“The Prank”

Play #6 in “La noche de las obras cortas” (The Night of Short Plays) produced in June 2018 in  Oaxaca, Mexico.

Synopsis: A patient pranks their doctor.

CHARACTERS

A

B

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Some place

1.

A: You said you’d help me.

B: And I will.

A: You won’t back out?

B: No.

A: Everyone else has.

B: I’m not them.

A: That’s encouraging.

B: I always keep my word.

A: This could test that.

B: We’ll see.

A: You don’t know the task.

B: It doesn’t matter.

A: It’s extreme.

B: Extreme doesn’t scare me.

A: I’ve had a good life.

2.

B: Better than good.

A: Almost perfect.

B: I wouldn’t go that far.

A: As lives go.

B: Better than most.

A: Better than most.

B: Successful business.

A: I’m rich.

B: Quite rich!

A: But, not happy.

B: Really?

A: I’m not into things.

B: What then?

A: Experiences.

B: Such as.

3.

A: Saving that woman.

B: From her burning car.

A: Right place, right time.

B: You’re a hero.

A: No, but it was fulfilling.

B: You were on CNN.

A: I didn’t want that.

B: What else?

A: Winning the spelling bee.

B: When?

A: Fifth grade.

B: Good experience?

A: Good? Great! The best!

B: Why?

A: I beat Frank Collins.

4.

B: Who was that?

A: Smartest kid in the class.

B: Good for you.

A: My greatest moment growing up.

B: You’ve had a full life.

A: Yes.

B: Many achievements and memories.

A: Yes. There’s another. Happened yesterday.

B: Let me guess.

A: Go ahead.

B: I know you well.

A: Then it should be easy.

B: You won the lottery?

A: You don’t know me.

B: Why not?

5.

A: I don’t play the lottery.

B: One time we played.

A: Yeah, jackpot was a billion.

B: Never again?

A: Never. Next guess.

B: You’re dating your personal trainer.

A: That’s so shallow.

B: You’re shallow.

A: I am not.

B: You used to be.

A: Not anymore.

B: Prove it.

A: How?

B: See that guy over there?

A: The one with five chins?

6.

B: Yes. I know him.

A: Would I date him?

B: Great singer. Wicked SOH.

A: SOH?

B: Sense of humor. Fabulous cook.

A: Probably taken.

B: He’s not.

A: Not?

B: Not.

A: Wow. I don’t know. Tempting.

B: I’ll call him over.

A: I’ll kill you.

B: Still shallow.

A: I have standards.

B: So, no personal trainer?

7.

A: No. Last guess.

B: (thinking) I give up.

A: You wanna hint?

B: Ok.

A: What’s my favorite sport?

B: Golf. Oh my god!

A: What?!

B: You didn’t. No, you did!

A: Did what?

B: You made a hole-in-one! Congratulations!

A: Thanks. What a thrill!

B: So hard to do.

A: Perfection.

B: Exactly.

A: It’s also the end.

8.

B: End of playing golf?

A: End of living.

B: That’s funny.

A: I’m serious.

B: You can’t be.

A: Why not?

B: It’s crazy!

A: People commit suicide every day.

B: Every hour, maybe, but still…

A: So, you think I’m crazy.

B: Not in a clinical sense.

A: I’m perfectly sane.

B: Ok, then explain your decision.

A: I’ve achieved perfection.

B: That’s your reason.

9.

A: Nothing more to live for.

B: You can find perfection again.

A: How?

B: Bowling.

A: I’d rather be dead.

B: There must be something else.

A: Stop it. I’ve decided.

B: I want a better reason.

A: Go out on top.

B: That’s bullshit.

A: It’s not.

B: You must have other goals.

A: None I can’t live without.

B: Or die. What about Africa?

A: What about it?

10.

B: You’ve always wanted to go.

A: Haven’t been lotsa places.

B: Well, there you go.

A: Perfection in travel is difficult.

B: There’s travel perfection?

A: Sure. Visit every country.

B: Yeah, go for that!

A: I’m rich, not Gates rich.

B: True.

A: It’s a hassle. Tickets. Hotels.

B: Your mind’s made up.

A: Yes.

B: Suicide it is.

A: Suicide it is.

B: What’s your plan?

11.

A: You mean the method?

B: Yes.

A: I’m not sure. Look.

(A opens the backpack and takes out some rope, a bottle of pills and a knife)

B: No imagination.

A: What about the subway?

B: Also trite.

A: Any creative ideas?

B: A pit of poisonous snakes.

A: Sounds painful.

B: Very poisonous snakes. Quick death.

A: Where would I find them?

B: I know someone. A herpetologist.

A: A herpe-what?

B: Herpetologist. Person who studies snakes.

12.

A: Really?

B: Works at a university.

A: You’re going to help me?

B: Of course.

A: But, you’re my doctor.

B: And your friend.

A: You’re supposed to dissuade me.

B: It’s your wish. When? Tomorrow?

A: No.

B: The sooner the better.

A: No, I’m only joking.

B: Joking?

A: (laughs) Yeah. A prank.

B: A prank.

A: With a new twist.

13.

B: What’s that?

A: Patient gives doctor bad news.

B: Unique.

A: Are you mad?

B: Am I mad?

A: Yeah, mad, angry, pissed.

B: Nah, but here’s a suggestion.

A: Go see a psychiatrist?

B: No. Follow through with it.

A: I told you. A joke.

B: It’ll be quicker.

A: What are you talking about?

B: I saw your bloodwork results.

A: Ah, my cholesterol kinda high?

B: You have a rare disease.

14.

A: You’re kidding, right?

B: A blood disease.

A: This is a revenge prank.

B: There’s a treatment.

A: I’m sorry I pranked you.

B: Chance of survival is 30%.

A: You’re serious aren’t you?

B: What’s your decision? Treatment? Suicide?

A: Shit.

(Lights down)

THE END