Archive for the ‘the adventures of Pizza Boy and Maggie’ Tag

An alternative reason for Emily to get mad at Maggie without having to introduce a subplot   Leave a comment

Somewhere on campus, I don’t know. Emily is walking with some scruffy-looking nerf herder. She is wearing a birthday tiara and possibly some other birthday-related accouterments. (no, not a birthday suit)

Maggie enters from the opposite direction. She is still dressed as Pizza Girl and is looking distracted.

Emily: Maggie! Maggie, oh thank goodness.
Maggie: Oh, good.
Emily: I was worried you wouldn’t show up! You weren’t in class at all for the final. I thought something had happened.
Maggie: Oh…no, everything is alright.
Emily: Okay good. We can hang out now! I can ditch this guy. (whispers) He’s a redditor.
That Guy: You’re so lucky to be a girl. You can just pretend to be into nerdy things and then guys will just flock to you. You don’t even have to be invested in things like I have to. I have to pretend to not be a nerd. It must be really validating.
Emily: Ew.
Maggie: Gross.

They walk away.

Maggie: How do you find these people?
Emily: He’s friends with my math tutor.
Maggie: You have a math tutor?
Emily: Yeah, for like weeks. The only way I’m going to get into grad school is if I have a 3.5 or better!
Maggie: You’re going to grad school?
Emily: Yes?

Maggie stares at Emily. Emily poses, clearly trying to get Maggie to notice the birthday attire.

Maggie: Oh, that reminds me.
Emily: Yes?
Maggie: Am I…self-centered? Am I bad about noticing other people’s feelings?

Brooke enters hereabouts.

Emily: What?
Maggie: I teamed up briefly with another superhero today, and then I caught the bad guy so she got mad because we couldn’t share credit. It just makes me wonder if I’m bad at thinking about other people. I know I save people all the time, but do I really care about people?
Emily: Yes. Yes you really are an idiot.
Maggie: Oh!
Emily: Oh?
Maggie: That was blunt.
Emily: It’s my birthday!
Maggie: Oh! Happy birthday.
Emily: I don’t normally dress like this. This isn’t how normal people dress.
Maggie: I don’t really pay attention to…
Emily: You don’t pay attention to anything! You’re just so caught up in this new job of yours, you don’t care about anything! You don’t care about me! It’s all Maggie!
Maggie: Well to be fair everything that you say kind of runs together. It’s either tumblr this or Heat Shield that.
Emily: Oh well excuse me for having outside interests! At least I have the courtesy to say “how are you”! But no, with you it’s just blah blah blah, linguistics linguistics pizza pizza.
Maggie: At least I’m doing something with my life instead of sitting in front of a computer watching other people do things!

Emily turns and runs away

Maggie: Emily — wait! No! I’m sorry! I ruined your birthday!
Emily: Are you going to make this all about you too?

Emily exits. Maggie exits. Brooke giggles and exits.

Posted August 6, 2015 by agentksilver in writing

Tagged with , , ,

Final Scene   Leave a comment

Valedictorian and Brooke enter, from opposite sides.

Brooke: Valedictorian!
Valedictorian: Ah, look, the Undead Queen.
Brooke: It’s Prosperina! Where’s your minion, you bully?
Valedictorian: He’s my boyfriend, and he’s been taken. I need assistance. I believe you offered? Is the offer still standing?
Brooke: No! You’re weak! I can take you! And then I’ll be the hero!
Valedictorian: Pizza Girl will still be the hero. You’ll just be the afterthought. As always. But there’s always room for one more villain.

A beat, as Brooke considers.

Brooke (shouting): Help! Help! Someone save me!
Valedictorian: What are you doing?
Brooke: Help! I’m being attacked! I’m right over here! Someone come save me!

Valedictorian attacks her, but Brooke easily fends her off.

Brooke: Help! Help me! Help!
Maggie and Emily enter. Maggie grabs Valedictorian from behind, pinning her arms. Valedictorian screams and kicks her legs. When she stops, Emily grabs her feet.

Maggie: Hey, Proserpina –
Emily: Brooke –
Maggie: Are you okay?
Brooke: I’m good.
Maggie: Okay.
Emily: What now? Do we hand her over to the police?
Maggie: No, she always manages to get her away somehow. Let’s bring her into custody ourselves, and make sure she doesn’t get away this time.

They start exiting.

Emily: I’m sorry I brought a strange guy over without your permission.
Maggie: I’m sorry I cause so much trouble.
Emily: Nah, it’s fun. You’re my sister.
Maggie: Sister from another mister.
Emily: Sister from another hyster!
Maggie: Hah!

They exit.

Brooke has watched them go. She smiles.

Brooke: I’m so good. I’m the best. One hero and one villain. One town. And now that the Valedictorian is out of the way…no one is going to stop me.

