CHARGE

by: ERIC KAISER

PAGES 1-10 PAGES 11-20 PAGES 21-30 PAGES 31-40
PAGES 41-50 PAGES 51-57  

GIGI: Yes mademoiselle.

MARTHA: Race: Black.

GIGI: Cool.

MARTHA: No. More…hoodie.

GIGI: What'Chew Doing?

MARTHA: Hoodier.

GIGI: WHAS'ZUP???

MARTHA: Perfect. Just like in the movies. You were born in the area, called "THE HOOD."

GIGI: They're many hoods, Sista.

MARTHA: Sista!! I love it!!! Sista!!! How beautiful. Like we are all part of one big family. I love it. I want you to be from the hood I saw in the movie.

GIGI: Done, Girlfriend.

CHICLET: Chiclet.

MARTHA: Ahh, girlfriend.

CHICLET: Chiclet.

[Gigi drops her present lingo and goes back to her default "Cheesy French."]

GIGI: Mademoiselle, there is an intruder in the room.

MARTHA: [Just like a little whiney kid that has her toy taken away.] Uuhh, What are you doing?

GIGI: Mademoiselle, I am warning you that there is an intruder in the room.

CHICLET: Chiclet.

GIGI: That is the intruder Ma'am.

MARTHA: We are doing something very important here. Beyond that door, there are people in desperate need of our help.

GIGI: Ma'am I assure you this is a very important problem that--

MARTHA: I worked hard all day long.

CHICLET: Chiclet?

GIGI: Ma'am--

MARTHA: [A jab.] Were you made in Korea?

GIGI: [This bothers her as much as a ‘Chargeable Friend' can be bothered.] No, ma'am I was made in Germany.

MARTHA: You act like you were made in Korea.

GIGI: I assure you I was made in Germany.

MARTHA: Well, then start acting like you were made in Germany and act like I programmed you.

CHICLET: Chiclet?

MARTHA: [Martha looks at Chiclet.] It's not like she is a huge destructive flying poison fire spitting, spider. So let's start over Korea.

GIGI: Alright, Bitch.

MARTHA: Bitch?

GIGI: That is an acceptable term of endearment in the hood.

MARTHA: I don't like it.

GIGI: How about "Ho?"

MARTHA: "Ho" huh? What does it mean?

GIGI: It means "One who loves many."

MARTHA: I like that. I am a ho. Call me that.

GIGI: Alright, Ho!

CHICLET: Chiclet?

MARTHA: Perfect. You're just like the people in the movies. Now tell me about the hood.

GIGI: The word "Hood," ho, specifically means Neighborhood. So it could be any neighborhood in the world. Which one would you like me to describe?

MARTHA: The one in the movies, the one in the movies.

GIGI: Many neighborhoods are portrayed in the movies.

MARTHA: I want the dramatic one, with the drive by shootings, the death and crack.

GIGI: The one most commonly portrayed in the movies that fits those descriptions is in South Central Los Angeles circa 1995.

MARTHA: Yes, yes, yes, that's it. Tell me about it. Tell me about the hood.

GIGI: Well, Sista, there is poverty and money.

MARTHA: Ahhh, poverty. So dramatic. [She feels her chest, then looks in the mirror.] More. Tell me more.

GIGI: There is violence and drive by shootings, there is love and friendship.

MARTHA: Ahhh, violence and drive by's. [She looks deeper into the mirror.] More.

GIGI: Many rooms have wrought iron bars.

MARTHA: Ahhhh, wrought iron bars. [She closes her eyes. Feels her chest, then looks in the mirror.] Yes. Another vein gone. More.

GIGI: Some rooms have flowers and gardens.

MARTHA: [Disturbed.] Flowers and Gardens?

GIGI: Yeah, sista.

MARTHA: No, no, no, they can't have flowers and gardens. That's not dramatic.

GIGI: But in my program.

MARTHA: No, flowers and gardens. There were no flowers and gardens in the movie I saw. It is so much more dramatic without flowers.

GIGI: There are barbecues, and family get togethers--

MARTHA: Are there shootings at the barbecues?

GIGI: No, not usually, girlfriend.

MARTHA: Well, you must have gotten the wrong hood. If it were nice, no one would need or want out. Alright now, girl. Update your files on the hood. Poverty is rampant everywhere, it has violence every second of the day, there is no love only hate, gates and bars everywhere, and NO FLOWERS.

[Gigi drops her chin to her chest and downloads.]

[Gigi then lifts her head up.]

MARTHA: Whaszup, Sista???

GIGI: [This time Gigi acts melodramatic, and deathly depressed.] Hi.

MARTHA: I said…WHAT UP SISTA????

GIGI: Nothing is up, sista, all is down.

MARTHA: What are you doing?

GIGI: I am acting the role as you re-programmed me.

MARTHA: I want you to be happy.

GIGI: I would love to, however with the your new interpretation of the hood. I have no reason to be happy.

MARTHA: What do you mean?

GIGI: How would you like to explain my theory ma'am?

MARTHA: Theory huh? Sounds boring. Let's make it exciting. [She thinks.] George always seems excited. Do it like--

[She pauses Gigi. She types. She un-pauses Gigi.]

GIGI: [Like Pierre's drill sergeant.] ARE YOU READY TO HEAR MY THEORY YOU DISSGUSTING BED SORE???

