Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

The Steve Mertz Trilogy, Part One: Steve Mertz, A Tragedy

In Drama, Superintelligent sea cucumbers on July 23, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Photobucket

Trilogy Table of Contents

CHARACTERS

Steve Mertz

Bishop

Prostitute

Man in a Lemur Costumer

Little Bonk-a-Bonk

Truck

Miss Boobs

St. God

The Manager

Worker I

Worker II

Worker III

The Banker

Hans the Night Janitor

The Robot with a Degree in Industrial Psychology

The Girl with the Enormous Light Bulb

Fantasia Popcorn, a Woman Who Makes Believe

Unindicted Coconspirator

Minister Without Portfolio


SCENE ONE – Backlot, Emperor Stadler Insurance Offices and Coffeeshop, Greenspan, Ohio, in the ’30s

STEVE MERTZ

Every play is, to some degree, about Steve Mertz. Sometimes he’s no more than a shadow in someone’s thought. At other times, he lingers around the corners of a story like a beaker of Italian dressing someone forgot in a closet. At still other times, he is the star of the show. In this story he is the star.

Steve Mertz turns to walk away, then stops and faces front again.

sTEVE MERTZ (CONT’D)

I am Steve Mertz. And this is my story.

Steve Mertz walks upstage where are clustered Little Bonk-a-Bonk and Truck.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

(obliquely, deep in waterbed)

Take that cowboy out back and juice him!

Bishop enters from left holding ostrich.

BISHOP

What do you make of this? Or Martians?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Pleasing tablesauce, careful! Careful! Let my lotions converge here. No, here. No – here!

TRUCK

I’m a truck.

BISHOP

(approaching truck)

This is a marine!

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

You’re crazy. That’s how you do the twist.

BISHOP

Nonsense, it’s clearly the diabolical Fano Kanini.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

You are a Grade-A retard. That’s the famous actress and model Yanna Lompskins.

TRUCK

I don’t function. Uh-huh. Not me. Whew. No siree, not me. Once somebody asked me to be my shelf.

BISHOP

Course that was the Freudian church.

(to Little Bonk-a-Bonk)

Do you look familiar?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

(looking distractedly to the floor)

Ummm, crayon tiller pie.

Enter Prostitute, stage right in a g-string, pasties and pink platform shoes.

PROSTITUTE

(considering Truck)

Did you know that technician dance to calf-settee?

(holding out a tray of car parts.)

Or would you like the bologna sandwich?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

(to his knees.)

You don’t think so, substance feeling broth? Well, in that case, Pamela! Help me with this juggernaut.

PROSTITUTE

Cat wired monkey wood? Cat wired monkey wood? Wouldn’t you like to know?

BISHOP

During a study described as “scientific” by some hand puppet, Pants Anal, brisket collector for Buford Pusser State College, Car-Crash McElroy, director of the Millbrae Martian Naked Cowboy Bum Center, Peepee Parenti of Bulldozer Elementary and Joanne Squeamish of the marketing firm of Martian Martian Martian Martian Martian Martian 9-0-9-0-9-0-9-0 witnessed how one response to chicken teriyaki thievery generated dialogue on a larger scale. Apply what he learned to your own email campaign and watch the conversation flow!

STEVE MERTZ

I have proclaimed myself the Emperor of Marzipan Genitalia but the rooms of the palace fill with bells that ring like the feeling you get when you ram your yam down in a sack full of trout cheeks and lo! the gnashing comes. This is a job for… Aneroid Barometer! I transform into the contents of a junk drawer and herald the coming of the Superstar. I am doomed to be shipped off to the scotch-grab 4×4 farm where my anecdotes will be melted down for Styrofoam mannequin heads. I am the future but I will be parted out like an old Pinto.

SCENE TWO – A small room, night, a poker table with chips, cards, cigars smoking in ashtrays and a hooded light low over the table

No one is in sight. Enter Steve Mertz, Little Bonk-a-Bonk and Man in a Lemur Costume, dressed as farmers.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

The Kleenex, the rouge, it takes me back…

Suddenly from stage left the Bishop, naked, flips from the darkness onto the table and, writhing, speaks his lines then flips off the other side into the darkness again.