Penultimate scene   Leave a comment

Emily is tied up and held in the middle of several force-field-emitters. She has the mind-control Machine on her head. Valedictorian and Robster are fiddling with the other Machine.

Valedictorian: The Machine is primed! All we need now the location to send our signal! Which is…the White House! What’s the address for the White House?
Robster: You don’t know?
Valedictorian: Do you? Is it 1400 or 1600?
Robster: I don’t know.
Valedictorian: Well, find out!

Robster goes to get his phone.

Emily: I know the answer. You want the White House, don’t you? I know the address to the White House. It’s 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Valedictorian: Should we trust her?
Robster: We do have her tied up and at our mercy.
Valedictorian: Yes, so she’s trying to bargain with us. Watch this, I’ll trick her.

Maggie enters. She spots a bottle of chloroform and a rag sitting on a table. She picks up the chloroform and the rag, pours some chloroform on the rag, and sneaks up on Robster.

Valedictorian: Alright, fffffriend, if you tell us what we want to know, then we will set you free.
Emily: It’s 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Valedictorian: Aha! I was lying! I was never going to set you free!

Chloroform takes a while to work. Robster and Maggie get into a silent, furious fight.

Emily: Hah! I was lying! It’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!
Valedictorian: You can’t lie. You’re a hostage!
Emily: Then which one is it? Is it 1400 or 1600? You’ll never know.
Valedictorian: She beat me at my own game! Robster! Robster?

Robster has lost the game. So have you.

Valedictorian: So! You have defeated my boyfriend! You think you’re so clever! You can’t hurt me – I’m the one who knows how to deactivate the force fields holding your little friend hostage! In fact, if I turn the power up more, maybe it will start to get a little buzzy over there…
Maggie: Whoa whoa whoa! What do you want, Valedictorian?
Valedictorian: What do I want? I want the same thing I have always wanted! I want the world at my fingertips! I want all the power and all the money to do anything I have ever wanted! I’m going to use my power to negotiate with the President of the United States! The whole world will be at my disposal!
Maggie: Power? What power? All you have is a science lab your boyfriend pays for. You can’t even stand up in a fight!
Valedictorian: You fools place too much emphasis on physical strength.

She flips the switch or pulls the lever or whatever. Emily screams and goes limp. Maggie runs for Emily.

Valedictorian: Do you see those emitters? They emit photons at 299,792,458 meters per second!

Maggie stops and stares at Emily. Emily suddenly sits up straight.

Emily: Where am I? What is this place? Seriously, where am I?

She looks down at her body and freaks out.

Valedictorian: It worked!

She cackles.

Valedictorian: Mr. President, I have switched your mind with that of a feeble-minded college student! I have, in my possession, a virus that grants me access to the entire entire. Every line of code, every small bit of information, it is all mine. Now, I’m willing to offer the country a deal, Mr. President.
Emily: I’m not the president. I’m a White House intern.
Valedictorian: What?
Emily: I’m just an intern. They didn’t prepare me for this!
Valedictorian: No, that’s not true.
Emily: This is impossible.

Emily collapses.

Valedictorian: No…no! My brilliant Machine! My plan! It’s all useless now!

She runs offstage. This leaves Maggie and Emily alone onstage. Maggie looks back and forth between the exit and Emily, caught in indecision. She first walks one way, then another. Then she examines the force-field-emitters. Then she walks back to the exit. Then she looks at the emitters again. She holds her hand close to the field being generated, fearfully. Then, still fearful, she pushes her hand closer and closer to the force field…and then runs her hand through the whole thing. Having done so safely, she laughs.

Maggie: It’s just light.

She goes to Emily and sits her up, unties her. She taps Emily’s face a few times, but Emily fails to wake up. Maggie goes to the workstation, finds an item she finds particularly smelly, and then goes and waves it under Emily’s nose. Emily wakes up, coughing.

Maggie: Who am I talking to?
Emily: What?
Maggie: What’s your name?
Emily: Emily…Emily Snab. We’ve been best friends since fifth grade.
Maggie: Good. Are you feeling okay?
Emily: I have just the worst headache. What happened? I dreamt I was sitting at in a cubicle. People were ordering lunch.
Maggie: I’ll explain later. The bad guy got away.
Emily: What? We have to go catch them.
Maggie: You’re not in any condition to move.

But Emily has already stood up. She stumbles a bit, but then regains her balance and starts heading for the exit. Emily and Maggie exit.

Short but Sweet   Leave a comment

Maggie enters, frantic. She could enter into the audience, I don’t know. She enters is the point.

Maggie is asking where Emily is, calling for Emily, etc. etc. I don’t really feel like I need to write that out. She could even ask audience members where Emily is.

On the stage, Robster enters, dragging Emily, covering up her mouth so she can’t talk. Valedictorian follows, cackling. Maggie continues calling for Emily, but Emily can’t call out to her. Robster, Emily, and the Valedictorian exit.

