Slacker Songs

[scripty]
CHARACTERS

GINA
(All of her lines are sung. She only comes to life when she’s singing.)
BILL
RITA
PAUL

SETTING: AN OFFICE WORKROOM. PRESENT DAY.
The loud music should either be horrible Muzak or just mechanical churning industrial-like noises. An upbeat tempo is preferred. Loud and fast. If the music can be accompanied by pulsing lighting, all the better.

PROPS
Cell phone
orange exercise ball
lots of paper
Post-It note
beer
stuffed animal
cigarettes
pair of shoes
folder with papers or notebook
lamp
water bottles (empty)
pens
box of frilly dresses
American flag
cds (optional)
picture frames (optional)
magazines (optional)

AT RISE: Four chairs. Each chair has a desk-worth of contents thrown on and around it. There is also an orange exercise ball in one corner of the room. The area looks unsettled. Sitting in one chair is GINA. She is very still staring straight ahead. She is not well. Gina’s chair is surrounded in a six-pack of beer, packs of cigarettes and a stuffed animal. The contents of her purse are littering the floor.

Gina sits alone for a few seconds. Loud music comes on and then stops. Gina sniffs the air and puts her shirt over her nose. She looks outward, smiles, poses.

GINA

(“Lucky Star”)
You must be my lucky star! Cuz’ you shine on me wherever you are.

Then she’s back to still. BILL enters. He freezes, looking at the room.

BILL
(confused)
Oh.

(upset)

Oh.

Gina hands him a piece of paper. He reads it.

(Nonchalant)

Oh.

Bill goes to his chair. It holds a neat folder of papers. He begins reading through them. He does not look up.

BILL
You look quite pretty today, Gina.

RITA and PAUL enter together, laughing. They stop when they see the room.

RITA
Holy shit.

PAUL
(at same time)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

RITA
We’ve been robbed. Holy shit, Paul, we got robbed.

Paul runs over to his chair. It holds a lamp, some office stuff, magazines and tons of water bottles.

PAUL
No. No. They took everything. They took everything. The computer. The computer’s gone, Rita. The computer’s gone.

Rita is at her chair. It holds picture frames, a pair of shoes, packs of gum and some CDs.

RITA
Oh, my God.

BILL
(still reading through papers)
We haven’t been robbed.

Bill holds up the piece of paper. Paul takes it.

PAUL
(reads)
Because of the low morale due to the recent layoffs, we at Catatech are instituting a No Cubicle Workzone.

RITA
Are you making this up?

PAUL
(reads)
This will increase workplace harmony by uniting employees in a closer, more basic environment. We’ve also eliminated any workspace tools that may serve as a distraction or decrease productivity.

BILL
That includes the phones.

RITA
I hate everything.

Loud music plays. Rita, Paul and Bill react. Music stops. They all react to a smell except for Gina.

GINA
(“Express Yourself”)
Come on, girls! Do you believe in love? Cuz I got something to say about it! And it goes something like this.

RITA
She is not taking this well.

PAUL
(reads)
We have installed music and an air freshening system that we hope you will find soothing and conducive to a calm and happy work environment. Thank you for your understanding and your continued blah dee blee dee bloo.

They took the computers.

RITA
They just threw our things on the floor. These are our things.

BILL
(on cell phone)
Yes, Mr. Anderson? I’m calling concerning your account. Hello? Hello?

He walks around the room in jagged steps. He bends and turns.

BILL
No, it’s just, I’m calling…hello? I’m calling on a cell… Hello? No, I… the reception is really bad in this room. I’m sorry.RITA
What is with this smell?

They cover their faces with their sleeves.

PAUL
Why haven’t we quit yet?

BILL
No, hello? Hello? No, this is Bill Marcus from… hello? Sir? I. I can–

Loud music. Rita and Paul cover their ears. Gina stays still. She stares out, smiles and poses.

It is quiet.

GINA
(obviously…)
Vogue.

BILL
Where is that coming from? I just lost that call.

RITA
Oh, man. It feels funny in here.

She starts scratching herself.

Does it feel funny in here to you?

PAUL
This is insane. Let’s go. We can’t work like this. I mean, what the hell is this thing?

BILL
It’s a pen.

PAUL
It’s from the eighteen hundreds. Let’s fucking walk.

RITA
You know I can’t.

BILL
I would prefer not to.

PAUL
This is bullshit.

RITA
The cameras, Paul.

They both look up in the same direction Gina was looking earlier. They squint.

PAUL
I still say it’s just a rumor.

RITA
I think I can hear the lenses moving.

Bill walks over to an empty space in the room. He holds a piece of paper in the air.

BILL
The paper shredder is gone.

PAUL
They took my computer. I don’t have a desk anymore. They have obviously thrown Gina into some dark, scary place. I need that computer back.

RITA
I’m sure they’ll return them when they realize we can’t do any work.

PAUL
Oh, Christ. I can’t even play Solitaire.

RITA
I have a deck of cards.

PAUL
No! I don’t know what to do with a deck of cards!

Gina walks over to Bill who is still standing at the missing shredder. She stands in front of him, takes the piece of paper from his hands and rips it calmly.

BILL
Thank you, Gina.

Gina and Bill walk back to their chairs as loud music cranks in again. Gina poses for the music.

GINA
(“Music”)
Music! Makes the people! Come together!

BILL
Okay, that’s annoying.

They all react to the bad smell.

RITA
God, I can taste that. Can you taste that? It tastes like feet.

PAUL
I’m writing a letter. I can’t write a letter!

Bill gets back on his cell phone. He keeps doing the cell phone dance.

RITA
Maybe if they see us working they’ll put everything back.

BILL
Hello? Hello? Yes, I’ll hold.