BISHOP

Arbogast! Who’s sled is this? Put the thing on the thing by the thing over there! Call the guy! Call the guy about the stuff! Arbogast!

Steve Mertz, Little Bonk-a-Bonk and Man in a Lemur Costume sit down at the table.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

Help yourselves to the wheat-free, cruelty-free, non-Euro-phallo-centric multicultural spelt oblivion wheels.

(Aside to audience.)

Why don’t you kill yourselves?

STEVE MERTZ

Okey-Satan, let’s up the ante. I bet the last fat acre of my retinas.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Es el fin del mundo, o apenas otro dia?

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

I feel like a whore.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

In or out? Or is that rodent flying up your expletive?

Enter Prostitute carrying the Bishop on her back. Prostitute farts. Enter Truck.

TRUCK

My spindle-wizard is tingling. Outside the Great Unwashed are taking shoes from the teaspoons of sugar cubes in waistcoats who are distracted by the parade of naked Boy Scouts butchering hogs with bowling trophies. It’s the end of the world! It’s the end of the world.

STEVE MERTZ

I’m decanting. In my pants.

SCENE THREE – New Orleans, the Mardi Gras, upside down with a side of giraffes-in-motion

BISHOP

(from offstage)

Biscuits and lady, and chili, fucking chili! Pirate bumps and cowboy juice!

Enter Miss Boobs

MISS BOOBS

This set is upside down. I’m gorgeous.

Enter Prostitute on Bishop back. Bishop is carrying huge, colorful astrology pamphlet. Prostitute farts.

PROSTITUTE

Cancel my stink. I pled like that. My stink was not cancelled. Only one even said, that’s a thing.

BISHOP

To err is mortal, a sin divine.

PROSTITUTE

Listen, you’re a guy with the cloth on the thing, when is the glory washing down like a flash flood of flatware? It was a promise I heard in the crisper.

BISHOP

It’s like this. A wiener-dog with a halo of crowns and the pool cues all in it might come clad in tin foil but does that mean it’s mealtime down in the filthy concrete room where the Hippity-Hops collide and the milkmaids cry for our sad bye-byes? I think not. But we wait, holding our breath, in the dead of night, exploding with light when the sun bounces around the horizon like a super ball in home room. Someone must come and fill the crack with pieces of a refrigerator repair manual from the 50s. We all may make poo-poo in pant-pant. But something waits with a smile on its face and a fistful of integers for our peaceful sleeping.

Prostitute and Bishop exit holding hands. Little Bonk-a-Bonk enters holding hands with Steve Mertz.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Outside the mass of fresh and crispy awaits you. They have brought gifts, the ones who read the backs of packaging. One has brought you Racetrack Chili, another a Fudge Tire. Still another has brought you Chicken Fried Chicken. One has brought you Collision Chicken and another, Hand-pulled Pork Piled High on a Big Bun.

STEVE MERTZ

Tell them I shall attend them shortly. Tell them I shall walk among them and my radiance will make their eyes smart and give them prickling heat which they should treat with an ointment of some sort. Now, I must withdraw and consider weighty matters.

Exit Little Bonk-a-Bonk

Oh my God. What the hell is that? Ugh. It looks like two kangaroos turned inside out doing it. Ugh. That pudding has turned.

(to Little Bonk-a-Bonk)

Bring them unto me!

Enter Little Bonk-a-Bonk pushing Truck which is dressed like an arachnid, Bishop, Prostitute, Miss Boobs and Man in a Lemur Costume. Bishop pulls out harmonica and plays strained tunes of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” as Little Bonk-a-Bonk snorts like a bull and paws at the ground. Miss Boobs, Man in a Lemur Costume and Truck begin clapping hands. Little Bonk-a-Bonk starts dancing and gibbering. Bishop farts.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Alright, let’s start with the collapsible rototiller dance.

STEVE MERTZ

What on earth surveying the carnage?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Buckle yourself into a huge, weird metaphor or howdy-doo Mr. Carport!

TRUCK

(To his own fingertips.)

I am a very nice truck. Would anyone like to rub my rigid Toblerone?

Exeunt. Return to identical positions.

BISHOP

(pulling out revolver)

Dance you sturdy piglets! Dance like Armageddon!

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Beware the Boy Scouts! It’s the Year of the Gillette Razor!

