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Postmodern Village
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Beauty Is a Happy Stoat: A Play in Three Axe
by Hethaniel Dammit

A Production of The Plausible Deniability Project in Association with PMV Productions

Cast of Characters

Iris: A shrewish, mouseish, rodentish housewife, who is secretly an extreme hottie

Blubbery Jones: Her excreble, fat, bullying, buffalo of a husband

Jeem Bling: A green cricket of a fellow with a green goatee

Mr. Angst: An ancient, vaporous cloud of ill-will, but with a good heart.

Act I

Setting: A dilapidated cabin-cruiser on a trailer in a mobile home park. (Blubbery Jones is busy throwing various ropes off the boat to try to chase away a seemingly endless array of stray cats and dogs.)

B.J.: Fuckers! (Iris appears from belowdecks.)

Iris: Honey-bunny-sugar-wooger! They’re just dogs!

B.J.: (To the dogs) Assholes! (To Iris) No thur not. Thurs cats down there too. (Throws more items overboard: a windlass, an old battered pony-keg, a half-consumed bottle of cheap whiskey. Iris sighs and leans against her man.)

B.J.: Cocksuckers!

(From below and off stage left is heard a barking tenor voice, as from a terrier)

Voice: Avast and ahoy, my good man! Watch where ye landeth your household goods! (Iris shades her eyes and looks down.)

I: It’s Jeem Bling, honey. Come up Jeem!

B.J. Bollocks!

J.B. (Entering from stage left): Don’t mind if I do, dear, don’t mind. (He climbs an old stepladder propped against the ship’s prow. Blubbery Jones sits down on an old milk crate. Jeem Bling is dressed in a green tuxedo with a matching top hat and bright yellow shirt. He is spotless and reminds one of a Jiminy Cricket of the high seas.)

B.J.: Christ.

J.B.: How’s me old mate Blubbery Jones this fine mid-(looks at watch) heigh-ho!-late morning!?

B.J.: Eat my shorts, you fuck.

J.B.: Charming, as always, I see. And how is the lady Iris? (Offers his hand to Iris. She tepidly extends hers; he takes it gently and stoops to kiss it.)

B.J.: Not on my boat you don’t, you dandy! (Blubbery Jones rises and handily knocks Jeem Bling over the side of the boat.) She’s my bitch! I bought her fair and square from her no-good father for a clapped-out doublewide! (He grabs Iris by the waist - like King Kong only smellier - and throws her belowdecks. He shakes his fist at the prostrate Bling.) And stay off, you cantelouper!

Act II

(The boat is in darkness. Iris, wearing a cheap terrycloth robe, is seen climbing quickly up from belowdecks. She sits and contemplates the full moon for awhile. A bad recording of crickets plays in the background)

I.: I know I shouldn’t be thinking about him. Dear God, help me to not think about him. (She pops the top on a Diet Rite, covering it to silence the noise retroactively, uselessly. She prays.) And, dear God, let Blubbery Jones, my husband, die the bloody, painful death he so deserves to die. (The robe shifts, revealing a huge, blue bruise on her calf.) I know that doesn’t seem very Christian, God, but the President said there are evil men in the world, (takes a sip of her Diet Rite and begins to weep) and I believe it. (She weeps.)

(Mr. Angst fades into view behind her. He places his ghostly hand on her shoulder.)

M.A.: There, there, my little will-o-the-wisp.

I.: Wha-? Mr. Angst, the old bowling team captain! I thought you were dead!

M.A.: Yes, child. The spite of the world has kept my tortured soul here on Earth.

I.: Oh, so you’re just a ghost. I thought maybe . . .

M.A.: That I’d help to kill your husband? I would if I could, the rat-bastard. But immaterial as I am, I can only haunt and cajole you into doing it yourself.

I.: But. . . but . . . I’m only a woman. And I don’t look like Farrah Falcetti. I’m no Charlie’s Angle. I can’t fight or kick or anything.

M.A.: Remember your feminine wiles, my dear; remember your feminine wiles. (He fades.) They’re a woman’s last resort other than small caliber handguns, my child. (He disappears. Iris looks at the moon a little while longer, not seeing Jeem Bling enter stage left and contemplate her. After a minute or so, she goes back belowdecks.)

J.B.: She’s a beaut, by cracky. I just know she is. That brute of a husband of hers can’t see it, that gelatinous mass of puss-like flesh. But I know it, for sure. I’ll have her if it’s the last thing I do, make her part of my video collection if it takes an act of last will and testimony. (Mr. Angst appears behind him.)

