CHARGE

by: ERIC KAISER

PAGES 1-10 PAGES 11-20 PAGES 21-30 PAGES 31-40
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GIGI: Yes mademoiselle.

MARTHA: I love your little French accent.

GIGI: Thank, you mademoiselle.

MARTHA: I don't think I could handle it if I coul-- have you found it yet?

GIGI: Yes mademoiselle.

MARTHA: Where? Where?

GIGI: The hood.

MARTHA: The hood?

GIGI: Yes, Ma'am, the hood.

MARTHA: Well, tell me about it.

GIGI: Would you like to see a movie about it?

[Gigi walks back to her original place. The lights fall to black, then a moment later shadows dance across Martha's face, she stares forward in awe of what she sees. Her face pulls towards the screen as her body gives a giant inhale. Moments later the shadows stop flashing on her face. She gives a great exhale of relief.]

[Moments later, George takes off his goggles.]

GEORGE: Number one in Productivity for the day. Number one. I sunk them all. Sunk em. I sunk you. I sunk. B. Jones 42132. I won his toe last night and I sunk him today. Did his toe arrive yet? I better see a little beggar in that doorway carrying his toe within the hour. Is it here yet? I want that toe. I sunk him. Sunk him! Screw B. Jones 42132. I sunk him. I've won thirteen toes now. Thirteen. Do you have thirteen toes?

MARTHA: I have ten. I just had the most amazing thing happen, I have to tell you.

GEORGE: Ten toes, that's not amazing, that's a lie. Where? Where do you have ten? You don't have ten toes. You don't bet. Have you been betting behind my back? I'll bet you all….wait are you counting those toes?

[He points to her feet.]

MARTHA: Ten toes.

GEORGE: Those don't count. By that rationale I have twenty three toes. Not thirteen, twenty three.

MARTHA: Twenty two.

GEORGE: No. I won thirteen. And like you I have ten.

MARTHA: Nine. You lost one.

GEORGE: Ahh. B. Nero 37981. My arch nemesis. My Diablo. My personal Beelzebub. Do you have your own personal Beelzebub? I have my own personal Beelzebub. He's a good one. He's a damn good one. He got my toe last week. That is the only toe I plan to let him have. We have a headsurfing rematch tonight. A rematch with my arch nemesis. He gave a good game, I'll give it to him, it was good. A good game, I love a good game, I'm not saying that he cheated or got lucky or anything, he had a damn good game. But I swear on Bill Gates himself, that I will have his toe above my head while I sleep tonight. That will be fourteen toes. Fourteen. Twenty three according to your thinking. What do you wanna bet I win tonight? Huh? What you wanna bet? Anything. I'll bet you anything I win tonight. I'll bet you a toe I get his toe tonight. HA! That would be two toes tonight I could win. That would be fifteen toes. Or twenty four. You wanna bet a toe I get his toe? Nah, you don't wanna bet that. I'm tired of betting pinkie toes. I need to up the stakes y'know. At first betting toes was exciting. This is the last toe I bet. After I win B. Nero 37981's toe. I gotta find something else to bet. Did B. Jones 42132's toe arrive yet? Why is there not a little beggar with his toe in my door? That's my thirteenth toe. Thirteen. He was easy. No challenge. He's no B. Nero 37981.

MARTHA: I just saw the most amazing thing. My heart is dancing. [Martha looks in her mirror.] Look, a vein is gone. There were thirteen before and now there are only twelve.

GEORGE: I was number one for the day. What number were you?

MARTHA: I have to tell you what I saw. It gave my heart a charge. I have to tell you.

GEORGE: I was number one for the day. What number were you?

MARTHA: 26,832.

GEORGE: 26,832?

MARTHA: 26,832.

GEORGE: There are only 27,000 in our division.

MARTHA: And I sunk 1,680 of them.

GEORGE: 168. You only sunk 168 of them. But you can do better and I know it. And one day we could be number one and number two together in productivity. Imagine how proud that would be for us. [A moment.] As long as the machine needs us, it will take care of us. If it didn't need us, then…well we would be out there. There. And we don't want to be out there. So please try and do better, for you, and for us. I know you can. [Pause.] We can make it interesting. I bet you I do better than you do tomorrow.

MARTHA: I feel like a screw.

GEORGE: Oh, hhhmmm. Well. A screw huh? A screw yeah? A stroll in the hay, hmmm? I gotta go headsurfing, I gotta…maybe after that…hmmm, even then, I'm usually whipped after that. Hey unless…we could bet a screw if I--

MARTHA: No, I feel like a screw in a big machine.

GEORGE: [Very relieved.] OOOOHHHHH, a screw in the machine. That's the spirit! A screw in the machine, nice, that should be a slogan.

MARTHA: Let's talk.

GEORGE: Let's bet.

MARTHA: Let's talk.

GEORGE: Talk how?

MARTHA: Well, talk. Talk.