The Mole enters.

Maggie: Mole! Hey, Mole!
Mole: I have a name, you now. It’s Maximilian Bartholomew Fieldworthington-Smythe the third.
Maggie: Have you seen Emily?
Mole: I have seen many Emilys.
Maggie: Have you seen my Emily?
Mole: Which one is that?
Maggie: Go away.

The Mole exits.

Maggie: There’s only one more place to look.

This stupid scene is finally written   Leave a comment

Maggie and Emily’s dorm room. Kurt is sitting on a…couch? Futon? Kurt is sitting there. Maggie enters, tired from work. She begins unloading (changing clothes) without realizing that Kurt is right there.

Maggie: Hey, I’m back. Emily, I have a serious question. You’re the best person to answer this. Should Pizza Girl have a pizza paddle as a weapon? I mean, I know I’m a delivery girl, not a pizza chef, but I helped out with making pizza tonight, and I felt so. Bangin’. You know? It was like a weapon. I should have a weapon. What do you think?
Emily (offstage): Are you trying to be the same as Pizza Boy, or do you want to be your own person?
Maggie: That’s the real question, isn’t it?
Emily (offstage): I can’t help you. You have to decide for yourself. Also, I have news.
Maggie: I know, I heard they cast Heat Shield.
Emily (offstage): And she looks so much like Heat Shield!
Maggie: I don’t think she looks like Heat Shield.

Maggie turns and sees Kurt sitting on the couch.

Emily (offstage): What do you mean? She looks so much like her. In the face. I saw on tumblr, they compared various angles of her face to different comic panels and it’s like line for line legit. It’s amazing.
Maggie: Who is this?
Emily (offstage): Oh, that’s Kurt.
Kurt (standing): Kurt Gallagher. Nice to meet you, Maggie. I’ve heard so much about you. Do you want to take a seat?
Maggie: Who are you?

Emily enters, dressed in a way that is meant to impress Kurt.

Emily: We met at the Student Union a few days ago, and he called me today to see if I wanted to hang out! He’s a professional writer.
Maggie: Do you go to school here?
Kurt: I graduated a few years ago actually.
Maggie: Then why were you hanging around at a Student Union?
Kurt: Picking up cute coeds.

He winks at Emily, who giggles.

Maggie: I see. What else do you do?
Kurt: Oh, I’m a writer. I know that Emily here is a blogger. And you’re– (Pizza Girl)
Maggie: Maggie. Emily’s best friend.
Kurt: I see.

Emily pulls Maggie aside.

Emily: I know what you’re thinking.
Maggie: Oh, good.
Emily: But don’t worry. Here’s the plan. We’ll order food, and then send you to go pick it up, and you’ll just, like, take a really really really long time to pick up the food. How does that sound?
Maggie: That’s not what I was thinking about at all.
Emily: I swear I texted you to say that I had a guy over.

Maggie checks her phone.

Maggie: Oh, yeah, yeah you did.
Emily: Then what are you so worried about?
Maggie: I don’t trust him.
Emily: Well, I trust him!

Emily goes to Kurt and hugs him.

Kurt: So, Maggie, you’re Pizza Girl.
Maggie: Who said I was?
Kurt: You did. When you walked in. How is that going?

Maggie gives Emily a look. Emily looks back, trying to say, “just go with it.”

Kurt: How did you get into superheroing, exactly? The story goes that you started out as a regular damsel in distress for Pizza Boy. Were you superheroing on the side, or did you transition from one to the next?
Maggie: I transitioned, I guess.
Kurt: What drove that decision?
Maggie: I needed a job?
Kurt: Oh, so it’s just a job for you?
Maggie: Why do you ask?
Emily: Have you seen Kurt’s blog? You should see it. I didn’t know we had a homeless population here. Kurt spent two weeks living with some homeless people just to chronicle their struggles. The photographs are beautiful. Come look, see, he has a great sense of composition.

She pulls open her laptop to get the blog.

