Beer quantities

An OBESE TEENAGER sits at his desk in California. Two potted plants fuck slowly on the desk’s northwest corner. An overturned ice-cream truck lies on the other side of the open-plan office; the ICE-CREAM MAN writhes around on the ground in front of the truck, silently moaning and slo-mo thrashing and rubbing ice-cream and fake blood on his uniform. The OBESE TEENAGER wears headphones and an oversized button-down shirt. His hair is closely shorn. He looks like if George Clooney were ugly and fat and young.

OBESE TEENAGER: I am hungover. I wish I had some pot. I can’t get anything done today. I love rock and roll. I wanna live on an abstract plane. Three French Doctors without Borders were kidnapped in Darfur. Michelle Obama has been promoting healthy eating more than Laura Bush ever did, even though Laura also wanted fresh, organic veggies to be served in the White House. One of Michelle and Barack’s daughters started getting “a little chubby” a while back, so they ruled out juice boxes and something else. A blazed gunman in Arkansas was sentenced to reading this blog every forty-five minutes for the next six months as part of a plea bargain. If there are no new posts, he has to re-read whatever the three or four most recent things are. He gets quizzed every other day. “I think I got off pretty easy,” the blazed gunman reported. “This will be more fun, for the first few weeks, at least, than community service.”

ICE-CREAM MAN: [Moans loudly, continues writhing.]

OBESE TEENAGER: I shit you not. I’ve gotta get outta here. Soak the beans overnight, sautee some onion and garlic in a pot, then pour the beans with their soaking water into the pot. Bring to a boil, add salt, pepper, more garlic, cook for two hours. Maybe throw some cilantro in there. You have a lot of black beans now; use them wisely.

ICE-CREAM MAN: Did you know I also sell weed?

OBESE TEENAGER: That’s interesting. I know a lot of really well-regarded people who smoke marijuana.

ICE-CREAM MAN: Yes, it’s true.

OBESE TEENAGER: Not just in the arts, either. Successful people from many walks of life.

ICE-CREAM MAN: I know, it’s interesting. I can’t say I’m surprised.

OBESE TEENAGER: Last night at the bar a guy with shoulder-length hair, wearing a T-shirt over thermal underwear, walked in around 1:30, ordered a whiskey. “Excuse me,” he said, clearly drunk, though not especially threatening. “You’re Jewish, aren’t you?” I hesitated. “Are you asking because I’m wearing Dockers and have dirty eyeglasses?” I said. “I have incredible ‘Jew-dar,'” he said. He turned out to be half-Jewish, on his mother’s side, and was from el Salvador, partially, somehow. He grew up listening to KFJC in Santa Clara. “Taped the station all the time.” That’s how he found out about the Fall, when he ended up taping “Totally Wired.”


ICE-CREAM MAN: Do you think it’d be hard to be a milk-man? I feel like it’s the same thing as being an ice-cream man. I think it’d be easy. I’m looking for a change.

O.T.: It’s different. I think you’d run into problems. You have to drop off the milk at doorsteps; it’s not like ice-cream, where people come to you.

ICM: [Shyly] Is it true that milkmen sleep with ‘desparate housewives’?

OT: I think that’s an ‘old desperate housewives tale.’ I mean, you probably will end up sleeping with a bunch of housewives, but just as often you’ll probably end up sleeping with confused, desperate poolboys. You know what I mean?

ICM: Yeah, I guess I do. But hey, I meant to say: I can sell you weed if you want. Just ask for the “Zany Grasshopper Pop.”

OT: [A long pause.] God, that sounds terrific. Is it available now?

ICM: What?

OT: The… ‘Mighty Grasshopper Pop’?

ICM: You mean ‘Zany’?

OT: Right, right— ‘Zany.’

ICM: It is. Here, come into the truck, and I’ll see if I have any fresh stuff.

[They disappear into the rear of the overturned ice-cream truck. Faint dub reggae becomes audible. The stage remains empty for a few beats.]

[A DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE and a DESPERATE POOLBOY enter from stage left and right, respectively. The HOUSEWIFE is just the OBESE TEENAGER in a wig, housedress, and quickly applied makeup; the POOLBOY is the ICE-CREAM MAN in overalls and a straw hat, carrying a long mesh net. They meet in the center, in front and to the left of the truck.]

DH: Whoa, I can’t believe I’m still writing this ‘play.’ I should probably get back to ‘work.’ maybe I’ll enter some copyedit changes. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

DP: yer pretty

DH: Why thank you. You’re handsome, and articulate. [They hold each other. Blackout.]