PAUL
Yeah, okay, Rita. Why don’t you work? You just work and I’ll watch you. Then I can see just what it is you do all day. Because I’d be fascinated to know.

RITA
You think I don’t work?

PAUL
I never see you do anything.

RITA
Okay. I’ll show you what I do. One day’s work, coming up.

Rita walks over to one side of the room. She picks up a stack of papers. She slowly walks to the other side of the room. She puts the papers down in a pile.

RITA
And… I’m done.

PAUL
Oh, my God. I love your job.

RITA
I know, it rules.

PAUL
You’re my hero.

RITA
So, show me what you do.

PAUL
I would, but I can’t. It’s gone.

The loud music kicks in again. Gina stands up and dances. The music stops.

GINA
(“Like A Prayer”)
Life is a mystery. Everyone must stand alone.

They react to the bad smell.

RITA
I’m working at a rave. Oh, it’s making me itch like crazy!

PAUL
I was writing a book. It’s gone.

RITA
You were writing a book here?

PAUL
It was really good, Rita. I was going to back it up next week. I’m so stupid.

RITA
Oh, Paul. I’m so sorry.

PAUL
It was the only thing I’ve ever done in my life that was good.

Paul stares at Rita for too long.

RITA
And what is it you do here, Bill?

BILL
(talks over his cell phone)
I mostly just call my mother.

Paul is staring at Rita.

RITA
I never noticed how close our chairs are without our cubicle walls.

They are practically sitting with their knees touching. They try and cross their legs and move away from each other. Rita leans back as Paul leans forward.

RITA
I’m getting some coffee.

She leaves.

PAUL
What the hell is that?

He points at a large exercise ball.

PAUL
Where is the foosball table? What the fuck will I do all day without foosball? They’re ruining everything that is good. What the hell do I do with this?

Gina walks over to the ball and lays on her back on it. She rocks back and forth.

PAUL
That’s… kinda better than the foosball table, actually.

Rita enters holding a box.

RITA
Hey, everybody! Guess what we get to do?

She reads from a Post-It note.

RITA
To increase fun and “good times” in our workplace, Catatech is declaring today “Wacky Outfit Day.” Don’t be afraid to “express yourself.”

They all stare at Gina. She doesn’t sing the song.

RITA
Well.

They pull the outfits out of the box. There are four dresses and the American flag.

PAUL
These are all dresses.

BILL
You’ll look pretty.

PAUL
I’m not putting this on.

RITA
The cameras.

PAUL
I don’t–

Loud music. They each put on a dress. Bad smell. Gina poses.

GINA
(“La Isla Bonita”)
Last night I dreamt of San Pedro…

Gina plays with the exercise ball like a Hooters girl.

PAUL
Okay. I’m putting this on, and then I want you to crush my head with that chair.

BILL
Finally.

PAUL
I want you to crush my head with Bill’s chair.

RITA
Oh, this smell is giving me a rash! Look at this!

PAUL
Smash my brains in, Rita. I want my bloody pulp head all over their cameras so they know what they’ve done to the American workforce.

RITA
It might be hives.

BILL
I have a salve.

RITA
I’d rather have a balm, actually.

BILL
Would you like to try my anti-bacterial hand wash?

RITA
Ooh, that’s good stuff. I ran out last week.

PAUL
Please, for the love of God. I want you to break my head in with this chair. Take this chair and smash it over my head. Here. Do it.

RITA
I think I’m just sitting too close and that’s what’s making me break out. I don’t do well near people.

Rita moves her chair so it faces a wall. She sits down. She is almost pressed against the wall. She is still scratching furiously. Bill is back on his cell phone.

RITA
This is better, actually. I don’t see any of you. I hate that I can see you. I miss my walls! Walls are cool and soothing to the touch!

PAUL
I want to open my head and spill my skull for the good of the corporate world. I am willing to die so that no man has to lose his dignity for a paycheck. I am no longer Catatech’s bitch. I am a person, dammit! I am a person! I have rights! I have–

Gina slams the exercise ball at Paul’s head. Anger and then nothing once the ball is released. Paul falls into a chair.

There is a moment of silence as the ball bounces in the room.

RITA
(talking to the wall)
Which one of you assholes stole my stapler?

Gina is now standing on her chair staring at the cameras.

GINA
(No longer singing. She has wrapped herself in the American flag.)
They know who I am. They’ve been watching me. They know I’m bigger than this. They’re just waiting for me. Well, I’m ready.

BILL
(on the phone)
What do you mean I didn’t get the promotion? Mother, this is a practice interview. You’re supposed to give me the fucking job!

The actors then speak the following lines at the same time but not the same pace. Gina is still on her chair. Rita is facing the wall, scratching furiously. Bill is shouting into his cell phone. Paul sits devastated in his chair. Their speeches continue until only Bill’s final lines are heard as the lights fade.

Gina sings the chorus to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” over their speeches.

PAUL
I refuse this.
I will not stand for this.
I am not an animal.
I am a human being!
I cannot work like this.
I cannot work.
I don’t work.
I have no work.
There is no work for me.
I am nothing.
I am worthless.
I’m no good.
I can’t even kill myself.
I want to kiss her breasts.

RITA
I can’t take this.
Too many faces.
Everything smells.
I taste mustard.
You are burning into me.
I am on fire.
I smell.
I hurt.
I hate all of you.
I pad my bra.
I want to go away.
I want to stop.
I want to stop.
Please let me stop.

BILL
I am good enough.
I work hard.
I come in on time.
I work hard.
I file. I fax. I report.
Mother!
Don’t backsass me, Mom.
I earn.
I work hard.
I’m a good person.
I am deserving.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.

BLACKOUT.

END OF PLAY
[/scripty]

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