Kurt: There’s a great underbelly in this city. The system has completely failed them and no one even sees. The bureaucrats have failed them. Families and landlords disown them. Ordinary people abuse them.
Emily: He wrote that in one of the entries.
Kurt: But no one wants to hear that. Everyone is all caught up in this superhero craze. We see superheroes in movies and now they’re in real life. I know you were talking to Emily earlier about using a paddle. Are there any other kinds of weapons that you use?
Maggie: Mostly I just sort of talk to them.
Emily: See, I found it. Look at this picture. It’s fantastic. All the busyness of the graffiti and the sleeping bags leads your eye to this corner, where the subject looks out over the drainage system. It’s fantastic.
Maggie: So you hang out with homeless people when you’re not picking up cute coeds?
Kurt: Well, I did, for this one assignment.
Maggie: Assignment?
Kurt: Oh…I mean…
Maggie: You were assigned to talk to homeless people? That’s a weird assignment. What was your next assignment? Was it to get an inside scoop on Pizza Girl?
Emily: You’re a journalist? I thought you were just a blogger.
Kurt: They can be both. A journalist is just a blogger who actually gets paid. I have student loans.
Maggie: Aren’t you supposed to get permission from a subject before you interview them? We had to learn how to make waivers that one semester we studied folklore. You didn’t ask.
Kurt: No one will tell anyone anything about this mysterious Pizza Girl. Your school won’t comment. Cheezy Pizza won’t comment. You’re one big gigantic mystery and whoever cracks the case and lets the world know could stand to make…a lot. A lot of money.
Maggie: You didn’t ask permission!
Emily: You only cared about Maggie? Everything is about Maggie! You just used me to get to Maggie!

Emily starts to run offstage.

Maggie: Emily wait!
Emily (voice cracks): My feelings are very raw right now.

Emily exits.

Kurt: So if I get a waiver, would you sign it?

Maggie shoots him a disgusted look and exits. Then she reenters.

Maggie: This is my dorm room. You have to leave.

Kurt exits. Then Maggie exits.

Pizza Boy and Maggie: the exciting conclusion to the team-up   Leave a comment

At Burger Down Under, an Australian-themed cheap burger joint. Valedictorian is working on a new laptop. Robster is watching her, but he is bored. There are other people sitting at the restaurant: specifically, Kurt is sitting at one table, looking at his cell phone and eating, and two policemen are sitting out of Valedictorian and Robster’s sight.

Robster: This seems weird.
Valedictorian: This won’t take much time.
Robster: But we’re here without buying anything. Isn’t that weird? People come here to eat. Well, they come inside to eat.
Valedictorian: You just want a burger.
Robster: Yes, a Queensland Burger with some Great Sandy Fries. Do you want anything?
Valedictorian: A Victorian Shake. And curly fries.
Robster: You can just share some of my fries.
Valedictorian: I don’t share.
Robster: Ashley…
Valedictorian: I don’t like the extra spices on the Sandy fries. Who eats food called Sandy anyway? What were they thinking?
Robster: That they’re delicious. I’ll be back soon.

He kisses her cheek and exits. Valedictorian works at the laptop silently. Maggie enters, with a bag of food and a soda. She stops and looks at the Valedictorian. She visibly tries to decide if she should approach her or not. A decision is weighed and measured. Then she sighs and approaches the Valedictorian.

Maggie: Oh hey Valedictorian, what are you doing?
Valedictorian: I’m almost there. (she registers who is speaking) Pizza…Girl. My, how you’ve grown. I’m checking my Facebook while my boyfriend buys lunch.
Maggie: Oh.
Valedictorian: Does that defy your expectations? Did you assume that we were constantly committing some crime? That our every waking minute was spent writhing in pure illegality?
Maggie: No.
Valedictorian: Hmf.
Maggie: You just don’t strike me as the kind of person who has a Facebook account.
Valedictorian: Well I do. Facebook is wonderful! You can catch up with all your friends, old and new. See what they’re doing. See what they’re interested in. See where they go, when they’re they’re not at home, where they might live, their favorite activities, their birthday, their anniversaries, their job, their potential income, old addresses, the names of their children and pets, events they attend, what they had for lunch. You see, this is called data, and everyone uses the same data to create things. Identities. Passwords. The same thing that attracts marketers to the gold mine of demographic information is the very same thing that attracts bad people, bad people like me. I can use this information and can become more powerful than anyone ever imagined. Imagine I could hack into your Facebook account and see that your brother is in Nairobi and that your Uncle’s cat is named Marty McFly. (That is, indeed, where Maggie’ brother is and her uncle’s cat is indeed Marty McFly) Now imagine that you are very stupid, which shouldn’t be very hard. Stupid people have bad memories. They use the same passwords over and over and over again. Maybe you think you’re smart, and you rotate through six different passwords. But you still need to remember those passwords. You grab them from little memorable bits of your life. Your Uncle’s cat is Marty McFly, and his bank is First Commonwealth, and he was born May 12, 1962 and graduated from Portland State University on May 28, 1984. And imagine that, his password is HeyMcFly056284. I can do that for anyone, at any time, using only the information on their Facebook page, which I am now free to peruse thanks to my little virus that allows me to run amok through the channels of whatever website I choose to upload it.

Robster enters with food and sits down, distributing food between the two of them. Maggie has not moved this entire time. Valedictorian continues uninterrupted. Everyone is listening to her now.

Valedictorian: No one checks their bank account every day. No one will notice if one or two dollars goes missing. Most thieves make a mistake. They do one or two dollars, just to see if the system works, and then they make a giant purchase. Something noticeable. But I am patient. I have access to millions of people’s information. I will use it to my ends. You’re very clever, getting me to reveal all of this. But no matter. There’s nothing anyone can do about it anyway.

