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Man, this is one of those projects I just look at and think "Did I really do all of this?" I've definitely got lost in this do...

Friday, September 11, 2015

"Thumbs': A Short Play

I am pleased to present "Thumbs," a play some fellow students and I made in our creative writing class in high school. I can't remember the assignment exactly—I'm guessing we were just supposed to come up with a story and present it in theater form. I remember coming up with the odd, funny, and somewhat weak-plotted storyline together. We may have even performed it in front of the class or at least read our lines, but I have no idea which character I would have played. Maybe Dawson?
Anyway, I actually thought I had lost this play, but found it in my Gmail sent folder from nearly ten years ago! Thank goodness for that. I may have other projects hidden in there as well. Well, without further ado, enjoy "Thumbs."


Austin Ballard                                                                                                     Angie Peterson
Rick Hoffmann                                                                                                  Mason Stoddard
Kris Holt                                                                                                             Thomas Ridder
“Thumbs”

CAST
Ryan, the main character
Dawson, a roommate
Tony, another roommate
Nona, a girl
Angie, Nona’s roommate
Dawson’s Girlfriend


                                                           Scene 1

(Darkness. Typewriter sounds. Fade in on Living Room. It is a typical, semi-neat apartment with a sofa, comic books on the floor, coffee table. There is a door leading to stage left. Dawson sits at a messy desk, typing. He is a skinny man dressed in a white shirt and tie, untidy hair, glasses. Ryan is lying on the couch, hands behind his head. He is average in height and weight, dressed in a polo shirt over a white undershirt, baggy jeans, neat hair)
Ryan: Hey Dawson? What are you typing?
Dawson(He speaks in a boring, monotonous sort of way): A project.
Ryan: It’s always a project, isn’t it? Don’t you hate those darn projects?
Dawson: Mmm.
Ryan: I mean, think about it. Humans spend most of their existence just doing projects. Thinking, researching, drafting, typing, publishing.
(Brief silence, Ryan listens to the typing noises)
Ryan: I assume you’re at the typing stage, huh?
(A few seconds)
Dawson: Uh huh.
Ryan: All finished with the thinking and researching?
(A few seconds)
Dawson: Uh huh.
Ryan: Huh. Just—typing.
(Awkward silence, except for typing sounds)
Ryan: So....you use that spacebar a lot, don’t you?
(No reply)
Ryan: Do you use your thumb to hit the spacebar?
(A few seconds)
Dawson: Uh huh.
Ryan: Huh.
(A few seconds)
Ryan: I guess that makes your thumb pretty important, eh?
(A few seconds)


Dawson: Uh huh.
Ryan: If you didn’t have your thumb, you couldn’t, uh, hit the spacebar, right?
(No reply)
Ryan: When you really think about it, if you didn’t hit the spacebar, the words would be all jumbled and stuff.
(After pause)Dawson: Uh huh.
Ryan: So I guess there wouldn’t be any real point in typing anymore, because nobody would be able to read it.
(A few seconds)
Ryan: You might say the entire typewriter revolves around the spacebar.
(A few seconds)
Ryan: And the spacebar revolves around your thumb.
(A few seconds)
Ryan: So the typewriter revolves around the thumb. And projects revolve around typewriters. And most of our existence revolves around projects. (Looks at his thumb with interest) So our lives revolve....
(Tony enters through door. He is a tall, stocky guy with a Hawaiian shirt, unbuttoned, over a tie-dye shirt, shorts, and messed up hair. He looks slightly rushed and is rubbing his thumb)
Hey Tony.
Tony: Hey Ryan. Hey Dawson.
(Tony looks through papers on Dawson’s desk. Dawson looks slightly uncomfortable, and types slower)
(Finally)Dawson: Can I help you?
Tony: I was just curious about something in our insurance policy.
(Ryan stands up and goes off stage right)
Dawson: “Our”? You don’t mean “my” insurance, do you?
Tony: Well, hypothetically, let’s say I ran into a car. If I was driving say (Clears his throat briskly) Your car, would the policy cover me?
(Dawson starts typing slower and slower)
Dawson: Exactly how hypothetical are we talking here, Tony?
Tony: Well, okay, “hypothetical” is beside the point. Will the insurance cover it or not?
(Dawson starts typing frantically, Ryan comes back in, holding a drink)
(Slightly raising his voice) Dawson: You hit a car with my car?! Where’s the driver?
Tony: I’m sure he’ll be up soon.
Dawson: Soon?
Tony: Well, I didn’t exactly see him yet.
Ryan: You hit and ran?
Tony: I left a note on the car telling him to come up here when he saw the damage.
Dawson: What do you mean you left a note? How could you ha—
(Pounding on the door. Tony goes over to answer it, touches knob, it bursts open.)
(In enters Nona, a girl with black clothes, spiky dyed red hair, a tattoo on her arm, and several piercings in her ears)
Nona (In a rage): Which one of you hit my car?!
Dawson: Who are you? The driver?
Nona: My name’s Nona. Who did it?