M.A.: Boo. (Jeem jumps like scalded cat.)

J.B.: Holy!

M.A.: There’s nothing holy about it, I’m afraid.

J.B.: You can say that again!

M.A.: I’m confined to walk the Earth and foment its spite. It comes from a long and wretched life of anxiety and anger.

J.B.: Oh. Uh, any questionable sexual proclivities factor into creating your penance?

M.A.: No. No. Why, do you -

J.B.: Never mind, my good man. Or my good, ex-man, as it were. My good ex-bowling captain’s ghost -

M.A.: No, just two standard deviations from the mean. Nothing illegal or really all that immoral. You mean maybe you’re afraid that -

J.B.: - It doesn’t matter what I mean -

M.A.: What, like whips and chains. Or buggery, or maybe -

J.B.: Just give it a fucking rest already!

M.A.: - Fucking, yes, but there’s nothing wrong with just fucking, within the sanctity of marriage, of course -

J.B.: Curse you!

M.A.: You’re too late for that, I’m afraid.

J.B.: Listen, you old - (He rolls up his sleeves as if preparing to box. Mr. Angst turns an evil red. Lightning smites the ground next to Jeem Bling.)

J.B.: Good G -

M.A.: Yes, she is, mostly. (He turns back to his usual, crappy, grayish-brown color.) But there must be a balance. Divine retribution isn’t always pretty.

J.B.: Listen, do you want something?

M.A.: I want - we want - you to be our agent of divine retribution! (He turns red again. Thunder rolls in the background.)

J.B.: Me? But I’m just a, um, small businessman working out of his trailer. I’m no agent of divine revenge. I mean, sure, I’m a snappy dresser and all that, but . . .

M.A.: Jesus wasn’t. And Job was a complainer. John the Baptist ate bugs and never bathed. Jonah had to have his ass swallowed before he agreed to get the job done.

J.B.: You’re not going to try that old fish joke again - (Mr. Angst turns red again, and again lightning strikes, this time singeing Bling’s green top hat which smolders through the rest of Act II.)

J.B.: Ok! Ok! I’ll do it! What doth thou bid, oh great one?

M.A. (Back to normal): It’s not me, really; I’m just a ghost.

J.B.: Oh, just tell me so I can go home and put the fire out.

M.A.: Kill Blubbery Jones! (Cheezy dramatic music swells.)

J.B.: But, I’ll be thrown in jail!

M.A.: Possibly. But them’s the breaks, kid. (Mr. Angst disappears; the stage goes dark temporarily except for the low glow from the still smoldering top hat. The lights gradually come back up. Iris’ head appears above the deck. She slowly rises, then looks about her. She sees Jeem Bling smoldering and looks startled at first, then pleased. He notices her looking, then beckons her down the ladder. As he helps her off the bottom rung, they embrace.)

J.B.: Come to me, Iris. Tell me something. How much do you love me?

I.: Oh, lots, I’m pretty sure.

J.B.: Enough to . . . enough to pose nude?

I. (Looking a bit sheepish): I - well, would my eyes be covered by one of those little black bar thingies to protect my identity?

J.B.: Sure, there’s a market for that. It adds the hint of scandal (snaps fingers).

I.: Scandal . . . Sure. Sure. (They stand embracing for a minute or so. Cue crickets.)

J.B.: Iris.

I.: Yes.

J.B.: Iris, shall I kill thine husband? (Iris looks at him quite seriously.)

I.: Oh, would you?

J.B.: For you, darling, I’d kill the whole world. (Mr. Angst appears stage right, looks on approvingly.)
(Suddenly, from belowdecks): IRIS!!! (It’s Blubbery Jones. He appears through the hatch.)

B.J.: Iris! You accur’st twat! You skanky-assed mega-ho! (Mr. Angst, startled, disappears. Iris and Jeem, more startled, de-embrace.)

I.: Here, darling! Just kicking the neighbor’s dog! I heard him barking like thunder earlier! (She kicks Jeem, hard. Jeem goes sprawling, then crawls, yipping, off stage left.)

B.J.: Good! (He looks up, apparently thinking, which he seems to do with some difficulty. Iris climbs the ladder.) I’ve got a mind to thrash you anyway. (And just as she sets foot on the deck)

I.: Why? What for? I thought you hated those dogs!

B.J.: For insubordination! (He throws a half-empty whiskey bottle at her, which she ducks. He then blunders across the deck, roaring and ripping at his stained “wife-beater” t-shirt.) Worthless cunt! (He grabs her and throws her onto the deck. She crawls to the hatch. He kicks her down it.)