The two police officers stand up.

First Police Officer: That sounded like a confession to me.
Second Police Officer: We might need to continue this conversation elsewhere.
Robster: But the fries just came out of the fryer.

Brooke enters.

Valedictorian (to Maggie): You set this all up, didn’t you? You clever bitch.
First Police Officer: We can take it from here.

The Police Officers handcuff Valedictorian and Robster. Robster continues protesting about leaving the fries behind.

Second Police Officer: Great work, Pizza Girl. I wish we had more heroes like you in the city.

The police officers lead Valedictorian and Robster offstage. They nearly run into Brooke, who has to step aside to let them by.

Brooke: I can’t believe it. I thought you were going to call me if you found something. I thought we were a team. I guess there’s only room for one hero in this town.

Brooke exits. Maggie continues to just stand in the same place as before.

Kurt picks up his phone and dials. He picks up one of Robster’s fries, gives a small wave to Maggie, and exits.

Pizza Boy and Maggie: Rewritten team-up   Leave a comment

Lady: Your delivery driver uniforms have changed dramatically.
Manager: No, she’s not there yet. No! That’s girl can’t help you! Don’t-

But the Lady hangs up on the Manager.

Brooke: I heard you talking on the phone about your purse being stolen. Who did it?
Lady: I’m not sure. It was a guy with a lobster on his shirt, and-
Brooke: And a girl wearing a graduation gown?
Lady: Yes.
Brooke: Robster and the Valedictorian! My arch-nemeses. They’re the reason I got into this business, you know. No one every listens or cares about your problems, even when your purse is stolen and you have to go through all the trouble of canceling your credit cards and finding new cash, and you never get that cash back, you know? But everyone is too caught up in their own problems to care about how your day is absolutely ruined.
Lady: Yes, and…
Brooke: But I will listen. I will…what’s that line?
Lady: The line?

Maggie enters, dressed as the Pizza Girl, carrying the Random Lady’s purse.

Brooke: The line from that movie. The bad one. Anyway, I’m going after the Valedictorian.
Lady: I’m going to complain to your manager.
Maggie: Excuse me, ma’am? Did you order a pizza?
Lady: Oh, yes!
Maggie: Hi, I’m the Pizza Girl. I’m new. Is this your purse?
Lady (taking the purse): Yes it is! Oh, you found it!
Maggie: I found the wallet as well, but unfortunately they took all the important things. Credit cards, cash. (takes a business card out of her pocket — or a pizza box?) Here, just in case you don’t have the numbers on-hand, here are all the customer service numbers for all the major credit card companies. Are you feeling alright?
Lady: Yes, I’m fine. Why? Do I look bad?
Maggie: No, I just wanted to make sure you were alright. I can walk you to your destination if you need.
Lady: No, no, I – look, they didn’t take my car keys! I should be fine. Thank you so much.
Maggie: I know how you feel. I’ve been in…a similar situation before. You can feel free to call our phone number if you ever feel uncertain. I’ve only been doing this job for two days, and most of my jobs have been escorting people home.
Lady: I feel better already. Thank you so much (reads her nametag) Maggie.
Maggie: You have a good day, ma’am.
Lady: You too. Thank you!

Lady exits.

Maggie: Hey, Proserpina.
Brooke: Prosperina! Queen of the Underworld.
Maggie: I thought it was Proserpina.
Brooke: Maybe in Greek, but in Rome, it’s Prosperina.
Maggie (who is correct): Oh.
Brooke: So. You must be the new girl. Pizza Girl.
Maggie: Yeah, that’s me. This is my third day on the job. I’m still pretty new at this.
Brooke: Alright, Maggie! You and me, we’ll track down the Valedictorian and Robster together!
Maggie: What, why?
Brooke: Okay! Where did you leave the Valedictorian and Robster tied up?
Maggie: Who?
Brooke: The purse thieves. You captured them, right? You didn’t capture them?
Maggie: No, they were long gone. I found the purse in an alleyway.
Brooke: It’s like my mother always said: a job half-done is not done at all.
Maggie: She got her purse back, and she’ll be able to notify the credit card companies right away that her card was stolen. Not too much damage done.
Brooke: This isn’t about damage control. We’re superheroes. We’re the Good Guys. We’re not reactive. We’re proactive.
Maggie: Do you know where they went?
Brooke: No. That’s why we track them! We’ll start by looking in the place where you found the purse and then fan out from there.
Maggie: I…I wasn’t trained for this.
Brooke: Come on!
Maggie: I don’t see any reason why not.

We are taking full advantage of the space we have and they continue this conversation into the audience, looking around.

Maggie: So this is where I found the purse.

There is trash there.

