It's Nothing Serious!
Author: Miztrebor


A play written by Robert Zimmermann (Miz Trebor) and Courtney Attwood

Sally - wife of Ralph
Ralph - husband of Sally
Maxine/Max - Sallyís friend,
Homeless man - drunk, bum obsessed with his guitar

Scene I

[Busy city street. People walking along a sidewalk. Very noisy: sirens going off, talking, (basic sounds of cities.) Afternoon to evening.]

Homeless man is sitting up against the wall of a building. He is playing his guitar which is well worn, dirty, and only has 3 or 4 strings. His ragged homemade guitar case is set out to his side for change. He has an almost empty bottle of rum on his other side. For the most part people are just walking past him without giving his any attention. Occasionally you see a few coins fall into his case.

As the lights grow dimmer the throngs of people start to dwindle down. At nightfall a sole person walks past him. She is (Sally) a woman in her thirties. Modern clothing, she looks like she works behind a desk all day. She turns back after a few steps and leans down to place some money in the manís guitar case. As she is hunched over a man runs past her. Next thing she knows is that sheís on the ground beside the homeless man and her purse is gone. ďPolice, police,Ē she yells, ďSomeone help that man just took my purse.Ē All of a sudden the homeless man gets shakily to his feet. He rips off the rags of clothing he is wearing to reveal what can only be described as the most heroic superhero costume ever seen, even better than the pajamas of Superman. He is extremely holey briefs that had once been white, one whole sock and half of another, and to top it off he has a cape made from newspapers that seem to have been glues to a trash bag through the use of leftover guacamole. (The spotlight shines on this heroic man the whole time.)

As he stands there in a Superman like pose, he drunkenly mumbles an oath. He takes a few steps toward the direction the mugger took of in. Not far from where he took off he falls into a pile of garbage bags. The woman gets herself to her feet stifling a laugh. She walks over to the man and kicks him in the ribs to see if he is still alive. He doesnít move, so she takes his guitar and all his money and walks home.

[End of scene]

Scene II

[The morning after. Dining room/ living room of Sallyís house. Stage left: kitchen table with a few chairs. Stage right: couch in living room center. Two windows on back wall of the living room, sunlight shining through them. There is one window on back wall of the kitchen.]

The woman (Sally) and her friend (Maxine) as sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating breakfast. Their conversation consists of Sally retelling the tale of the evening before. Then she gets up to go into the bedroom. When she reappears she has the manís guitar in her hands. Itís been cleaned up and has all 6 strings replaced. She lays it on the table where they both stare at it. Eventually Maxine takes up the guitar and starts to play a tune. When sheís done Sally compliments her on how good she could play. Maxine asks Sally to play. Sally protests saying she was never really that good. Then she reluctantly starts to play with much skill and seduction, almost as if she were possessed. All of a sudden the face of the homeless man appears in the kitchen window on the back wall. The women donít see him. He scratches at the window, and then breaks through the wall not at all phased. The women run into the living room near the front door. The man picks up the guitar which was dropped on the floor. He then passes out on the table. The women cautiously check on him. After thinking he is harmless they struggle to carry him to the living room couch where they lay him down to sleep. They play the guitar in his arms.

[The women leave for work a little while after. And the scene ends.]

Scene III
[Dining room/ living room of Sallyís house. Stage left: kitchen table with a few chairs. Broken down wall, debris on the floor; Stage right: couch in living room center. Homeless man sleeping on it, guitar in his embrace. Two windows on back wall, street lights shining through them from below on street.]

[Ralph, wearing dark grey suit and carrying briefcase, enters door stage right, turns on lights.]

Ralph - (seeing the man on the couch he gets startled and yells.) Whatís this man doing here?

(Ralph grabs the manís guitar and raised it over his head as if to strike the stranger.)

H.M. - (makes a low grumbling noise resembling a wookie) (he rises to his feet and grabs Ralph by the throat. After taking the guitar out of his hands the homeless man thrusts Ralph away toward the kitchen. He then stands petting his guitar and is panting loudly.)

[Sally Enters from bedroom door wearing simple night gown, no make up as if she just woke up stage right.]

Sally - Whatís going on in here? (She sees Ralph breathless on the floor struggling to get to his feet. She goes over to the homeless man.) Are you alright? (Looking toward her husband) What did you do to him?

Ralph - What did I do to him? It was he who should be in question. Who is he and why is he here? Is this the man youíre having an affair with?

Sally - What? NO! How could you think of that? Me having an affairÖwith this strong handsomeÖno where would you get an idea like that from. (She eyes the homeless man over like a school girl, and then snaps out of it.) No, He just broke down the kitchen wall trying to get his guitar back last night. Thatís all; Iím not having an affair of any kind.

Ralph - He broke down the kitchen wall? By the way Iím glad youíre not having an affair.

Sally - Yes, of course. As for the wall it is nothing serious. He had to get in the apartment somehow. He couldnít just use the door the doorman wouldnít have let a man like him into the building.

[By now the homeless man has slipped back onto the couch clutching the guitar.]

Ralph - Oh, of course that makes sense. Wait. What? Itís nothing serious! This man broke down the wall of and then attacked me. Wait, he broke down the wall to our kitchen. We live on the fourth floor of this building. How did he scale the building and walk through the wall. This seems impossible. (in a lower voice as if to himself) But then again I guess itís not impossible. All heíd have had to do is slow down time. Or may even speed up the rate of his molecular structure to that of the speed of light. In theory this could have allowed him to defy gravity, and then dismantle the wall brick by brick. This would have literally taken no time at all. HmmÖI should write this down. It could be a great storyÖ.ĒThe Man Who CouldÖ.no, no. (he realizes he was rambling to himself.) This is unacceptable. He must get out of my apartment now.

