
(canned laughs) Is this crap brilliant or what?
(Lights up on GOD + SATAN, behind JOB)
GOD: Where the hell have you been?
SATAN: Ranging over the earth, from end to end.
GOD: (motioning to JOB) Have you
considered my servant Job? You
will find no one like him on earth, a man of blameless and
upright life, who fears God and sets his face against wrong-
SATAN: Has not Job good reason to
be God-fearing? Whatever he
does you have blessed, and his herds have increased beyond
measure. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he
has, and then he will curse you to your face.
GOD: So be it. All that he has is in your hands. (canned laughs)
(Lights up on SANTA CLAUS)
SANTA CLAUS: Listen, Virginia, I
know when you've been bad or
good. Really, I do. And I'll tell you something else, too.
I'm getting tired of Mrs. Claus and all these ELVES.
(Lights up on NIETZSCHE. His wacky GIRLFRIEND enters.)
GIRLFRIEND: Hi, Friedrich, it's me,
your wacky girlfriend!
(canned applause) And how are you today?
NIETZSCHE: (screams) (canned laughs)
GIRLFRIEND: Oh, poor little Friedrich...
(poses for the camera)
Still insane? (big laughs)
(Lights up on JOB. A MESSENGER runs in.)
MESSENGER #1: The oxen were ploughing
and the asses were grazing
near them, when the Sabaeans swooped down and carried them
off, after putting the herdsmen to the sword; and I am the
only one to escape and tell the tale. (laughs)
(Lights up on HAMLET.)
HAMLET: When the wind is southerly,
I know a hawk from a handsaw!
(laughs) What a piece of work is man! (laughs) A little more
than kin and less than kind! (laughs) This guy is fucking
(Lights up on JOB. Another MESSENGER runs in.)
MESSENGER #2: God's fire flashed
from heaven. It struck the
sheep and the shepherds and burnt them up; and I am the only
one to escape and tell the tale. (laughs)
(Lights up on SANTA CLAUS.)
SANTA CLAUS: Virginia...you better
watch out...you better not
cry, Virginia...you better not pout either, you little bitch
...cuz I'M FUCKING COMING TO TOWN! (laughs)
(Lights up on JOB. Another MESSENGER runs in.)
MESSENGER #3: Your sons and daughters
were eating and drinking in
the eldest brother's house, when suddenly a whirlwind swept
across from the desert, and struck the four corners of the
house, and it fell on the young people and killed them,
JOB: And you are the only one to
escape and tell the tale.
(Lights up on NIETZSCHE + GIRLFRIEND.)
GIRLFRIEND: Nietzsche, honey, would you like some supper?
NIETZSCHE: (screams) (laughs)
GIRLFRIEND: How about a movie?
Would you like to watch a movie,
NIETZSCHE: (screams) (laughs)
GIRLFRIEND: (sternly) Nietzsche,
I think you and I have a serious
communication problem. (big laughs)
(Lights up all over. HAMLET
jumps down behind the bar as SANTA
CLAUS enters. A big cheer from offstage: "Santa!" Applause.)
HAMLET: What, ho, Santa Claus!
Or I do forget myself! But what
in faith make you from the North Pole?
SANTA CLAUS: I can't drink that reindeer
piss anymore. Gimme a
GOD: You incited me to ruin him without
a cause, but his integri-
ty is still unshaken.
SATAN: Skin for skin! Stretch
out your hand and touch his bone
and flesh, and see if he will not curse you to your face.
GOD: So be it. He is in your hands.
(JOB collapses to her knees, in absolute
pain, wracked and
GIRLFRIEND: (hearing JOB scream)
Do you hear that, Friedrich?
Sounds like the neighbors are crazy too. (laughs)
MESSENGER #1: Are you still unshaken
in your integrity? Curse
God and die!
MESSENGER #2: Happy the man whom
God rebukes! Therefore do not
reject the discipline of the Almighty.
MESSENGER #3: Can you fathom the
mystery of God, can you fathom
the perfection of the Almighty?
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho.
HAMLET: Get thee to a nunnery.
MESSENGER #3: It is higher than heaven. You can do nothing.
MESSENGER #2: It is deeper than hell. You can know nothing.
MESSENGER #1: Blindness will fall
on the wicked. The ways of
escape are closed to them.
JOB: (calling out) The arrows of
the Almighty find their mark in
me. (screams) The arrows of the Almighty find their mark in
me, and their poison soaks into my spirit. (big laughs; she
HAMLET: I said, get thee to a nunnery. Isn't anybody listening?
SANTA CLAUS: These two elves walk into a bar, right...
GIRLFRIEND: It's getting very dark out all of a sudden.
MESSENGER #1: It is the wicked whose
light is extinguished, from
whose fire no flame will rekindle!
MESSENGER #2: Disease eats away his
skin, death's eldest child
devours his limbs.
JOB + NIETZSCHE: (scream)
HAMLET: What noise? (seeing JOB) Who calls on Hamlet?
SANTA CLAUS: No, listen, this is great.
SATAN: (in the distance) Haven't
you heard a single word I've
MESSENGER #3: His memory vanishes from the face of the earth!
MESSENGER #2: He leaves no name in the world.
JOB: How long will you exhaust me and pulverize me with words?