Tony: I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to hit you! You popped out of nowhere!
Nona: I wasn’t even in the car!
Dawson(typing furiously): You hit a parked car?!
Tony: Well, technically, it was your car, so you hit it. Besides, friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
(Angie enters. She is a relatively short girl with a blouse, jeans, and blonde hair in a ponytail)
Nona (In a huff): What’s the damage?
Angie: Well, you don’t have to worry about that crack in the windshield anymore.
Nona: Why? Did you get it fixed?
Angie: No, there’s—just no windshield anymore.
Nona(turns to Tony): What are you (pokes him) going to do about my car?!
Tony (still rubbing his thumb): Well, if it makes you feel any better, I hurt myself in the     wreck. Bent my thumb way back.
Angie (covering her mouth): Ohhh... I’m so sorry to hear that.
Nona: What? What’s wrong with you?! My car got totaled and you’re worried about the thumb of the man who did it?!
Angie: Well, can’t I feel a little sorry? After all, human civilization itself revolves around the    thumb.
(Lights out, spotlight on Ryan and Angie, everyone else freezes, angelic music plays, Ryan drops his drink glass)
Ryan: That’s so true.......
Angie(slightly awkwardly): About what?
Ryan: Thumbs....without thumbs we’d be—
Angie: ...down with the dogs? And the cows?
Ryan: Exactly......
(Tape squeak, music ends abruptly, lights back to normal)
Nona: What are you talking about?!
Ryan: Well, everyone knows that you can’t do anything without your—uh, I mean uh,(Clears throat)    would you — like to continue this over dinner? Umm...
Angie: Angie.
Ryan: Ryan.
(They leave)
(Everyone stares at the door)
Tony(calling down to Ryan): Dude, it’s only 1:15!
Nona(clenches fists and throws her head back to the ceiling): GAAGHGHH! (Hands Dawson a paper) Sign this.
(Fade out)

                                                           Scene 2

(Fade in. Tony’s gone. There’s a big stack of papers on the desk. Dawson is still signing papers, and trying to type a couple characters at a time with one hand)
Nona: There. That covers the insurance.
Dawson: Finally. (Scoots chair back to normal, continues typing)
Nona(collecting her things): I can’t believe Angie left. Now I have to wait for her before I can leave.
Dawson: Uh huh.
(Several seconds go by, Nona sits on the couch and looks at her watch)
Nona: Who does your roommate think he is, just up and taking her to dinner? At 1:15 in the afternoon, no less!


(A few seconds)
Nona: They don’t even know each other! ...And what was all that about thumbs? (Sighs)
(Several seconds go by)
Nona: So...what do you do around here, anyway?
Dawson: Projects.
Nona: Oh. That sucks.
(Ryan enters)
Nona: What took you so long? Where’s Angie?
Ryan: We were only gone a half hour.
Nona: You were gone four!
Ryan: So? Angie’s outside.
Nona: (Grabs stack of papers) Well, good riddance to you guys. (To Ryan) She does this all the time to guys like you. I suggest you let her go while you can. (Leaves. Ryan looks shocked)
(Curtain closes, light the stage to the left in front of the curtain. Angie is sitting on a bench. Nona enters from around the side of curtain)
Angie: There you are! (She stands up, they start walking towards the right stage)
Nona: So, uh, how was...dinner?
Angie: Ohh...it was wonderful, Nona. We had the most interesting conversation.
Nona: Oh yeah, about thumbs, right? (Rolls eyes)
Angie: Well, it started on thumbs, but that led to talking about muskrats ruling the world—
Nona: I don’t even wanna know.
(They walk some more)
Nona: So you really like this guy, huh?
Angie: I think it could be a great relationship.
Nona: Well, I was talking to the typewriter guy and he says you’re number...well, you’re           not the first.
Angie: What do you mean?
Nona: Well, let’s just say you’re sort of a “backup.”
Angie(Shocked and hurt): You mean he’s taken?
Nona: Yeah, he has quite a few girlfriends.
Angie(Sadly): (sigh) This always happens to me.
Nona: Don’t let it get to you. Let’s go home and forget about it.
(By this time, they reach the end of the stage. Fade out)

