PAGES 1-10 PAGES 11-20 PAGES 21-30 PAGES 31-44
PAGES 45-54 PAGES 55-64 PAGES 65-74 PAGES 75-83

ACT I (cont...)

BABE: Killing! Killing! Killing!



JOHN: Yes! Yes! Yes!

BABE: Sports! Scores! Highlights! Hypnotizing sound bites. Sports! Scores! Highlights! Goooooo… Team! [JOHN cheers. BABE stops haltingly.] Hup. Ben Gay Commercial. [JOHN whines.] Oh! Miller Lite! [Another aggravated whine from JOHN.] Rogaine! Solo flex! Tough Actin' Tinactin!

JOHN: Click.

BABE: Killing.

JOHN: Click.

BABE: Killing

JOHN: Click.

BABE: Scrambled porno channel, porn, I think, can't see, lips, fuzz, breast, garble, sex act! Scramble--

JOHN: Damn!

[JOHN inquisitively crosses to TV and fiddles with BABE's knobs and wires.]

BABE: Hey! What are you doing? Garble-fuzz. The channel's scram-scrambled, you have to pay! [JOHN gives the side of her TV a little whack with his hand.] Ow! John so help me- --Visual! Breasts! Legs! Hair! Scramble-scram-scramble. Stop it John! This
Is degrading!

JOHN: There's men in them too-- From what I hear!

BABE: Watch your stupid sports!

JOHN: Forget it. OFF.

BABE: Power down.

[Her screen blacks out and she sits.]

JOHN: [Taking room in:] What a dump.

[DAD, DICK, and SMITTY suddenly appear behind the bed laughing. They wear white furry hotel bathrobes and carry martinis and cigars.]

DAD: What a dump. Hey, what's that from? "What a dump." What picture was that? Who said what a dump imitating Bette Davis saying what a dump?

DICK: Elizabeth Taylor.

DAD: Elizabeth Taylor. Was it Elizabeth Taylor?

DICK: Yea, Liz Taylor. She was barkin' at Dick Burton.

DAD: Dick Burton?

SMITTY: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

DAD: Yea, that's right, Liz Taylor. What a bitch.

[A beat. Then all three burst out laughing. They cross to John.]

SMITTY: You'd never catch me in this fleabag…

DICK: Or any fleabag…

DAD: Sittin' on my ass…

DICK: Watchin' TV

SMITTY: Sleepin' and takin' a shower! All it's good for…

DICK: All it's supposed to do…

DAD: What're you doin' Johnny? You got frames to sell.

JOHN: Goddamnit! I had them sold. Twice! [To DICK:] To you! [To SMITTY:] And to you! These damn frames have been sold more times than cut heroine… [He sees DAD. A big Beat.] No. Wait. It was you. You kicked off Dick and Smitty before I could sell ‘em!

DAD: Damn right.

JOHN: What is this? A curse?

DAD: You're gonna have to earn this one Johnny.

JOHN: What?

DAD: These are my contacts John.


DAD: So!!

DICK: I do believe the boy thinks himself a salesman.

DAD: Those weren't sales son.

SMITTY: That was your father!

DICK: Your father was behind every sale you ever made!

JOHN: Bullshit.

SMITTY: Every dollar that nestled in your wallet…

DICK: Every ounce of food on your plate…

SMITTY: Every pinko liberal college class…

DAD: Was on account of dear ol' Dad.

JOHN: That's not true.

DAD: You know it is.

JOHN: Well not anymore!

SMITTY/DICK/DAD: That's right! Cause you're gonna buy your own damn house!

DAD: Sales is a powerful tool son, it gets you what you want out of life.

JOHN: No! This is all just a fluke. A freak occurrence. I'm not going to be that person-- I don't want to be that person!

SMITTY: What? A dinosaur?

DICK: Salesmen built this nation!

JOHN: A strip mall!

[JOHN goes to pick up the TV remote. SMITTY grabs it.]

SMITTY: Ach! You want this?

DICK: The TV… you want the TV?

SMITTY: Smart guy's gonna figure it all out for us…

DICK: Yea, he's gonna change the world…

SMITTY: Just him, in his house…

DICK: With his dog, and his coffee…

SMITTY: Just as soon as he finishes watchin' some TV.

DAD: Get off your ass Johnny. You got frames to sell.

SMITTY: Toughen up his nuts! My nuts are tough!

DAD: Come here. How ‘bout that cute little girl with the glasses at the front desk. Put on some pants-- sell her some frames. She'll tell the waiter in the lounge…they want you to take their money!

DICK: Dad gummit, God forbid you might get a date.

JOHN: [Snagging the remote and giving out a little laugh.] A date? Who needs a date? Click.

BABE: Power Up! [BABE's screen lights up. She pulls off her robe—she's dressed in leather.] Welcome to "Hot Fantasies"-- You hotel's premium channel for adult features.

DAD: What's this?

BABE: It's warped is what it is.

DICK: Gol-durnit, I don't remember this on my business trips.

JOHN: Bed and a shower ain't all it's good for.

BABE: You're not really this pathetic are you? Huh guys?

[The salesmen each grab a beer and sit on the bed.]

JOHN: Survival Guide for Salespeople Chapter 3, last paragraph. A Radio Shack de-scrambler is a good investment. What's on tonight Babe?

BABE: It's an exotic romp through one woman's fantasies as a receptacle of pleasure and a provider of lust.

SMITTY: Liz Taylor!

