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Octopus (a Five-Minute Play for Twins Who Don't Have Their Other Twin With Them and An Unlimited Supply of Animals)

(An octopus is busy chaining together air conditioners and, from the audience's perspective, he has piled air conditioners upwards, an endless tower which ascends right up into the zenith. A toy gun and an imaginary van lay in disarray on the floor to establish setting: a child's playroom.)

Twin: (entering the room) Mother just said you need to stop.

Octopus: What about your wall clock? Did you notice that the hands on your wall clock are beginning to turn against time?

(Twin thoughtfully observes the wall clock, which is situated off-stage.)

Twin: Almost as if...

(Twin's voice trails off, his eyes transfixed. The moment intensifies for two minutes and a quarter. The octopus takes the opportunity to continue stacking air conditioners.)

Twin: (in outburst) Hexospantaneous machinations! Thinking for itselves!

Octopus: And so elementary locomotion reverses, my boy. Your wall clock is beginning to alter its movement to meet its own primitive needs. Survival, of course. Remember that time I piled baseball caps on your head, in an endless cascade, until it pressed the atmosphere outward, thus causing tremendous expansion of the air?

Twin: Yes, I cried.

Octopus: It was beautiful. Now, open your hand.

Twin: Oh, I... (mumbling) hadn't noticed it was closed...

(Twin unfolds his fingers. A tiny, tiny bird with a clock strapped to its back flies over the audience's heads for a whole minute fifty. A tile in the ceiling opens up and a vacuum hose appears with powerful sucking which captures the bird and whisks it into the darkness.)

(The head of a bald man with spectacles appears from the missing tile. And, X is written on his crown in charcoal.)

Bald man: We are letting the audience out early tonight.

(The faithful do stick around for the remaining twenty minutes in case there are any hidden scenes.)

by why the lucky stiff

november 9, 2005