TRUCK

I always wanted to be a baker…

Bishop, Prostitute, and Little Bonk-a-Bonk take turns high-fiving each other, Man in a Lemur Costume and Miss Boobs take turns butt-humping each other.

Or a gherkin pickle… or a toad pharmacy… or a dilly of squirrel innards…

BISHOP

I don’t think anybody like me.

STEVE MERTZ

Hey!

Everyone freezes.

Don’t bogart the Apocalypse!

SCENE FOUR – A junk shop on Mars

Bishop, Miss Boobs, Truck and Steve Mertz stand downstage center in a line, backs to the audience.

Bishop farts. Truck farts.

MISS BOOBS

Should I get married? Should I be good?

TRUCK

Sure, let us go.

Leers

TRUCK (CONT’D)

You and I, that is.

STEVE MERTZ

Whatever you do – and this is an important point here – do it for way too long. If it’s sad, do it till it’s funny. If it’s funny, do it till it’s embarrassing. If it’s touching, do it till it’s repugnant. If it’s mortifying, do it till it’s sweet. Do it for way too long.

BISHOP

The mass of mankind will never have underpants made of the leathery green pepper.

Farts

STEVE MERTZ

Shit! Can’t you see the oven’s turning?

TRUCK

I have fourteen gears.

Truck Pretends to run himself through all fourteen gears. Little Bonk-a-Bonk enters, carried in a howdah borne by Man in a Lemur Costume and Prostitute. A steam engine bellows, some marbles bellow, tutti frutti big and bouncy, flips turns pogo-man dances crazy into the night, man o man, I’m telling what I’ma gonna do. Moon bellows. Mr. Bellows bellows on the television. These are not characters, they’re sounds, they’re nodes of cultural development, they are delicious cookies in the shape of a latter M man. Prostitute farts.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

(to Man in a Lemur Costume)

I have become estranged to my own smells and I am holding you responsible.

Alarms from the 70’s TV show “Emergency” go off continually through out the rest of scene. Hey give me that.

STEVE MERTZ

Beware the ides of March, baby.

Man in a Lemur Costume him gotta gun and shoot Truck. Truck is now silent but dead until the end of the play where there’ll be a big resurrection scene. Truck farts and then careens into the audience. Exeunt all, farting.

SCENE FIVE – A big pile of flour

Enter, from above, Man in a Lemur Costume, Steve Mertz and Miss Boobs.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

The Matterhorn!

STEVE MERTZ

What’s the matter?

MISS BOOBS

Man, could I use a butterhorn.

STEVE MERTZ

(slyly, reaching for his pants)

Funny you should mention it.

Suddenly, Little Bonk-a-Bonk, dressed like a Tyrolean mountaineer, enters, banging a tambourine and holding a plate stacked high with butterhorns. Truck honks and passes over pile of flour and off-stage.

STEVE MERTZ (CONT’D)

I make myself sick.

MISS BOOBS

In the Tivoli I shared a frank with the Pasha. He was setting up a network of spies. The cream puffs were the transparent eyeball and ants made war in my hairpiece. That’s the world.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

That’s the world in a nutshell.

MISS BOOBS

Someday, returning to our practice, we’ll be shocked at how beautiful the sun is when it rises from the fax machine and turns everyone in the office into a little raisin.

STEVE MERTZ

Hey look, I’m a Noh player. Who will be my little monkey while the world whirls by disgusted with our antics?

Enter ST. GOD.

ST. GOD

You ply your Zodiac-flavored singles mouthpaste on the Grover Clevelands of Davenport, Iowa as though beating out meaty applause to the childhood double-mint white slacks of Yemeni tea tray days. Then, on folded au revoires of narcolepsy you come unto me begging for a scarf and a beaker for your absolution? I tell you this, tricyclist of vanity, your indulgences are paper bulls from a five-and-dime and then dirtwise harpies in the lectern, it’s barbeque till the meat falls off your bones like a Tandoori chicken in an epileptic cross-hatching of dawn and carrots fed sideways in bunches through the hieratic juicers of your twinkling nighttime puckered Dresden of tackle-boxes fed into the fishtank-stained wind.

STEVE MERTZ

I have shaved stuffed animals for you, equation of conventual dignitaries Eeyoring their way across the fragrant frangipani, for you O refreshing plant-mister in summer.