BABE: Tonight's feature, "Deep…Inside." Oh, brother…Stars Babe Bighooters taking on the delights of three older, well endowed salesmen in a three on one romp…[A beat.] Wait. What?

DAD: All right!

SMITTY: Let's go!

DICK: Yum. Yum.

[DAD, DICK, SMITTY approach BABE.]

BABE: John, turn it off. No. Turn it off John! Turn it off! Stop watching! John!

JOHN: Power Down!

[BABE's TV light goes out. The salesmen are disappointed. BLACKOUT. A phone rings. Lights up. John is sitting up in bed. GREG enters with a ringing phone. He picks up the handle and offers it to a waking JOHN.]

GREG: Intentions John. What are your intentions?

[JOHN takes the handle. GREG exits.]

JOHN: [Into phone:] Hello? [To audience:] Waste of a perfectly good wake-up call.

[Cross fade to SHELLY. She enters talking on her cell phone and takes over her hotel room. She is an older woman with super permed hair. She looks a bit frumpy even in her all black "fresh from a funeral" dress. She is still attractive, but decades of sales work have definitely taken their toll. She pulls out a PowerBook and computer printouts. She is trying to put on her best smile.]

SHELLY: Well they said they'll take their chances-- price over service, you know: It's just a change in the weather is all- Buying direct is a whole different animal, especially foe a 150-store chain-- Everybody'll be back. Back to Dupree Distribution in no time. I'll be at their door and on their phone day and night. Dupree is still going to be the biggest distributor in the Bay area… did I tell you I have an appointment with Walgreen's? There is so much business we can just barely keep track of it all!

[Spot on BABE, also talking on cell phone.]

BABE: Shelly. Stop. Fast Forward. Let us get to the part where we talk about your failure.


BABE: That is what this conversation is all about isn't it? You're not going to be able to pay me this month.

SHELLY: Sure I am. [A beat.] Give me a couple of weeks.

BABE: Your failure is complete.

SHELLY: We're going to get them back it's just a matter of…

BABE: Hold on… Shelly…will you hold on for two seconds… [Looking off.] NO. NO! DON'T HANG IT THERE! LOOK, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH ROOM! YOU GOTTA LET IT BREATHE! Sorry Shelly I got the decorators…I'm opening up my real estate office in a couple …JUST PUT THAT ONE DOWN!

SHELLY: Babe, maybe I should…


SHELLY: Really I can…

BABE: I tell you Shelly I'm so happy I sold Dupree Distributing to you. That inherited albatross around my neck. It sucked. I love this person I'm becoming. Big money, big margins and big fees. It's all big. And I'm in charge! Me!

SHELLY: That's great Babe, really.

BABE: [Not hearing her.] I thought maybe you and Beatrice could make that company work, but frankly honey I knew you'd fail-- distribution's a sinking ship.

SHELLY: But at least I'm at the helm.

[A crash.]


SHELLY: Maybe this isn't a good time.

BABE: As you can see Shelly I need that money…

SHELLY: This is a very simple request…

BABE: Why am I the cutback? Trim some fat Shelly and pay me for the sale of the business. That's a simple request.

SHELLY: It's an issue of time…

BABE: Stop failing! Shelly, you're a saleswoman-- you don't know how to run a business. You belong in sales. PowerBooks and meetings with bean counters, that's not you. In your day you'd shake your tush and bat your eyes and you could sell the Brooklyn Bridge. Things have fallen apart a little since then, I know, but the spark is still there…you know, many homebuyers in the real estate industry seem to trust someone…older. Older people feel better dealing with someone their own age. And they'll buy too.

SHELLY: What are you saying?

BABE: I need to fill a void in my sales staff.

SHELLY: Are you offering me a job?

BABE: What do you say?

SHELLY: I have a job.

BABE: P-lease. Erect the tombstone honey—Distribution is dead. Do something that you're good at and with real estate sales you don't have to travel, just stay here in the city with your family…sorry… I totally forgot about Dan and the kids, but hey, here's a perfect opportunity! Get away from it all! Your business is failing. Your family dies on impact in the everglades…sell out, liquidate, move to Seattle and sell real estate! Hell, everybody else is!

SHELLY: I gotta go Babe.

BABE: How ‘bout it? Huh? And don't you worry your pretty head about what you owe on Dupree Distribution. I'll just garnish your wages!

SHELLY: You're going to get your check two weeks late. If you don't like it sue me.

BABE: Oh, don't worry Shelly honey—I will.

[SHELLY hangs up. Light out on BABE. After a beat we hear the sounds of a Yma Sumac rumba, "Malambo#1." SHELLY goes to the hotel refrigerator and produces an airline bottle of vodka to the beat. SHELLY opens the bottle and drinks it down. She turns suddenly to her purse, grabs it and begins to look through it. At this moment, DAD, DICK and SMITTY enter in a chorus line dance tossing to each other a prescription bottle. They are covered in swamp mud and weeds. SHELLY sees them and laughs. The salesmen play keep away with the prescription bottle and then begin to feed her the pills one by one and wash them down with Vodka. It's a suicide party! Then… a phone ring. SHELLY picks up the phone.]

SHELLY: Shelly Underwood.

[Light up on JOHN talking on the phone. Music continues.]

JOHN: Shelly? John.

SHELLY: Hello again John.


Copyright © 2004 by Nick Zagone

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that E.T.A.: Phoenix is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at zagonenick@icloud.com

Home · Full-Length Plays · One-Act Plays · 10 Minute Plays · Monologues · Email · © 2000 TheatreHistory.com