GEORGE: We're talking right now. This is talking. I will bet you that this is considered talking, what we're doing now, it's talking, I'll bet you.

MARTHA: No, I want to talk like in the movies.

GEORGE: I'll bet you they talk like this in the movies.

MARTHA: I don't want to bet, I want to talk.

GEORGE: We are talking. And if we were betting right now also, we would both be satisfied.

MARTHA: I just saw a brilliant, fabulous, fantastic movie, that incidentally was based on a true story and they talked about social issues and change. Let's talk about social issues and change.

GEORGE: Social issues and change?

MARTHA: Social issues and change.

GEORGE: I'll bet you that you don't know the first thing about social issues and change. You wanna bet? I'll bet you.

MARTHA: That's because we never talk about social issues and change , if we talked about social issues and change tonight, we could talk about it tomorrow night because we would have learned about social issues and change tonight. That's what they talk about in the movies.

GEORGE: Who cares about the movies, that's not real, it's a fake rush. You don't win prize toes like these watching the movies.

MARTHA: I think my feelings have atrophied. I haven't felt an emotion in so long. I want to feel. I want you and I to feel together. Our hearts don't pump like they used to. And maybe together we can get them pumping.

GEORGE: How do you plan on making your heart pump again? By talking about social issues and change? I'll bet you couldn't affect your heart by talking about social issues and change. [A thought.] Are we betting or not? I can't keep all my bets in order. [Pause.] I wish we could bet together. I want to. Let's do it. You and I, let's put the fire back into our relationship. We could bet slowly at first. You wouldn't have to start on toes, we could start simply enough on toe nails. Can you imagine how exciting that would be?

MARTHA: Can you believe it. Can you believe that one April day we were looking up at the sky? A beautiful green iridescent oil canopy above. I still remember your young face accented by the pale green. My heart hurt it felt so good. [Pause.] Let's have our hearts hurt again together. I have an idea. In the movie--

GEORGE: No, wait.

MARTHA: What?

GEORGE: Wait, wait.

MARTHA: I'm waiting.

GEORGE: Are we betting?

MARTHA: No.

GEORGE: Well, then. What's in it for me?

MARTHA: I have an idea of how we could get our hearts to hurt together.

GEORGE: You know I love you.

MARTHA: Do you?

GEORGE: I would fight any person to the death that walked into this room. Even if it meant my death. I would let them tear out my heart, and crush my skull, I would let them squeeze out the bile from my stomach and burn my skin off with it before I would let anyone hurt you.

MARTHA: Would you listen to my story instead?

GEORGE: Only if it entails a bet.

MARTHA: Ok, I will bet you that you can't predict the outcome of this true story.

GEORGE: Continue.

MARTHA: If you can then, well, I won't talk to you about my hopes dreams and fears for a week. And If you lose, you cannot bet anything for a week.

GEORGE: You are a sly little vixen, nice, nice. Done. Let's do it.

MARTHA: There was a woman. A single mother living in this terrible, or terribly excitingly terrible place called the hood, it is full of a naughty little substance called crack, and has people driving small van like cars then shooting people from them, it's a terribly excitingly terrible place. Anyway a lady named…well they all called her Sista!! Sista? Isn't that charming? Well she had a son that everyone called Brutha', Now I have not yet determined if indeed they are biological brothers and sisters. But I don't think so because Brutha called Sista…Mutha. Now Brutha also had a Brutha that was called Brutha's Brutha, and Sista was also his Mutha. So we have Brutha, Brutha's Brutha and Sista which is their Mutha. Understand? Well Brutha was a hard one, and Brutha's Brutha was a soft one. Brutha was in a sordid little group called a gang. And Brutha's Brutha was in a safe little group called a chess club. While Brutha would drive around in little cars and Scream "I'm gonna blow your head of You dead Fucker." Brutha's Brutha would sit and say "Checkmate." They both shared a common goal though. And that was "GETTING OUT." One wanted to shoot his way out and the other wanted think his way out. [Pause.] Getting out huh? Do you understand that? Wanting to break free from all that you are bound too? I wish we could break out. Can we break out?

GEORGE: Got, it, got it. A rival gang kills this man you call Brother and his brother decides to join his brothers old gang to exact revenge on his brother's killers. The movie ends showing us the vicious circle of this life and they never get out. The last scene shows a desperate Mother watching her son drive off with the gang. Right? Right? Am I right?

MARTHA: How did you know?

GEORGE: I SAW THE MOVIE!!!!

MARTHA: But it's true and they must still be in this situation and we must stop Brutha's Brutha, we must get him out.

GEORGE: Ahh, ahh, ahha. I sunk you. No more talk of fears and…what?

MARTHA: Hopes and dreams.

[A buzzer goes off. Gigi and PIERRE's eyes both open, they unplug themselves from the wall and walk in front of the bed. Gigi Is dressed in a French Maids outfit, PIERRE is dressed in a black butlers uniform. They both talk with ULTRA CHEESY French accents.]