                                                           Scene 3

(Open curtain, lights on apartment again. Ryan is pacing back and forth, Dawson is still typing, Tony is sleeping on the couch)
Ryan: Sheesh, it’s been three days and Angie still hasn’t called! I don’t understand—I thought it was a golden relationship. We had so much fun. I just don’t understand women. This always happens to me. Maybe I should just move on. Or should I call her? Nah, she won’t answer. She probably doesn’t even care about me. I’ll never have a girlfriend...
(Dawson stops typing, stands up, takes off his glasses, slams them on the desk, and starts talking with a passionate, powerful voice)


Dawson: Ryan, that’s the problem with you. You never start what you finish, and you always give up when the slightest factor goes wrong. What you and Angie have is timeless. It’s magical. I knew that when I glanced up and saw the way she looked at your thumbs. I know love when I see it, Ryan. Believe me, my own relationship is as incredible as yours will ever be.
(Tony wakes up, groans, and leaves through side)
Ryan(Shocked at this change): Wh-what relationship?
Dawson: Never mind that! You have to call Angie, Ryan. It’s your duty. Your destiny in this life. Without her, you will waste away in this pathetic apartment and die a bachelor. Believe me, she’s the only woman who will ever look twice at you. You know that. Buck up, man. Take whatever dignity you have left in your withering little bones and pick up that phone!
(Ryan, shaking hard, walks to phone and slowly takes phone from receiver, then pauses)
Ryan: But you never even leave this apartment! How can you—
Dawson: Call her now!
(Ryan jumps at Dawson’s words and starts dialing a number, pauses at the last number)
Ryan: No...I refuse to be a bachelor! I will call her!
(Dials last number and waits)
Ryan: H-Hi, Angie, it’s me, Ryan. No, wait! Don’t hang up! I know that to you I might not be as charming as the other guys, but that doesn’t matter. We have something special, I know it. And if you’re willing to just talk things out with me—no, no, let me finish. If you’ll just listen to me, I know we can work things out. (Pause) What? (Pause) you do? (Pause) She said that? But she said that to me! (Chuckles) Angie, will you come over right now? Yeah, I’ll see you! Bye! (Hangs up phone, clenches fists) YES!
(Fade out)
(Fade in again on apartment, it looks considerably neater than before. Dawson is typing again, glasses on. Knock on door. Ryan goes to answer it. Opens it up, Angie’s there)
Both: Hey! (Angie hugs Ryan)
Ryan: I don’t know why Nona said those things about us. She must be jealous, huh?
(They hug again)
Angie: Do you realize what she almost cost us?
Ryan: We should kill her!
Angie: Yeah!
(Tony bursts in from right stage)
Tony: Noooo! You must not kill my love!
Ryan: Your love? (Sighs, rolls eyes) Oh well. Come on, Angie.
(They hold thumbs. They leave)
(Nona enters)
Nona: Where are those two?! I’m gonna kill them!
Tony(Walks up, kneels at her feet): Aw, forget about them, Nona. Let’s just worry about us.
(Awkward silence)
Nona(shrugs): Ehh, alright.
(Tony picks her up bride style, they leave out the door)
(Dawson is left typing. Dawson’s girlfriend enters. She is an exceptionally attractive woman, tan skin, long brown hair, wearing a black designer dress)
Girlfriend: I thought they’d never leave.
Dawson: ready to go?
Girlfriend: Let’s go get a bagel.
(Dawson grabs his suit coat, slings it over his shoulder. His Girlfriend holds his arm affectionately. They leave through door)
(Several seconds go by)
(Dawson re-enters, grabs typewriter, leaves)

(Fade out, end play)

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