Scene 2 of my play; the scene is entitled (ahem)
Simon And Schuster For The Next One
(I = the stand-in for me, basically The Author and The Main Character M= I’s Mom, nothing like my actual mom)
Answering Guy- Hello, this is Cold Bear Publishing. We are an indie publishing company and have published exactly one book, called “How to be an Answering Machine Guy.” Yes, yes, by me. Well, you can meet with the boss…anytime! Right now? Perfect!
(they come in and are greeted by the boss)
The Boss- So what do you have for me today? (Excited, nervous, trying to hide it)
I – A, er, novella, in a series entitled: (ahem)
I & M – Zapatilla Deportiva: Primer.
I – A zany character with a –
B – Let me tell you this, honey: I don’t like foreigners. But I will do this, because we need books. So?
M – Yes!
(while I is ranting)
B – Sign here.
M – Don’t mind if I do.
I – I will not let a publisher publish my work only because it is the second book they have. I want a fair chance, like everyone else.
B – Then go to Simon and Schuster. We do not mass produce books. Look at the cover of our first book. (hands over a dainty little cover)
I – Did you…did someone crochet that thing?
B – Erm…it’s a great hobby. Aaaanyway, do you want this book published?
I – Yes, I need it. (hands manuscript)
B – Good, I’ll get to work, um, on the cover.
I – (Grabs and pins against the wall) I am not having a crocheted cover. Do you have graphic design artists?
B – Easy, kid! Yes, we have some. I’ll call them. ARITEMIDORUS! DRAW4$$$! RTMAN! ARTHUR_DENT! …CHARLIE!
I – Wait, what?
B – They (sigh) prefer to be called by their screen names.
I – What about charlie?
B – He’s a technophobe.
I – Well, I get aritemidorus, ya know, the guy with the letter in…
Aritemidorus – Julius Caesar? Yes, quite. Hey, wanna read my letter?
I – [a bit of that creepy person vibe] (chuckles) Heh, sure. Don’t wanna be like Caesar, right?
(Opens and reads aloud)
Beware of school, take heed of cliques, come not near the dark, have an eye to stalkers, trust not your friends, mark well the government. Politicians love you not. Thou hast wronged your brother. There is but one mind in all these things, and it is bent against you. In thou beest not immortal, look about you. Security gives way to death. The mighty gods defend thee!
How…how do you do it?
A – import fear.
I – Python, eh?
B – So that’s him…let me introduce you to Arthur_Dent.
I – Whoa…this is how I’ve always imagined Dent! He’s my favorite character…ever. Dude, when did you start reading? And what’s your real name?
AD – My real name is Arthur Dent. Reading? I hate poetry. (Especially vogon poetry…)
I – Oh, (awkward laugh) [a bit disoriented] you’re a great fan. Better than me, and I wrote a declaration of Dentdependence. (stage whisper) But really, what’s your reeeal name? I won’t tell anyone.
AD – I don’t understand.
B – He gets disoriented when you ask him too many questions. (Myself, I think ‘e’s a foreigner.) Let’s move on, shall we? This is Draw4$$$.
D4$ – H three one one zero. I dr four w nine zero zero d.
I – Translation please?
B – No idea. Here’s Rtman:
R – W three one parenthese zero m three seven zero parenthese zero one d eight three four r.
I – Oookay then.
B – (snaps fingers) So, which do you want?
I – Arthur Dent! Can I see some of his art?
(B shows her a picture)
I – That’s the best picture of Ford I’ve ever seen! How did you draw it?
AD – From personal experience. I miss him.
I – [a bit jokingly, but starting to believe] Why can’t you just go and talk to him?
AD – …he’s dead.
I – …oh yeah. Why, erm, why aren’t you?
AD – Who knows? Who cares?
I – Feelin’ a bit like Antony, eh?
A – There are several flaws in that anology. (1) The killers of Ford are not here. (2) Nobody, in fact, murdered Ford. (3)…
I – I’m talking to him. Anyway, Arthur, um, are your other friends…um, dead?
AD – What do you think?
I – Right. Toooouchy subject. So, did you really get so tired of parallel universes that you wanted to…be like Ford?
AD – [quietly] Yes. But I’m making a new start now. Free of adventures and paradoxes…just quiet and normal.
I – (sighs and shakes head) People will never leave well enough alone. They’ll just keep using your character. You’ll never get free time.
AD – My character? Well, do you want to use my art or not?
I – One more question! Is this like being Sandwich Guy?
AD – (stares at wall) I guess, minus the prehistoric animals. (head snaps around) How do you know all these things about me? Are you a stalker? Anyway, I’m starting a new life.
I – [resigned] Yes, I want your art.
AD – Good, now forget this conversation ever happened. (leaves)
I – (holds up finger in a “wait” motion, then slowly drops it down) That’s gonna be hard…
B – [Who was talking with M] You’ve got your art…your publishing…you’re done!
M – Yep. We’re all done. [Boss and M breathe a sigh of relief]
I [annoyed] I guess so. But don’t be mad if I go to Simon and Schuster for the next one.
B – Trust me, I won’t.