[Martha immediately pauses Gigi.]

MARTHA: Oh. I don't like that. [She thinks.] WAIT. WAIT. I have a perfect idea. Do it like a little beggar.

GIGI: Chiclets?

CHICLET: CHICLETS?? CHICLETS??? CHICLETS?? CHICLETS??

MARTHA: [She pauses Gigi.] Stop it.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

[Chiclets keeps mumbling "Chiclets" under this next part.]

MARTHA: I said stop it. [She unpauses Gigi.] That's not how little beggars should be. They should be more dramatic. More poetic. And talk about social issues and change. But I'm in the mood for something fun. [She thinks.] Got it, be an old stodgy mafia boss. But the catch is you can only talk in Italian food metaphors.

GIGI: Let's go out on a limb here. Let us. ‘Us' meaning me and you. Let us say my hood character is a nice manicotti shell. Y'know manicotti right? It's a tubular pasta that is usually baked. Let's me and you, you and I say that that the character you created was a manicotti shell. Now, that shell has a hard life, it's born soft…if the pasta is made correctly. Now this pasta is delicate…and pretty soon you're gonna stick that manicotti in a 400 degree oven. But the chef is smart, the chef will stuff that pasta all full of good rich ingredients, ricotta and mozzarella, and some nice light spices and greens. And that chef also puts a nice marinara on top with beautiful grated cheese. Now the chef knowing that manicotti is gonna have a rough ride sticks in a bunch a other manicottis with it, and even though it is a tough hour in that oven, the pasta grows and uses that heat to soak up all the good elements and come out stronger and better. Now if that chef just stuck that floppy manicotti shell in the oven with out taking all that care to put all of that richness in there what do you think would happen? [Waiting a millisecond for a reply.] It would burn right on up. It would crumble under the heat. Now what you are wanting is to get Brutha's Brutha and Sista out, that's not what you should do. You need to not worry about their shells. YOU need to worry about what is stuffed in the shells and what is surrounding the shells. The hood character you originally programmed me for was surrounded by many bad things. But she was also filled with many good. The beauty and hope of a flower. The friends at a barbecue. These are just a few. That is the only way the people in the hood are able to withstand the heat. That is how they are able to grow from the heat, and not burn up. That is how how how how I need to charge ma'am.

MARTHA: Oh, yes. Yes. Go Charge. Is your battery all right? Are you alright. I don't want anything to happen to you. We can finish tomorrow.

[Gigi Walks to the wall and plugs in.]

[Martha picks up one of the plastic flowers from her vase and stares at it for a moment. Chiclets has been mumbling "Chiclets"]

CHICLETS: Chiclets.

MARTHA: Chiclets? Are you saying that?

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Oh, of course, you're from George.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: You're a gift from George.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: You're a new chargeable friend.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Is that your name?

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Do you have a remote?

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Give me your remote. Remote.

[Martha picks up a remote to show Chiclet what a remote is.]

MARTHA: Did you come with a remote? Remote?

CHICLET: Chiclets?

[Chiclet sees a remote near her on the floor, she picks it up and brings it to Martha, she then goes right back to where she was.]

MARTHA: Good, now let's fix you up. He must have already programmed you like a little beggar. He knows how I like little beggars. But he didn't do a good job programming you.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Little beggars should be more poetic. More dramatic. Now, pause while I fix you up.

[Martha presses the remote.]

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: I said, pause.

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: PAUSE!!

CHICLET: Once upon a time the sky was blue.

MARTHA: What's wrong? Do you need to charge? There are extra sockets over there. Is your battery low? Is that it?

CHICLET: Once upon a time the sky was a gray bruise.

MARTHA: I can't handle this right now, I have a lot on my mind, I need to save Brutha's Brutha and Sista.

CHICLET: Once upon a time the sky was a green oil slick

MARTHA: Fine, fine, I have a lot of important things to do. And if you don't want to help. Then, fine.

CHICLET: Once upon a time the sky spoiled.

MARTHA: SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!

[Martha throws the remote at Chiclet. Chiclet, curls up and stays quiet for the rest of the scene.]

[Martha takes a moment, catches her breath, and looks in the mirror. She counts and is excited as another vein is gone.]

MARTHA: Another one is gone!! Chiclet? Chiclet?

[Chiclet curls up in a tighter ball.]

[Lights fall.]

ACT III

[In the darkness Chiclet coughs.]

[Pierre walks over to George and wraps three more of his toes in gauze.]

[The buzzer goes off. The goggles come off. George is less hyper and less ‘extreme' than these past two days. Martha is antsy; she waits for George to put on his head surfing gear.]

[George immediately grabs a remote and hands it to Martha.]

MARTHA: What's this?

GEORGE: Pierre's remote.

MARTHA: This is the remote to the garbage incinerator.

GEORGE: Well then, I must have grabbed the wrong one.

[After three tries he finds the correct remote.]

GEORGE: Here. I lost three toes also.

MARTHA: Well…were you number one at work today?

GEORGE: No.

MARTHA: Number two?

GEORGE: No.

MARTHA: I'll bet you were number three. Wanna bet?

GEORGE: No.

MARTHA: Well…I'll see you later?

GEORGE: Where are you going?

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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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