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Added: 23 April 2007
[Plays and Screenplays]

Prize Chumps: A 4-Minute Play

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Written for Tanvi Dodia and Jason Felipe
Spontaneous Combustion #27
April 20, 2007

Cast of Characters
Barnacle Festivus: Inventor-Detective
Snaky Jane Wilbury: Burglar-Metaphysician-Detective

Setting: Barnacle Festivus sits at his desk, trying to fit a small battery-operated fan into a rubber chicken's ass. Snaky Jane reads Aristotle's Metaphysics, occasionally casting an annoyed glance at Festivus over the top of the book. A copy of Sartre's Being and Nothingness lies on the floor beside her.

FESTIVUS: This isn't gonna work out, Snaky Jane.

SNAKY JANE: It wouldn't have helped us anyway.

FESTIVUS: You don't know that.

SNAKY JANE: Listen to me, Barnacle Festivus. You're a mad inventor. I'm a burglar who moonlights as a professor of metaphysics. I don't know why anyone would hire us as detectives in the first place.

FESTIVUS: Well they did. And we're going to solve this case if it kills us.

SNAKY JANE: You know what we are, Barnacle Festivus? We're a couple of prize chumps.

FESTIVUS: We're a couple of nut jobs, Snaky Jane.

SNAKY JANE: We're a fine couple of saps.

FESTIVUS: We're a couple of eggs short of a dozen. A couple of elevators short of the top floor.

SNAKY JANE: What is being? What is nothingness?

FESTIVUS: A couple of tough questions. God, you're gorgeous when you talk like that, I love metaphysical women! Wait! It moved!

(He is referring to the chicken.)

SNAKY JANE: I don't think it did.

FESTIVUS: It did! It did! It did! No, you're right, it didn't. It's not going to work.

SNAKY JANE: I just don't think, even if you did invent a flying rubber chicken, that it would help us solve this case.

FESTIVUS: It's not...you don't...it isn't...the chicken idea, it's not just a flying chicken that happens to be rubber, that's not the point.


FESTIVUS: No! It's a, it's a, it's a, the idea is, it's a rubber chicken, right, that flies, OK, and spies. It gathers information, dumbhead, and helps you solve detective cases!

SNAKY JANE: OK, I apologize, Barnacle Festivus. I take it back. That would be pretty good.

FESTIVUS: I'm sorry I called you a dumbhead, Snaky Jane.

SNAKY JANE: OK, so we're both sorry. We're a couple of sorry-ass losers, that's what we are.

FESTIVUS: We're a couple of goddamned bozos. Fuck this chicken!

(Festivus angrily hurls the chicken across the stage.)

SNAKY JANE: All right, all right, let's take this from the beginning. What we have here is a case of somebody going into somebody else's house in an illegal manner. Now, this somebody...

FESTIVUS: Or somebodies...

SNAKY JANE: Very good, Barnacle Festivus! So this person or persons, they go into this house, and they take stuff that doesn't belong to them.

FESTIVUS: They're burglars is what they are, Snaky Jane.

SNAKY JANE: Or a burglar.

FESTIVUS: Right. So let's see. Burglary. Who do we know who's a burglar?

(Snaky Jane looks nervous.)

SNAKY JANE: Um, well...

FESTIVUS: And what did they take?

SNAKY JANE: Um, a couple of books is all, I think.

FESTIVUS: A couple of books. What kind of books?

SNAKY JANE: Aristotle, I think, some Sartre...

FESTIVUS: Right, right. I feel like we're getting so close here, I just...

SNAKY JANE: It was me.

FESTIVUS: Of course! I was just going to say that! I swear! You beat me to it! Because you're a burglar and those are the exact books right there! We did it!

(They celebrate.)

SNAKY JANE: It's funny how the criminal always thinks she's been so clever, but in the end she trips up somehow.

FESTIVUS: Especially when you've got a couple of ace detectives on the case!

SNAKY JANE: We're a couple of bonafide sleuths!

FESTIVUS: We're a couple of private dicks!

SNAKY JANE: So what do we do now?

FESTIVUS: I've got a couple of ideas on the subject.

SNAKY JANE: Want to go for a couple of drinks?

FESTIVUS: Well, I guess I've got a couple of minutes anyway...

(She holds out her hand, Festivus takes it.)