Brooke: Ewwww.
Maggie: Yeah, he tried to hide it among the trash.
Brooke: Why did you look there?
Maggie: My purse was stolen when I was visiting Baltimore Harbor a few years back, we found it in a dumpster right next to the parking lot. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to look here before checking in with the customer.
Brooke: The victim!
Maggie: The person. Who took the purse, by the way? Did you ask?
Brooke: The Valedictorian and Robster.
Maggie: Oh. Why were they stealing purses?
Brooke: It’s what they do!
Maggie: I thought they were into kidnapping?
Brooke: They’ve stolen my purse dozens of times.
Maggie: Really? Dozens?
Brooke: Yes!

She is not exaggerating.

Maggie: Wow.
Brooke: I thought that I should fight back against those bullies. That’s the only way they’ll stop.
Maggie: So I’ve heard. There’s two directions to go though. I’m thinking don’t split the party, so which way do you think they went?
Brooke: That way is a Best Buy and that way is a Burgers Down Under…why don’t you go that way (indicates the direction towards Burgers Down Under) and I’ll go that way (towards the Best Buy). That way we can cover more ground in less time.
Maggie: Okay.

They turn away and both giggle.

Brooke: They must have gone to Best Buy to buy expensive things with their stolen credit card! I’ll catch them by myself, and then everyone will know I’m the best superhero!
Maggie: I can get lunch while pretending to do serious superhero work! Oh no, I’m sorry, Proserpina, they weren’t anywhere to be found in the restaurant! I checked thoroughly. I think I’ll get curly fries.

Pizza Boy and Maggie: A team-up of less-epic-than-expected proportions   Leave a comment

[Note: this scene is directly after the death of Pizza Boy]

A random street. Valedictorian and Robster are walking around, looking no worse for the wear.

Valedictorian: With the Pizza Boy gone, we can proceed with our plans unencumbered. I can run Amok!
Robster: We can run amok.
Valedictorian: No, I can. (Holds out a USB stick) Amok is the virus I’ve developed to target the personal information of everyone on Facebook.
Robster: Why?
Valedictorian: Why not?
Robster: It’s brilliant.
Valedictorian: Thank you, Robert.

Robster kisses her.

Valedictorian: Now, to find an anonymous internet source to upload our deadly virus.
Robster: There’s an internet cafe.
Valedictorian: No, they take your information.
Robster: There’s a Best Buy.
Valedictorian: They would notice if broke their computer restrictions.
Robster: There’s a McDonald’s.
Valedictorian: Brilliant! All we need is a laptop.
Robster: Where’s yours?
Valedictorian: I use a desktop.
Robster: But there’s no tower.
Valedictorian: It’s all in the monitor. Very fancy.
Robster: Yeah, but can’t bring a monitor into a McDonald’s, that would look ridiculous.

A Random Lady enters carrying a purse and talking on her phone.

Lady: The oxford comma is a crucial element to making your point clear, Miranda. The comma’s placement is an indicator–

Robster steals the purse.

Valedictorian: We run amok!
Robster: Haha!

They exit.

Lady: I’ll call you back, I have to order a pizza.

She hangs up and dials Cheezy Pizza.

Manager: Cheezy Pizza, pick-up or delivery?
Lady: Delivery.
Manager: What’s your order, ma’am.
Lady: My purse was just stolen.
Manager: We are zeroing in on your location now, ma’am. Would you like to order a pizza while you wait?
Lady: Do you have spinach as a topping?
Manager: We do.
Lady: And mozzarella? Like fresh mozzarella, not shredded.
Manager: Uh…yes! We do!
Lady: I’d like a small with spinach and mozzarella. Wait, how am I going to pay for this?
Manager: Don’t you have an account with us?
Lady: No, I’m very concerned about identity theft. So if you could hurry…
Manager: I suppose you could pay cash.
Lady They’ve probably stolen it by now. And the credit cards.
Manager: Oh. Well. We’re still sending someone to help, don’t worry about that. I just don’t think I can sell you a pizza.
Lady: This isn’t a very good system. I imagine most of your orders are for stolen purses.
Manager: Not really, ma’am, but I understand your concern.

Brooke enters.

Lady: Your delivery driver uniforms have changed dramatically.
Manager: No, she’s not there yet. No! That’s girl can’t help you! Don’t-

But the Lady hangs up on the Manager.

Brooke: I heard you talking on the phone about your purse being stolen. Who did it?
Lady: I’m not sure. It was a guy with a lobster on his shirt, and-
Brooke: And a girl wearing a graduation gown?
Lady: Yes.
Brooke: Robster and the Valedictorian! My arch-nemeses. They’re the reason I got into this business, you know. No one every listens or cares about your problems, even when your purse is stolen and you have to go through all the trouble of canceling your credit cards and finding new cash, and you never get that cash back, you know? But everyone is too caught up in their own problems to care about how your day is absolutely ruined.
Lady: Yes, and…
Brooke: But I will listen. I will…what’s that line?
Lady: The line?