HAMLET: Words, words, words.
MESSENGER #1: He is driven from light
into darkness and bani-
shed from the land of the living.
HAMLET: Tis for the dead, not for the quick.
GIRLFRIEND: Talk to me, Friedrich.
SATAN: It's true! It's all true! Look out the window!
GIRLFRIEND: It's so dark out all of a sudden.
MESSENGER #1: Man learns his lesson on a bed of pain...
HAMLET: In this harsh world, draw thy breath in pain...
MESSENGER #1: ...tormented by a ceaseless ague in his bones!
MESSENGER #2: His flesh hangs loose upon him...
SANTA CLAUS: Not fucking likely.
MESSENGER #2: ...his bones are loosened and out of joint--
HAMLET: O cursed spite!
MESSENGER #3: His soul draws near
to the pit, his life to the
ministers of death!
JOB: No more! These words like daggers enter into mine ears!
SATAN: We're all beginning to implode, can't you feel it?
JOB: (to HAMLET) Perish the day when
I was born and the night
which said, "A man is conceived!"
HAMLET: O, that this too too solid
flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
JOB: May the day turn to darkness;
may God above not look for it,
nor light of dawn shine on it --
HAMLET: This most excellent canopy, the air --
JOB: May blackness sully it!
HAMLET: This brave o'erhanging firmament --
JOB: And murk and gloom, cloud smother the day!
HAMLET: This majestical roof fretted with golden fire --
JOB: Swift darkness eclipse its sun!
HAMLET: Why, it appears no other thing to me --
JOB: Blind darkness swallow up that night --
HAMLET + JOB: -- than a foul and
pestilent congregation of
GIRLFRIEND: I can't see a thing out
there, Friedrich, not a
SATAN: Look at the riots, the mayhem, the destruction!
JOB: Why was I not still-born, why
did I not die when I came out
of the womb? Why was I ever laid on my mother's knees or
put to suck at her breast? Why was I not hidden like an
untimely birth, like an infant that has not lived to see
the light? For then I should be lying in the quiet grave,
asleep in death, at rest --
HAMLET: To die, to sleep--
To sleep! perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil --
JOB: There the wicked man chafes
no more, there the tired
labourer rests. Why is life given to men who find it so
(Lines begin to overlap, if they
haven't already. A low rumble
becomes audible, slowly getting louder. The MESSENGERS begin to
dance like puppets.)
SATAN: The human race can't stand
the pressure! We're all be-
ginning to implode, can't you feel it?
JOB: Why should a man be born to
wander blindly, hedged in by
God on every side?
HAMLET; O, that the Everlasting had
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!
JOB: Every terror that haunted me has caught up with me.
HAMLET: O God, God!
SANTA CLAUS: Whatever happened to good old causality?
SATAN: It's too late to stop the plunge!
GIRLFRIEND: This doesn't happen to ordinary people.
JOB: All that I feared has come upon me.
HAMLET: How weary, stale, flat, and
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
SANTA CLAUS: Look, this is really a great joke. (begins dancing)
HAMLET: It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
JOB: Groans pour from me in a torrent.
HAMLET: In the very torrent, tempest,
and, as I may say, the
whirlwind of passion --
GIRLFRIEND: A whirlwind swept across
from the desert...(begins
JOB: The arrows of the Almighty find their mark in me...
HAMLET: I have shot mine arrow o'er the house...
SATAN: I can feel it! I can feel everything! (begins dancing)
JOB: The arrows of the Almighty find
their mark in me, and their
poison soaks into my spirit!
HAMLET: The potent poison quite o'er-crows
my spirit! (begins
JOB: Flights of angels, sing me to my rest! (begins dancing)
(All but NIETZSCHE are now dancing.
GOD suddenly reappears, high
above them, accompanied by whatever music. As he speaks into a
microphone, the cast dances and wails a ritual dance, in unison,
while NIETZSCHE sits in a chair CS.)
GOD: Who is this whose ignorant words
cloud my design in dark-
ness? Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations?
Who settled its dimensions? Who set its corner-stone in
place, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons
of God shouted aloud? In all your life have you ever called
up the dawn or shown the morning its place? Have you de-
scended to the springs of the sea or walked in the unfathom-
able deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Have you ever seen the doorkeepers of the place of darkness?
Have you comprehended the vast expanse of the world? Which
is the way to the home of light and where does darkness
dwell? Did you proclaim the rules that govern the heavens,
or determine the laws of nature on earth? Who put wisdom in
depths of darkness and veiled understanding in secrecy?
Dare you deny that I am just or put me in the wrong that you
may be right? Have you an arm like God's arm, can you
thunder with a voice like his? Deck yourself out, if you
can, in pride and dignity, array yourself in pomp and splen-
dour; unleash the fury of your wrath, look upon the proud
man and humble him; look upon every proud man and bring him
low, throw down the wicked where they stand; hide them in
the dust together, and shroud them in an unknown grave!
THEN I in my turn will acknowledge that your own right hand
can save you!
(The rumbling and dancing reach a
fever pitch -- suddenly,
blackout. A moment later, a single wash fades up on NIETZSCHE,
who sits and occasionally screams, sits and occasionally screams,
until the audience finds its way out of the theatre.)