ST. GOD

Oh, knock it off.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

No, seriously, I heard him.

ST. GOD

What?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Honest to copper tubing replaced the honking rager of lead and porcelains.

ST. GOD

Seriously?

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

He made sounds.

ST. GOD

Give ’em an inch…

STEVE MERTZ

They will tell you that their malfunctioning Wookie is two toads high in the morning. Don’t I know it!

Exeunt. A painful length of time goes by, until members of the audience begin to leave. At this point, all members of the cast enter, dressed in various stages of undress. That is to say, all of them forgot they were in a play, and were getting into bed when the green room light went on. Oops!

MISS BOOBS

“Plato and pornography!” screamed the tin macaw in the window. Once on the glass sidewalk, Jimmy Hornhonk screwed a lightbulb into his ass and demanded a leathery kiss from the sky.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Ginger wept. The clanging had driven the oxygen team to Mandalay, where they paraded with pieces of pie in clay bowls spinning on sticks. “I demand a recount,” whispered Augustus. “Put the thing next to the thing with the thing, call the guy.”

TRUCK

Squirrel on me till I barf, he thought to himself in the dim. I am a desert, a pig face in the dessert, where the spiders come to sniff and twirl. Lay the tube food in log rows to the horizon, stomp on pollywogs to hear them howl, sleep with your face in the light until the Pope comes for a swim in the liquid dirt.

STEVE MERTZ

There, next to the relish-and-mustard splashed wall, Granny got her crotchless support-hose on. I could free you all.

MISS BOOBS

Fart!

All fart.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

The weaving road beneath Surveillance Acres is dotted with single-wides tilting off their foundations into the muck while the gentry squat over plastic pickle buckets. There’s a surveillance system with closed-circuit TV hidden in a cupboard.

BISHOP

Yours truly of impossible numbers make the crotch-goblins all whoa! They go mad and try to dig their way out.

TRUCK

But, I’m jis a little ol’ truck, not some honkin’ matriarchy.

STEVE MERTZ

I’m going with you. I’m serious. This shit is a bladder of hokey-pokey onto me at any rate.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

A guess it comes down to whether or not the latch on the black syrup is our nurse or nurses the blue gum rodentia off’n a narcoleptic varmint.

BISHOP

That’s what I love about you. Your eyes like pools of motor oil on the roadway at night.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

You’re just saying that.

BISHOP

Here, in Angkor Wat, our destiny is bullridin’ courtesy Miller Genuine Draft and I, with only this large, colorful astrology pamphlet, try to light a way. If only St. God would turn these Tater Tots into manna for the handfold of decadence in my sarcophagus.

ST. GOD

(rearranging small things)

Hang tight a damned minute. It’s not like I don’t have anything to do.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Is that a railroad guide in your pocket or are you just Fra Junipero Serra?

ST. GOD

Shut the fuck up, you moron.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Hey, sorry.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

(to Truck)

Listen, no Bolivian pocket squirrels are going to stop you, me and the Man in the Moon from breaking out of this place alright?

TRUCK

But, I’m jis a little ol’ truck, not some honkin’ matriarchy.

STEVE MERTZ

I’m going with you. I’m serious. This shit is a bladder of hokey-pokey right up into the sun’s eye.

TRUCK

In that case, fine. Rollerball a la fin de siécle, baby. Yeah.

PROSTITUTE

Flail away at the nauseating meat rocket you pile high in the smoke house and make hay while the sun boils in a shallow pan of vinegar. I found a half pound of flan in a old Shed Spred container by the dumpster at the Plaid Pantry.

TRUCK

The loose meat sandwich is shifting in my dungarees. The loose meat filling of my dungarees is shifting.

STEVE MERTZ

I spent yesterday afternoon firing monkeys out of a cannon into the plate glass window of the Gap. People in there noticed but they don’t know what to feel without a celebrity so they kept shopping for pants. I understand that certain pants allow them to mean certain things sometimes.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

A bad smell wafts through the theater. Something either farted or died. Maybe everyone farted. Then again, maybe everyone died. A baseball flies from the darkness and hits the skillet CLANG! like a small child in a plastic bag.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

Shit.

BISHOP

Huh?