Maggie enters, dressed as the Pizza Girl, carrying the Random Lady’s purse.

Brooke: The line from that movie. The bad one. Anyway, I’m going after the Valedictorian.
Lady: I’m going to complain to your manager.
Maggie: Excuse me, ma’am? Did you order a pizza?
Lady: Oh, yes!
Maggie: Hi, I’m the Pizza Girl. I’m new. Is this your purse?
Lady (taking the purse): Yes it is! Oh, you found it!
Maggie: I found the wallet as well, but unfortunately they took all the important things. Credit cards, cash. (takes a business card out of her pocket) Here, just in case you don’t have the numbers on-hand, here are all the customer service numbers for all the major credit card companies. Are you feeling alright?
Lady: Yes, I’m fine. Why? Do I look bad?
Maggie: No, I just wanted to make sure you were alright. I can walk you to your destination if you need.
Lady: No, no, I – look, they didn’t take my car keys! I should be fine. Thank you so much.
Maggie: I know how you feel. I’ve been in…a similar situation before. You can feel free to call our phone number if you ever feel uncertain. I’ve only been doing this job for two days, and most of my jobs have been escorting people home.
Lady: I feel better already. Thank you so much (reads her nametag) Maggie.
Maggie: You have a good day, ma’am.
Lady: You too. Thank you!

Lady exits.

Brooke: Alright, Maggie! You and me, we’ll track down the Valedictorian and Robster together!
Maggie: What, why?
Brooke: We’re superheroes, that’s what we do! We’ll dole out some justice (punches the air)
Maggie: But justice has been served. She got her purse back.
Brooke: That’s not how justice works.
Maggie: She left happy. Maybe not happy, but you know what I mean.
Brooke: No, no, this needs to stop! This isn’t working. Good can’t just keep coming in and mopping up after Evil has done its work. Good is more than just “not evil.” Good isn’t just reactive. It should be proactive. It should stop Evil before it starts.
Maggie: Do you know where they went?
Brooke: No. That’s why we track them! We’ll start by looking in the place where you found the purse and then fan out from there.
Maggie: I…I wasn’t trained for this.
Brooke: Come on!
Maggie: I don’t see any reason why not.

We are taking full advantage of the space we have and they continue this conversation into the audience, looking around.

Maggie: So this is where I found the purse.

There is trash there.

Brooke: Ewwww.
Maggie: Yeah, he tried to hide it among the trash.
Brooke: Why did you look there?
Maggie: My purse was stolen when I was visiting Baltimore Harbor a few years back, we found it in a dumpster right next to the parking lot. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to look here before checking in with the customer.
Brooke: The victim!
Maggie: The person. Who took the purse, by the way? Did you ask?
Brooke: The Valedictorian and Robster.
Maggie: Oh. Why were they stealing purses?
Brooke: It’s what they do!
Maggie: I thought they were into kidnapping?
Brooke: They’ve stolen my purse dozens of times.
Maggie: Really? Dozens?
Brooke: Yes!

She is not exaggerating.

Maggie: Wow.
Brooke: And it’s very disruptive, when your purse is always getting stolen! I even tried getting a new purse, but no!
Maggie: Did you ever try getting one of those wallets that just clips onto your belt?
Brooke: I’m sure they would have just taken it right off my belt.
Maggie: Or maybe gotten something that hides under your shirt.
Brooke: That would be paranoid.
Maggie: Okay. Where are we going, anyway? I feel like we’re just walking in circles.
Brooke: I don’t know.
Maggie: Alright. Well. There’s only two ways they could have gone, so, you go that way, and I’ll go this way. We’ll ask around, see if anyone has seen them. They’re a distinctive set, they’ll be noticed. We’ll meet back here in, say, 20 minutes? Or do you have your cell phone on you?

Brooke takes out her cell phone.

Maggie: Okay, awesome, let’s just exchange numbers then, and give each other a call if we find anything.

They exchange phones and start entering their information into each other’s contacts.

Brooke: This way we won’t have to double back.
Maggie: Exactly.

They give their phones back to each other.

Brooke: I’ll see you soon then.
Maggie: See you soon.

They separate.

Maggie (to herself): Okay, where’s a good place to get lunch?

Maggie exits.

Brooke walks among the audience, asking them if they’ve seen the Valedictorian and Robster. She then exits, based either on what they have to say or she exits of her own accord.

I will never give her inventions clever names, they will always be The Machine   Leave a comment

Valedictorian: Do you know what this machine does, Maggie?
Maggie: No?
Valedictorian: Did you know that the human body is the perfect conduit for quantum energy, Maggie?
Maggie: No?
Valedictorian: Well I did! And if my calculations are correct (and they are, because I am the Valedictorian, the smartest person in my graduating class), then once this machine is turned on, I will have all the energy I need to destroy the White House! But you won’t be around for all that! You will be the first meal for my machine! No matter. It’s only a pity that you won’t see the anarchy, and your beloved Washington D.C. burning to ashes!