Act III

(The curtain rises again on the boat. It is early evening. The sun is setting. This time, the cheezy background sound is cicadas. Blubbery Jones is sitting on the deck in a lawn chair, which appears to nearly collapse under his immense weight. He is drinking heavily: beer in one hand, Jack Daniels in the other. It’s his “drinking night.” Iris lays propped up on the railing at the boat’s prow. She is dressed dangerously, in something short and red. Her lips and hair are done. She is remarkably sexy - the dress is as low in the front as the hem is high. She’s languidly, but nervously, sliding her feet in and out of red, stiletto heels.)

B.J.: What’s got you all done up, bitch?

I.: I knew it was your drinking night. I wanted to look good.

B.J.: Fucking whore. (He drinks, first beer, then whiskey. He scratches himself. He’s wearing boxer shorts and the inevitable t-shirt.) Fuckhole.

I. (Seriously, and aside): Oh, I hope he shows: this was the night we agreed to.

B.J.: Who you talking to, whore?

I.: Just Dahlia, one trailer over. (She waves.) Loved the brownies, Dahlia! (Blubbery Jones snarls, drinks. Jeem Bling enters stage left carrying a bowling bag and wearing the same suit, now with a derby.)

J.B.: Ahoy and avast!

B.J. (Not looking over): Oh, Christ. What does he want?

I.: I’ll check. (As she crosses the deck, Jeem climbs the ladder. Iris walks in the most outrageously seductive manner possible: her lips, hair, waist, bosom, legs all of a scintillating piece. She walks in a way that would make an average heterosexual male’s teeth hurt out of sheer repressed lust. She offers her hand to Jeem, who places his bowling bag on the deck, stands full upright, and looks at Blubbery Jones. Iris stands next to him.)

J.B. (To Blubbery Jones): Hey old chum! (Blubbery Jones sniffs, continues to drink.) Hey old chum, the guys down at the league really miss you. They sent me along to bring you back. They said they’d totally forgive you for stuffing Larry Looseneck into the ball-return -

B.J.: Tell them to go to hell. (Flies Jeem the bird.)

J.B.: But, really, nobody picks up a spare like you . . .

B.J.: F-u-c-k off. (Flips with one hand, drinks with the other.)

J.B. (calmly): Won’t come, eh?

B.J.: Nope.

J.B. (more animated): Won’t come, eh?

B.J.: Fuck, no.

J.B. (excitedly): Won’t come, eh!

B.J.: Nope. And what you gonna do about it, wimp?

J.B. (calm again): Oh, nothing. (He opens the bowling bag and begins, impossibly, due to the size and shape of the bag, to remove a battle axe.) Just this! (The battle axe is preposterously huge; it seems ready to topple little Jeem as he rears back and rushes the seated and now quite surprised Blubbery Jones. As he advances, Iris, not being burdened by a huge axe, rushes behind Jones and holds him in place as he tries to rise to his feet. The first blow cuts a massive gash in Blubbery Jones’ blubbery belly, spewing blood and fat and booze onto the deck. As the cuts are made, an absurd volume of blood spills onto the deck, many times more than even a body as huge as that of Blubbery Jones could possibly contain. Jones attempt to defend himself with his newly empty bottle of Jack Daniels, but Jeem Bling’s next blow severs his arm. Blood gushes from the stump like out of a fire hose, soaking Jeem and splashing Iris substantially. The next blow lands squarely in the middle of Jones’ forehead. He rolls over onto the deck, which is awash in blood. As Iris and Jeem move toward one another to embrace, they both slip on the blood-slick deck and fall onto the stage. Meanwhile, Mr. Angst has appeared stage right and, as is his wont, looks on approvingly. Jeem and Iris flounder in the rivulets of blood still streaming from the deck. Sirens are heard and flashing lights shine from offstage.)

J.B.: Well, it looks like the jig is up. Still, ‘tis done, ain’t it? (Iris sighs with pleasure, clinging to Jeem’s arm. Jeem looks over at Mr. Angst.) I don’t suppose you could haunt the jury and get me acquitted.

M.A.: Acquitted? What do you think I am, the Angel of Mercy? I’m afraid that’s not my department.

J.B.: Yeah, well, I guess I didn’t expect - (A stray dog wanders in from stage right, begins lapping up blood.)

M.A.: Crime of passion, though, that I might be able to do. First degree manslaughter - murder two, tops.

J.B.: You’re not so evil after all . . .

M.A.: What’s evil got to do with anything?

Curtain