Sally - Ralph, honey, please donít over react. Itís really nothing. Itís quite simple. I met this man last night on the street, when I was walking home. I was mugged in front of where he was sitting up against a building. He tried to catch the man who took my stuff, but he kind of passed out in mid-stride. He ripped off his rags and looked like one of those silly superheroes you hear about on the television, though he was sort of sad looking in his holey briefs and newspaper cape. Well, at least he kept his socks on I think they gave him a distinguished look.

Ralph - You were mugged (apologetically)? Wait, I donít care that you were mugged. Iím calling the cops on this man. (Ralph walks to the phone on the table next to the couch and picks up the receiver.)

Sally - Youíre not going to call anyone, you bastard.

[Sally punches Ralph right in the face, sending him to the floor. Ralph tries to get himself to his feet, but Sally kicks him in the ribs.]

Youíre not going anywhere.

Ralph - Whatís got into you? Youíre really scaring me. (He struggles with his words.)

Sally - Whatís got into me? Shouldnít you be the one answering that question? You go out at all hours of the night to God knows where. You never call, we barely talk. Maybe I should have an affair with someone. Maybe Iíll just start with this man right here on the couch, he looks more adequate than you ever could be. (Sally steps over to the phone and dials a number.) Iím getting Maxine over here right away.

Ralph - Whatís she have to do with this? Canít we work this out alone? You know she has always hated me ever since that one night I got drunk and slept with her. When I woke up I told her it was only because I felt bad for her and that I made a terrible mistake. I donít know why that upset her, Iím the one that put myself through that. Oh, she never told you thatÖwell I was just trying to be funny. Nothing ever happened between usÖ (to himself) then again I say that about everyone at work too. (In a louder voice, still as if to himself) Damn my brilliant mind. It keeps turning on me and creating these strange fantasies. No this is realÖ(clutching his ribs) yes this is real.

Sally - (talking into the phone) Max, itís Sally. Yeah, the time has come. You know what to do. Oh and Max, make sure you bring everything we talked about. Thereís no reason to make a mess of this. (She hangs up the phone.) Itíll all be over soon honey. Donít worry, itíll go smoothly.

Ralph - No, nooooooo, not the time that was to come. (He screams this, then looks puzzled.) Wait, what time that was to come? What have you planned? Is it a party, you know I hate parties. Oh wait maybe youíre planning something better, you know Max has gotten a little prettier lately.

Sally - Donít worry your pretty little head over this Ralphie. (She leans over and kisses him on the forehead and pats his head. Before walking toward the kitchen she give him one more kick in the ribs.) Itís not a party though, well not for you anyway. (Sally lets out a demonic laugh.)

H.M. - (singing in his sleep) My baby, my baby. Oh how I love my baby. (All the while he strokes the guitar that heís holding tightly in his arms. [Sally looks at him from the kitchen counter and smiles a motherly smile. Ralph still struggling to breathe and sit upright has a look of horror on his face.]

[End of scene III]

Scene IV: [Maxine knocks on the door, Sally lets Maxine in. Ralph has his hands tied behind his back. Maxine and Sally bring everything Maxine brought into the kitchen]

Maxine and Sally use an electric turkey carver to cut Ralph into tiny pieces so they can feed him to the sharks that lived on the coast around them. The whole time they are telling him everything that the plan to do to him. They explain what they are going to cut off first and how they are going to cut it off. Then they tell him what will be cut off next, and so on. As they cut off his ears they tell him that they are going to do with his pieces. They do this by talking into his dismembered ears. What they are shocked by is the fact that Ralph doesn't scream as they are dismantle him piece by piece.

The homeless man wakes up and is scared to death. He sees the electric turkey carver in their hands. He automatically thinks that Maxine and Sally are going to murder him like they did to Ralph who is by now deceased. Before they can explain to him what is going on, the homeless man strikes them both over the head with his beloved guitar causing them to fall to the ground unconscious. He goes over to them and breaks their femur bones so that they can't walk and snaps their necks causing them to no longer have an open airway and able to breathe.

The homeless man looks to the ground. His guitar is smashed to smithereens and he breaks down crying uncontrollably. "Oh my baby, you look so broken and hurt." It looks as if he's talking to the guitar, but he throws the pieces aside and picks up the corpse of an infant. "Oh baby you're dead. It's alright though. Up to heaven you go. Your father, Uncle Tilden will never forget about you. The homeless man tosses the baby up into the air. There is a bluish light above the child. The baby gets to the top (lifted by a string) and inches before reaching "heaven", the string that is pulling the baby up to heaven is cut. You see a deep red light under the baby. The baby falls with a huge thud on stage (or a whole in the stage if possible). Tilden says, "OK. I guess you wanted to go to hell instead." Tilden gets up off of the ground and doesn't seem to care about the baby's death or that it went to hell. He walks through the wall directly next to where he first broke in. You hear this terrifying scream and this huge crunching noise outside and a car alarm.
[Curtain closes]

------- Author's Notes -------

I'm in an Interpretation and Analysis of Plays class at SUNY Potsdam. We got an assignment last week to create a concept for a play and write up one scene, since we had only a week to do it. It's definitely a comedy, though it's strays to a mature audience in parts. but i don't feel it goes over the line too far. When i get free time after the semester is over i will pick this back up and finish all the scenes.


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