GIGI: Mademoiselle, what may I prepare for dinner?

PIERRE: Monsieur , what may I prepare for dinner?

GEORGE AND MARTHA: UUUUUUGHHH.

[With a great frustration they both look for remotes. It takes George one try to find the correct remote. It takes Martha three tries to find the correct remote. Once they both have a remote, with a fluid movement they point their remote at the black box and press the button. Both Gigi and Pierre's chin fall to their chests and their eyes close. George and Martha still simultaneous type a few lines of command on their keyboards. Once done they aim their remotes at the box and press a button. Gigi and Pierre lift their chins, open their eyes and have new personalities.]

[PIERRE now has the persona of a Marine drill sergeant. He walks right up to George's face and starts screaming.]

[While this is going on, Gigi finds a chair and sits right next to Martha.]

PIERRE: IT'S DINNER TIME YOU LITTLE FROG FART. ARE YOU READY FOR AN EXTREME DINNER YOU BUCKET OF PENGUIN PISS? DO YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO EAT SOMETHING EXTREME YOU WEASLE WART? WHAT DO YOU WANT YOU SALAMANDER SACK? TELL ME NOW YOU GOAT GOITER!! WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO WASTE, THE ENEMY IS NEAR, YOU... [He pauses a second as he tries to find another derogatory name.] YOU… PLATYPUSS PUSS!!

GEORGE: [Acting the part of the private.] I WANT EXTREME SUSHII SIR!!

PIERRE: HOW EXTREME DO YOU WANT IT YOU TURTLE TURD?

GEORGE: I WANT IT SUPER EXTREME SIR!!!

PIERRE: YOU SURE YOU CAN HANDLE SUPER EXTREME SUSHI YOU PAIR OF BEAVER BALLS!!!

GEORGE: YES SIR!!

PIERRE : COMING RIGHT UP.

[PIERRE walks off-stage.]

[Gigi now has the gentle disposition of a therapist that is afraid their patient might go over the deep end by any wrong comment.]

GIGI: Now, Martha, honey. Are you ready for dinner?

MARTHA: I think, yes.

GIGI: Now, look deep into your soul and let out any vibrations related to a possible dinner solution.

MARTHA: Well, I have been thinking a lot recently.

GIGI: Yes, yes, good thoughts or bad thoughts?

MARTHA: Well…good.

GIGI: Ohh, good, good.

MARTHA: And some bad.

GIGI: Oh, bad, bad. Sweep out those thoughts, gently sweep them out. And once the floor of your soul is clean of those thoughts. What does it tell you that you would like for dinner?

MARTHA: Well, I want to go to the hood.

GIGI: The hood?

MARTHA: Yes, the one in the movies with the death and the crack and the police brutality, and the gangs and the hatred and the desolation and poverty. I have been dreaming of going there, it is so dramatic in the movies, so full of life.

GIGI: Well, they eat there don't they?

MARTHA: I don't think many of them can afford to eat.

GIGI: Well, some of them eat there don't they?

MARTHA: [A little disappointed.] I guess.

GIGI: Well, would you like hood food?

MARTHA: Could I?

GIGI: You can have anything you want dear.

MARTHA: Well then, yes, yes I would like hood food.

GIGI: That's what I'll get you then, you just relax and I will prepare you some hood food.

MARTHA: Thank you, thank you.

[Gigi walks off-stage.]

GEORGE: Is my toe here yet? That is part of the deal. I have to receive the toe by 8:00 and if I don't then I get an extra toe. If I don't get that toe in under forty minutes then that's an extra toe for me. That would be fifteen toes.
[A thought.]
I am so sick of betting just toes. I want to be extreme, the most extreme. I want to be the most extreme person around.
[A thought.]
I want to be the most extreme person in the world.
[A thought.]
Huh. I wonder if any one in the history of the world has ever dared to bet more than a toe? I wonder if people have bet organs…or….
[A thought.]
Huh.
[George and Martha sit silently for a moment.]
I have been wanting to talk to you about your remote controls. You need to keep them in order. I can have any of my remotes in a split second, like a gunslinger. Watch. Tell me a remote to grab. Hold on.
[He types something. The Good the Bad and the Ugly theme plays.]
Come on, name a remote. Name it.

MARTHA: I don't know.

GEORGE: Name it.

MARTHA: Your heart machine.

[Like Clint Eastwood. BAM! He grabs the remote, aims it at the box and presses it.]

GEORGE: BAM!!!

[As the heart machine kicks in for a moment George falls back into his bed, deathly relaxed.]

GEORGE: AAAAhhhhh. Ooooohh…heart machine…..

[Martha looks with envy at George. She then looks at her mirror.]

MARTHA: A heart machine isn't human.

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Copyright © 2000 Eric Kaiser

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Charge 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's representative at julianne.homokay@gmail.com

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