The Best of Times
8 September 2016
Copyright 2016 Dianne Skoll. All Rights Reserved.
[Four friends - Alicia, Robert, Jennifer and Alan - are hanging out at Alan's home.]
Alicia: Hey, I've signed up for a course on Shakespeare. I loved his plays in school.
Robert: Yeah, I liked them too. The first one I did was Julius Caesar and it made a big impression.
Jennifer: Oh, I read that one too! Remember that guy, the poet, who gets killed because of a case of mistaken identity? You know... umm... dammit! I can't remember his name.
Robert: Gah! I do remember that, but I can't remember the name either.
Alan: Dudes! We have phones. We have Internet. Look it up!
Robert: Good idea.
[They all get out phones and start fiddling with them.]
Jennifer: Hey! I have no signal. Huh?
Robert: Me neither!
Alan: What the heck? Nobody has a signal? This is gonna drive me crazy. Oh wait! Wait a minute! I think I have an old encyclopedia from like the 1970's that my mom gave me. Let me go get it and we can look it up.
[Alan goes offstage, comes back with a book. As he enters the room, the lights flicker momentarily.]
Robert: Groovy book, Alan.
Alicia: Far out.
Alan: Yeah, dig it! Killer book here's gonna have what we need.
Jennifer: Hey, dude, do me a solid... quit jivin' and spill the beans.
Alan: Woah, what are you, the fuzz? Chillax... it's all copacetic. I'm almost at the page...
Robert: Oh, man! You got a new hi-fi? Got any LP's with some Jefferson Airplane? Their stuff is, like, trippy...
Alicia: Airplane? Airplane?? All the hip cats are into Hendrix, man.
[The lights go out for real.]
Alan: Aw, man! What a drag... just when we were about to get the lowdown... anyway, lemme get a candle.
[Alan exits again, comes back with a candle.]
Alicia: Huh. This is what it must have been like for pioneers in the 1800's.
Robert: Alan, can we hurry it up? There's pigs to be a-feedin' and Bessie ain't gonna milk herself, you know.
Alan: Stop your blessed bellyachin', Robert! You're the muttonhead always puttin' off his chores.
Jennifer: Can you fellas quit scrappin'? Alicia and I have to empty out the gold-darn ashes from the oven an' get some tallow for makin' the soap.
Alicia: Yeah, and Alan, don't forget you gotta stoke the fire for to fit the new rim on the buggy wheel, or we ain't gonna be takin' no spuds to the market.
Alan: Poppycock! I ain't some dope hayseed; I'm gonna get it done. But I think we should go to the source... I'm gonna get the dog-gone play itself.
[Alan exits again. Returns with a copy of Julius Caesar]
Alan: Behold! The original itself, by the bard himself.
Alicia: Thou speakest of "the bard", but prithee hear me out. The one dubbed "Bacon" doth have a superior claim.
Alan: Bacon! That ham? That pigeon-livered doddering cream-faced buffoon? He could no more spin sonnets and soliloquies than you could pen your patronymic in the permafrost with piss.
Jennifer: Oh, you scullion, you rampallian, you fustilarian. Thou art one-quarter the man that Alicia is, and that's with a helping dollop of generosity! You think thy weapon makest the man, but in truth, 'tis a shriveled sword indeed. [Alicia snickers]
[Lights come back on]
Robert: Hey! I have service again. [Fiddles with his phone] The guy's name was Cinna!
Alicia: Oh, ok, cool. Listen, wanna get an Uber downtown, go get a bite?
All: Yeah, sure.