This exchange always bothered me. Even when I first wrote it. Even when I sent it off to Sterling Playmakers for consideration in their one-act play. Even as the wonderful Sara Gray and Leandra Lynn memorized it and performed it with proper hamminess. I just…always hated it. For the first several drafts, this exchange was simply [mad science]

Part of the reason I hate it is for the same reason The Matrix doesn’t work: humans are a terrible conductor of energy. I knew it then. I know it now. But the Machine had to be deadly. Just, like, lethal, all the time, for sciencey purposes.

Now I’ve written several plays, some with Valedictorian, all with Maggie in them. I have a much better sense of the characters. The Valedictorian is driven by a need to control everything, and also she needs funding, desperately. She’s callous and immoral and doesn’t really care who lives and who dies, except that she would prefer to live (and maybe Robster can live too). The Valedictorian that I know wouldn’t actively try to kill someone. That would be a waste of everyone’s time.

The problem is that I love this exchange so much:

Valedictorian: It’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Or is it 1400? I always forget.
Rob: I think 1400 is from that Simpsons episode where Lisa was the President.
Valedictorian: Really?
Rob: I think. Now you have me confused.

This makes me giggle even years after I’ve written it. I can’t even explain why. There are funnier lines. There are more clever exchanges. I don’t even think this got a laugh when it was performed. But I can’t make myself get rid of it. And because I can’t get rid of it, I’m stuck with the terrible mad science above. Without that dialogue, Valedictorian and Robster have no reason to remember the address for the White House.

…Unless the Valedictorian wants to try to exchange brains with the President and needs to make sure that the Machine works without killing either subject?

Oh man that could totally work.

  Leave a comment

A public area on campus. Sierra enters. She is the Big Man on Campus (Big Woman on Campus?). An appropriate song plays while she enters, slow-motion, looking totally fine. Everyone turns in slow-motion to gaze at her awesomeness.

Emily enters, hurries to catch up with her.

Emily: Oh! Sierra! Hey! I remember you said the other day you asked if I could help you study for the midterm. Is there a time that’s good for you?

As Emily speaks, she is walking too fast for Sierra’s sexy-hott walk. She keeps having to double back to rejoin Sierra. Sierra tolerates it, because having a spaz like Emily makes her look all the more attractive.

Sierra: Whenever.
Emily: Oh! So how is Wednesday for you?
Sierra: I have Future Educators of America that night.
Emily: Oh. So how’s Thursday then?
Sierra: My Chinese Cultural Exchange is Thursday. You should come.
Emily: Well obviously not Friday, but maybe Saturday during the day?
Sierra: I’m running a flash mob at the local mall.
Emily: Sunday?
Sierra: I’m Catholic.
Emily: I would not have guessed. Well the midterm is Monday morning, so, when is a good time for you to study?
Sierra: Whenever.
Emily: Clearly Whenever is not going to work for you.

Sierra stops to confront her.

Sierra: You’re throwing off the vibe.
Emily: The vibe? The slow walk?
Sierra: Yes.
Emily: You threw off my groove! I’m sorry, but you’ve thrown off the Emperor’s groove. Sorrrryyyyyyy….

Sierra gives her a calculating look.

Emily: Emperor’s New Groove? The greatest animated buddy comedy and don’t even tell me The Road to El Dorado could rival it. Okay maybe it could. The important thing is, do you still need help studying for the midterm or don’t you?
Sierra: I do, but tell me, do you like pokemon?
Emily: It’s a thing.
Sierra: You’re a nerd, aren’t you? I know this guy, he’s a total nerd too.
Emily: What’s he like?
Sierra: He likes pokemon and comic books.
Emily: Okay, but is he nice? Funny? Good-looking?
Sierra: I don’t know, he’s a nerd.
Emily: You’re kind of a bitch, aren’t you?

No one has ever called Sierra a bitch to her face before.

Emily: Have fun on your mid-term, okay?

_______________________________

Listen, I have absolutely no idea what to do with this dialogue. Where it would go. What purpose it would serve. But it flows. It might make Sierra seem more important than she is? Or maybe make Emily seem less confident than she…maybe it would make Emily seem like a bigger character, less auxiliary. Or maybe Emily should just be an auxiliary character. Maybe I’m working myself up over nothing. Maybe I should cut a lot of the subplots and just stick with the Maggie/Pizza Boy/Valedictorian thing. I don’t know. I can’t decide, and I’m frozen over indecision over this.

Plus, like, Emily calls Sierra a bitch and that’s kind of a bad word and I did intend this play to be for children.