STEVE MERTZ

Whoa.

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

Ahem.

TRUCK

Hey you kids.

PROSTITUTE

Don’t make me come out there and have sex with you for money!

Exeunt.

SCENE SIX – A campsite in the Adirondacks ca. 1932

Little Bonk-a-Bonk, The Bishop, Steve Mertz, Truck, Prostitute, St. God and Miss Boobs cluster around the blue flaming burning blue flame of a burning plasticized pamphlet. They are all dressed in top of the line Abercrombie & Fitch, except for Prostitute, who is wrapped in a plastic tarp. An owl hoots.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Here is a lack of restraint and a spaciousness which may justly be called American.

ST. GOD

(to audience)

His method is to read just enough of a topic to arrive at ludicrous generalities – opinions, in other words – that convince the foolish he’s wise and remove all doubt in the minds of the wise that he is a fool.

THE BISHOP

You’re a fool.

STEVE MERTZ

I don’t know. He’s making good sense.

TRUCK

I don’t know and I don’t care ’cause I got a lifetime guarantee.

MISS BOOBS

Vietnamese beauticians in Yves St. Laurent jeans are passing a Silk Cut back and forth in front of Sunset Nails. One is wiping tears away on the back of her hand.

PROSTITUTE

That was me.

MISS BOOBS

Really?

PROSTITUTE

No.

STEVE MERTZ

April 15th is my hamster’s birthday. He’ll be three years old. He’s a Canadian hamster. He’s very protective of me. He won’t let anyone near me. He’ll bite them, he’ll bite the person right between the legs if he has to. I took a picture of us together.

Shows picture.

sTEVE MERTZ (CONT’D)

His name is Thornton. It stands for Zeus. I have three hamsters; Thornton, Poseidon and Aries.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

I’m gorgeous. I am in awe of my own beauty. Familiarity breeds contempt. Sometimes I weep softly. I’m good and tortured. How I long for a scientific coating to ease my pain.

STEVE MERTZ

I hate myself.

MAN IN A LEMUR SUIT

A man with a beard like an ill-fitting suit says, “Everyday fresh bun price listing!” And makes a small explosive thump in his pants.

ST. GOD

You up there! Shut the fuck up and listen to the music!

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

I’m the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Ultima Thule.

BISHOP

All roads now lead to the Capitol Expressway Auto Mall in San Jose.

PROSTITUTE

Twenty naked mullahs French-kissing their reflections jump drip-dry ho-ho queen something with a wooden spoon.

LITTLE BONK-A-BONK

Fuzzy beverage puppets pop my dinky eyes…

MAN IN A LEMUR COSTUME

…and momma, see you in the wiggle-wiggle heaven soon.

TRUCK

I have an announcement to make.

Pause.

I’m getting married.

STEVE MERTZ

Who’s the lucky lady?

PROSTITUTE

I am!

Lights come on in the trees and a band strikes up the wedding march, confetti flies, people fly out of the woodwork, all characters appear instantaneously on stage in the proper position of a wedding party. Steve Mertz gives Prostitute away. Miss Boobs is best man and Truck is the bridesmaid. They all approach Bishop, who holds the Moosewood Cookbook in his hands and has assumed a sententious air.

BISHOP

I’m sorry. Do I know you?

PROSTITUTE

Mind your own business, old man.

TRUCK

Say, don’t I know you?

PROSTITUTE

Shut up you, see?

BISHOP

Dearly departed, we are gathered here today to affect the union of one man and another woman in Holy Matrimony.

PROSTITUTE

Bless us, Father, for we have sinned.

ST. GOD

Fine. Bless bless. You’re all blessed. Now go home, leave me alone. This is the fruit of my thought. This! Doesn’t it just make you sick?

BISHOP

I now pronounce the words “man” and “wife.” You may kiss my ass.

Music strikes up again, the bride and groom march off in a hail of gunshots and rice to the deafening report of cheers and applause. Suddenly, the wedding part turns grisly. They turn toward Steve Mertz and begin booing and screeching at him, throwing rice, change, chairs, anything they can find. Steve Mertz runs off. Lights out on wedding party, spot up on Steve Mertz up right.

STEVE MERTZ

(To audience)

Always a bridesmaid never a bride.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: