Saturday, August 30, 2008

Introduction to Jack and Arnold

Dear Telemoonfa Time Fans,

The post I just posted, Jack and Arnold, is a play I co-wrote during my senior year of high school. It feels like I wrote it in a different life time.

I tried to produce it the summer after I graduated high school with some people I knew, but it didn't work out. We were going to rehearse at the park down the street and put it on who knows where.

Ha ha ha. I laugh at the experience now a little bit, but back then it was devastating to me. I actually remember being very depressed after my Jack and Arnold venture failed. I only held 2 or 3 or 4 rehearsals, and a few planning meetings. But the problem was, I was doing too much. I was the director, the playwright, the producer, the set designer, the stage manager, one of the lead roles, and so it just got overwhelming and I canceled the show.

That experience taught me that plays need to have a institution backing them. An institution like a school, a church, or a business. Because people are busy. They have jobs. They have other things to do.

Anyway... I really like the play. I really do. I think it's cool.

What do you think about it?

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Jack and Arnold

Jack and Arnold

By Telemoonfa and Attis Pastuszek

Act 1 Scene 1

Arnold: I’ll have another drink.

Clyde: So I was in this little antique store with Doris the other day. I know, I know, you're probably asking yourself, “Now what was Clyde doing in an antique store?” Well, The missus says to me, “All you ever do is go to the bar and watch football.” So I say to her, “Well maybe all I wanna do is go to the bar and watch football.” But then she says I gotta spend more time with her. Contribute to the marriage and what not. So just to make her happy I went to the antique store. I was really keeping her queit see, that’s what I was doing. Yeah, Doris sure has a mouth on her. She can talk and talk and talk.

Bartender: Clyde, this is a great story, but is there a point?

Clyde: I’m getting to that. See, I ended up buying this football helmet they had back around when professional football first began, like around the early 1900’s, you know what I’m talking about? Maybe you’ve seen ‘em in old pictures. It’s got that strap on the bottom and no facemask. It’s pretty cool, that’s all I’m saying. It’s really very cool. Turns out those stores are’nt as namby-pamby as I thought they were. But still they are kind of namby-pamby I guess. (to Arnold) Hey Arnold, I’ve don't think I've ever heard you talk sports much. You like football?

Arnold: No. (to Bartender) Fill me up again.

Bartender: You know Arnold, you haven’t paid for anything yet. You do have enough money for all this, don’t you?

Arnold: Yeah, don’t worry about it, I’ll pay ya.

Bartender: Sigh. I wish I had some better customers around here.

Arnold: Hey Gerald, you got me!

Bartender: Right, I have you. (Hands him the drink, takes it away, hands him the drink, takes it away) Here’s your drink, Arnold. Here it is. Oh no, where did it go? Here it is! Oh no, its gone again!

Arnold: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! What are you doing?

Bartender: (loud and articulate, like he's talking to a dumb person) I’m not giving you any more until you pay for what you already drank You understand?

Arnold: How much do I owe?

Bartender: About ten bucks.

Arnold: (groans and gets change out of pocket and puts it on table) Is this enough?

Bartender: No, 97 cents is not enough, you owe me ten dollars.

Arnold: I’ll include my socks, they’re almost new.(he takes his shoes and socks off and puts them on table) There’s, there’s no holes in them at all. See, these are nice high quality socks.

Bartender: Get out of my bar. (starts to physically escort him out)

Arnold: But these socks are really good. I only wear them on speacil occasions except for today, today is not very special. I 'm not sure why I put them on today, but now I’m so glad I did so I can pay you with them. I’m sure their worth lots of money!

Bartender: I’m sure their worth lots of money, now just calm down and walk home safely.

Arnold: I’m leaving. I know where I’m not wanted. Goodbye everyone. But I’ll tell you this: I’ll be back, and I’ll get you. I’ll get you! And I’ll get your children!

Bartender: So long ya looney, and don’t come back ‘til ya get some money.

Arnold: (Walks in place) Can’t a man get drunk for free these days? I’m going through a rough, a rough time, you know, the bartender should understand that. People pay bartenders to understand stuff like that. Maybe I shouldn’t have said I was gonna get their children. What does that mean anyway? “I’m gonna get your children, I’m gonna get you’re children” That doesn’t sound good. Hey what's this place? Some kind of a science place? Laboratory? I don’t think I’ve ever been to this part of town before. And all this time it was right next to the bar. (calls out) Hello? Hello? Anybody here? This is weird. A goat! A goat in a lab coat! Hey there, buddy, how are you? (starts to pet him)

Sci Goat: Cut it out!

Arnold: Waaahh! The goat just talked! Waaaahh! The goat just talked, man. What’s a matter with you? Talk again. Talk again, man, I wanna hear it again. (bends down and starts to move its mouth) Don’t you have something else to say? (goat bites him) Agghh! You bit me! I’m leaving! (walks in place back to bar) Oh… This is crazy. Nobody’ll believe me! I don’t care, though, this really happened, man, this really happened and I’m gonna tell the guys back at the bar all about it! (back in bar) I’m back.

Bartender: Do you have money this time?

Arnold: No, but I gotta tell you about this thing that just happened to me! Oh it was crazy.

Bartender: I don’t care. I don’t want to hear it. Just get out Arnold.

Arnold: But I was walking around and I found this laboratory, man, and-

Bartender: (starts to escort him out) Tell somebody else about it.

Arnold: Oh I can't leave yet, I have to use your bathroom.

Bartender: Well I’m sorry, but since you’ve been such a crappy customer, you’ve lost your bathroom privileges! We’re trying to get a cleaner, healthier image ‘round here, and you stinking up the place is not helping.

Arnold: But I have to go to the bathroom really bad! Please!

Bartender: (lets him go, Arnold runs to bathroom) Ah, go use the bathroom, Geeze, these guys, here, they got no respect for my bar.

Clyde: I got respect for your bar.

Bartender: They can't understand I’m trying to run a business here.

Clyde: I understand.

Bartender: Thanks Clyde, but I tell ya, that Arnold is the worst customer I’ve ever had. The worst.

Arnold: (from bathroom) Aaagghh!! Ugh! Somebody help me!

Bartender: What’s he up to now?

Clyde: I bet he’s faking it to get attention. He does stuff like that.

Bartender: You’re not fooling anyone, Arnold.

Arnold: No, come on, something weird is happening to me! Aghh! Ughhh! Oooo!

Bartender: Sigh. I’d better check up on Arnold. (goes to bathroom) What the- a goat?! What's a goat doing in here?

Clyde: A goat? You got goat problems?

Bartender: Yeah, this is nuts, I got a goat in my bathroom. I’m gonna go smoke. And maybe get the pound or a cop or something. Stay here and watch the bar, Clyde.

Clyde: Whoa, man, a goat in the bathroom. Pretty crazy. Well this city has been known, on rare occasions, to be the habitat for farm animals. We’ve all heard about alligators living in the sewers, and while I don’t believe that particular story, sometimes you start to wonder. Those stories were probably based off of something that really happened. Who knows? That goat in the bathroom could have lived in an alley and eaten out of dumpsters. It’s a crazy world. (pause) For instance, I read in the paper this morning about this little girl from some little country, uh… some little poor country, you know, like Cuba or something. It wasn’t Cuba, but I’ll just say it was Cuba. This girl was born with three legs. Three full sized legs. And one of ‘em had two feet coming out of it. So she was sent to America to get surgery, to get one of her legs removed I guess. I guess the operation went alright but my point is this little girl was born that way. Born that way, see. And it was a real newspaper I read this in, too. So I’m just saying, if that could happen, I bet a goat could live in your bathroom. That’s all I’m saying. Yeah, like I said, crazy world.

(The science lab and bar are replaced with the petting zoo, Jacks car, and Jacks house)
(Arnold is sleeping by a sign that says Petting Zoo. Jack pets Arnold
.)

Jack: Oh, this looks like a nice friendly goat. Yes, you’re a nice goat, aren’t you? What nice fur this goat has. So smooth. And these horns, big and strong, get a load of these horns!

Arnold: (Arnold wakes and jerks away) Knock it off, you pervert! (Jack, flabbergasted, stares at Arnold) What are you staring at?

Jack: You can talk!

Arnold: Yeah.

Jack: That’s amazing! Say something again.

Arnold: Go away.

Jack: Whoa buddy, this is wild. (exits)

Arnold: What's his problem? How did I get here? What is this, a petting zoo? What am I doing in a… (looks at arm. gasp) I’m a goat. I’m a goat. I’m a goat. I’m a goat and I’m in a petting zoo and I’ve been sleeping and I bet there’s been little kids petting me when I was asleep. Ugh… (goes over to a carboard pig) Hey, my name's Arnold. I'm new here. I'm not used to having strangers pet me. How long have you been in here? Hello? (nudges pig with his head) Hello? (pause) Geeze, this place is full of stiffs. (Jack enters with a leash in hand) What are you doing back, sicko?

Jack: Uh, I just bought you. (tries to put leash on him)

Arnold: You bought me? I’m no object you can just buy!

Jack: Well the manager said it was OK. Calm down. Let me put this leash on you.

Arnold: No! (they struggle, Jack pins him down.)

Jack: Yes.
(The leash is on and Jack tries dragging Arnold)

Jack: Come on!
(Arnold doesn’t budge, so Jack picks him up and carries him.) Where are you taking me? This is crazy! Put me back!

Jack: Calm down, would ya? Get in my car. (Jack puts Arnold in the passenger side, Jack goes around to the drivers side.) Stay there. Now, I don’t want to get started on the wrong foot. I’m really a nice person. Don’t worry.

Arnold: Look, I don’t know who you are, or what you think you're doing, but I’ve got to tell you I’m going through a rough time! I'm tired! I just woke up in that petting zoo and found out I was a goat and I'm not normally a goat, I'm usually a man, see, but just right now for some reason I'm a goat and I don't know why so I’m not in the mood for any kind of craziness! (pause) Where are you taking me? Are you gonna eat me or something?

Jack: No, I’m not going to eat you. Don’t worry. Now just calm down. We haven’t met each other really. My name's Jack. What’s yours?

Arnold: Arnold.

Jack: Good to meet you Arnold. (pause) Nice weather today, huh? (pause) So, tell me, how can you talk when you’re a goat?

Arnold: I don’t know.

Jack: Do you not want to talk about it?

Arnold: Well, my memories all fuzzy. All I remember is that last night I was drinking in a bar, umm… then I don’t know what happened, then I woke up in the petting zoo.

Jack: That’s amazing! A talking goat. I bet you’re worth a lot of money.

Arnold: You’re not gonna sell me, if that’s what you’re thinking!

Jack: No, no, no, calm down. I won’t sell you, I was just saying that a talking goat is a pretty rare thing. That's all.

Arnold: And you never had any right buying me in the first place! Aghh!! These horns are pretty sharp, you know, I could really mess you up, man.

Jack: Arnold, I just bought you because you can talk and… I don’t really know why I bought you, it was a spur of the moment thing. Well, I wanted to be friends with you. That’s all. I’m not going to sell you and I’m not going to eat you. I just want to be friends. Understand?

Arnold: (headbutting Jack) Rraagh!

Jack: Ow! What’s your problem?

Arnold: I'm mad! Where are we going?

Jack: My house. It's really close, actually. (pointing) Here it is. (they get out and Jack has Arnold by the leash and they enter the house)

Jack: Ok, here we are, welcome to my humble abode.

Arnold: (looks around) Hey Jack, I'm starving. You got anything to eat?

Jack: I’ve got some flowers growing on my lawn. And some grass. Goats eat that stuff, right?

Arnold: I’m talking about human food.

Jack: Have you ever tried flowers and grass? You might like them now that you’re a goat.

Arnold: Hmm… OK. Where’s this stuff at?

Jack: Follow me. (they go to the yard in front of the house.) Here it is. Have at it. (Jack nibbles on invisible flowers and likes it)

Arnold: Hey, this stuff isn’t bad. Try it Jack.

Jack: No way. I think there's a reason goats eat grass and humans eat real food. I’m gonna eat some pizza or something. (Jack exits)

Arnold: That’s cool, that leaves more flowers for me! (Jack re-enters with a sandwich or pizza, sits on the couch and munches. picks up a remote control, watches an invisible TV. Pause.) Ha ha ha. Silent movies are great. Ha ha ha. (Arnold goes in house)

Arnold: Man, that stuff growing on your lawn is really good. But I'll save some of it for later. (Arnold sits down and watches TV with Jack. They talk as they stare at the TV)

Jack: Cool. You can eat all you want from my lawn whenever you want. You might want to keep a low profile, though. My nieghbors are crazy. And there's lots of people that would love to get their hands on you. I can't have my new friend being sold to a scientist or the circus or something.

Arnold: Oh, that’s right. Hmm.. I should'nt talk to anyone anymore. I can only talk to you, I guess.

Jack: Yeah. Hey Arnold, why don't you just live here with me?

Arnold: OK, thanks, yeah, this looks like a cool place. Yeah. Thank you. I'll stay here for a while. Sooner or later though, I wanna figure out how to become a man again. (pause) Ha ha ha. These old silent movies are hilarious.

Jack: Yeah. (pause)

Arnold: Maybe I should thank you for buying me and taking me to your house. So since we'll be living together, why don't you tell me more about yourself?

Jack: Mmmm, I have a rich girlfriend, so that's something. Her name's Popolou. I don't really like her. She's annoying. I'm only going out with her for the money.

Arnold: Cool.

Jack: Yeah.

Arnold: (yawns and stands) I'm tired.

Jack: Me too.

Arnold: I wanna go to bed. Where should I sleep?

Jack: Uh, how about on this rug?

Arnold: Alright.

Jack: Here's a blanket. (gives him a blanket)

Arnold: Thanks.

Jack: No problem. Goodnight.

Arnold: Goodnight.

TIME PASSES (Jack re-enters)

Jack: Arnold! Arnold! (Jack shakes Arnold) Wake up! You’re having a nightmare!

Arnold: Ugh!

Jack: Ha ha ha ha.

Arnold: Go away, Jack.

Jack: I gotta go to work. You stay here, OK, and don’t cause any trouble.

Arnold: I won’t cause any trouble. I’ll be sleeping, then I’ll eat, then I’ll sleep again. And maybe I’ll watch some TV.

Jack: Alright. Don’t go into my room and go through my stuff. I’ll be back in about eight hours. (Jack leaves, Arnold sleeps, then ties himself to neighbors mailbox)

TIME PASSES (Jack re-enters)

Jack: I'm home. What a boring day at work. Arnold? Arnold? Where are you Arnold?

Arnold: (loud whisper) Jack, Jack, I’m over here.

Jack: Where?

Arnold: In your neighbors yard. She tied me to her mailbox! (Jack goes to Arnold)

Jack: What happened?

Arnold: Well, I ate up all the flowers in your yard and then I was still hungry, so I came over here to eat your neighbors flowers, but then she caught me and tied me to her mailbox!

Jack: Didn’t I tell you not to get into any mischief? (starts to untie him)

Arnold: I know, but I was hungry, and her flowers looked so tasty.

Jack: You didn’t talk, did you?

Arnold: Of course not.

(Mrs. Johnson enters)

Mrs. Johnson: May I help you?

Jack: Yes, I’m you’re neighbor Jack, and-

Mrs. Johnson: I know who you are!

Jack: Right. I’m just here to get my pet goat back.

Mrs: Without telling me?

Jack: What?

Mrs.: You were going to take your goat back without telling me?

Jack: Um, I was going to leave a note. But now that you’re here I guess I don’t have to, so we’ll just be going now.

Mrs.: Not so fast. Do you know what your goat did to my flowers?

Jack: (with fear) Uh… I think he ate them.

Mrs.: He devoured them!

Jack: Oh.

Mrs.: Jack, are you familiar with Gardens and Flowers Quaterly?

Jack: No.

Mrs.: I did’nt think you would be. Allow me to enlighten you. Gardens and Flowers Quaterly is the most extensive and authoritive magazine currently covering the botanical arts in the United States of America. And guess whose flowers made the cover last month?

Jack: Uh… Yours?

Mrs.: Correct! My flowers made the cover! And your goat ate them! Ate them! In my 54 years of experience, I have never seen a more disgusting creature than that repulsive creature! He is thoughtless, uncaring, and he doesn’t give two shiny nickels for common courtesy. Oh, he is a vile, untrained, evil beast, and he’s clearly a menace to our queit little community. I’ll have you know Jack that I came here to retire and live a simple life. A simple life filled with solitude and flowers. But your goat is disrupting my solitude and flowers, Jack! Your goat has disrupted my solitude and flowers! I should have killed him, you know! I should have hung him from the tree in my back yard! But I didn’t execute your pet, Jack, you care to know why?

Jack: Uh… why?

Mrs.: Because I am a Christian woman and I forgive. (pause)

Jack: Thanks for not killing my goat, Mrs. Johnson. I’ll try to train him better. (starts to leave)

Mrs. Oh I don’t want you to train him better. I want you to lock him up where he can't destroy my property again! And believe me, if I see that abomination in my yard one more time, I’ll hack him to pieces with my machete! I will not hesitate to slice up his brains and serve it at the homeless shelter!

Jack: I’ll make sure that he won’t get in your yard again.

Mrs.: I do volunteer at the homeless shelter, you know. Every Friday. Do you want to help?

Jack: I’d like to, but I’m usually busy on Fridays.

Mrs.: You’re not busy, you’re lying! You’re just a bad person! That’s why you don’t want to help at the homeless shelter! And bad people go to Hell! And I know that goat's going to Hell! (Jack tries to leave) Wait, as a Christian woman I’m concerned for your soul. I wouldn’t be surprised if your goat was possessed. If you want, I know a good excorsist that could cast the demons out of him! I can call him right now. He’s on my speed dial function. I need excorsisms performed on my cats all the time. It’s really no big deal.

Jack: No thank you, I don’t think my goat is possessed.

Mrs.: That’s because you’re a Satanist!

Jack: I have to go now, but its been really nice talking to you.

Mrs.: You’re lying again, you liar! You don’t have to go, and it wasn’t nice talking to me! Nobody likes talking to me! I’m going inside now. Get off my property. You better pray I don’t call the police and have you arrested for trespassing! (She exits. Jack and Arnold go inside)

Jack: See what trouble you got me into, Arnold?

Arnold: Yeah, that lady’s nuts!

Jack: Yeah, all my neighbors are crazy. I got her on one side, and then this way lives Farmer
Fred, a real big cowboy type of person. He's cool, though.

Arnold: Strange neighborhood. This is a nice house, though. Are you renting or buying?

Jack: Renting.

Arnold: Cool. What do you do for a living?

Jack: I sell postcards.

Arnold: Postcards? You’re a bigger loser than I thought. What kind of a moron sells postcards?

Jack: At least I’m not a goat.

Arnold: You got me there. So what are you doing tonight?

Jack: I have a date with my girlfriend.

Arnold: The rich one you’re dating just for the money?

Jack: Yeah, I gotta go get ready. If she gets here before I’m ready, keep her company.

Arnold: Can I talk to her?

Jack: Mmm, sure. Popolou's harmless. She can keep a secret. (he exits)

Arnold: Finnaly, I’m gonna talk to somebody besides Jack. (pause) hm. Postcards. Jack is such a loser. (pause. Popolou knocks on the door. Arnold opens it)

Popolou: Hi sweetie, I know I’m a little early, but I hope you don’t mind. Hey! You’re a goat!

Arnold: That’s right, I’m a goat. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Arnold.

Popolou: (gasp) You’re talking!

Arnold: That’s right, I’m talking.

Popolou: Well, gosh, I’ve never met a talking goat before.

Arnold: That’s because there are’nt any others. I’m the only one living.

Popolou: All the other ones are dead?

Arnold: No, I mean, I’m the only on that exists. Pretty special, huh? Hey, Jack is still fixing
himself up. He’ll be out in just a minute. Why don’t we have a seat?

Popolou: OK.

Arnold: So how are you doing tonight?

Popolou: Fine. Boy, you really are a goat and everything! Can I touch your horns?

Arnold: Be my guest.

Popolou: Ooo, wow, golly mmm, those are real horns!

Arnold: (proudly)Yep. So tell me, um, what is your name again?

Popolou: Popolou.

Arnold: Popolou. That’s a beautiful name for a beautiful lady.

Popolou: Oh thank you. (suddenly mad) Hey, you don’t like me do you? Cuz I have a boyfriend.
Jack's my boyfriend. And he told me that I couldn’t flirt with other guys! Plus, you’re an animal!

Arnold: No, no, no, I don’t like you.

Popolou: Good. It’s nice meeting you though. I really am having a good time here just sitting here, waiting for Jack and talking to you. Boy, a talking goat, that’s so strange! Ha ha ha. (Jack enters with a collared shirt on)

Jack: Hi sweetie.

Popolou: Hi honey.

Jack: My goat didn’t bother you to much, did he?

Popolou: Oh no, we were having a wonderful time. I’ve never been in the company of a talking goat before, so I'm happy. He’s very interesting.

Jack: Yeah, I know it’s pretty strange. I bought him the other day at a petting zoo. But we have to keep him hidden from the world for now.

Popolou: Why?

Jack: Just think if a circus or a scientist go a hold of him.You won’t tell anyone about him, will you Popolou?

Popolou: Honey, your secret is my secret.

Jack: Do you promise?

Popolou: I promise.

Jack: Good. Well, we gotta run if we’re going to make it to that movie on time. Stay there, Arnold. Don’t get into any more trouble. Actually, this time, I’m gonna make sure you don’t get into any trouble.

Arnold: What are you doing?

Jack: I’m tying you up.

Arnold: ugh! Is that necescarry?

Jack: No, but I’m going to do it anyway. Bye Arnold.

Popolou: Bye Arnold, it was nice meeting you. (they exit)

Arnold: Bye Popolou. Stupid Jack. I’ll get him for this.

TIME PASSES

(Jack and Popolou enter, holding hands)

Jack: Hi Arnold.

Arnold: Hey Jack. How was the movie?

Jack: It was pretty lame.

Popolou: Yeah, we really didn’t enjoy it, but at least I was with Jack.

Arnold: Can you untie me now?

Jack: Oh yeah, you’re still tied up? Ha ha ha.

Arnold: Shut up. Don't tie me up again.

Jack: Don’t get you're fur all in a bunch. Do you want anything to drink?

Arnold: Yeah, did you get some tomato juice while you were out?

Jack: I was talking to Popolou. Would you like something to drink?

Popolou: Sure, I’m thirsty for anything. I’m especially thirsty for your love.

Jack: That was a nice one. I’ll mix you up one of my special fruit smoothies. Wait right there.
(She sits on couch) Talk to the goat if you get bored.

Popolou: Oh I love your fruit smoothies. (she blows him a kiss) So Arnold, what did you do while
Jack and I were gone?

Arnold: Nothing. Hey Popolou, do you really think Jack loves you?

Popolou: Of course I do. We've been going steady for 4 months now.

Arnold: Well he told me something different.

Popolou: What did he tell you?

Arnold: Maybe you’d better sit down first. (She sits down) He told me that he’s only going out
with you because you’re rich.

Popolou: What?

Arnold: That’s what he told me.

Popolou: Oh no, this cant be true!

Arnold: It is true. I know this is hard to take, but he doesn’t love you. He’s just using you for the money.

Popolou: (She stands)You know, I am always the one that pays for the movies and dinner, and he’s always borrowing money from me, and never returning it! That jerk!

Arnold: If I were you, I'd leave him and never come back!

Popolou: That’s it, I’m leaving, and I’m not coming back! (She exits)

Arnold: He he he.

Jack: Here you go, Popolou, one of my special fruit smoothies. Popolou? Where’d Popolou go?

Arnold: She said she had something important that she had to do and then she left.

Jack: That’s funny. Popolou never has anything important to do. She didn’t even say goodbye to me.

Arnold: What do you care? You’re just dating her for the money.

Jack: Well yeah, but, I like her a little bit. Did she say anything else? Was she mad?

Arnold: She just said she was in a hurry and left.

Jack: Hmm. Well, I guess I’ll go to bed. I have nothing else to do. Goodnight.
(Jack exits and Arnold lies on rug)

TIME PASSES

(Jack re-enters)

Jack: Good morning Arnold.

Arnold: Good morning Jack. I’m hungry. Can we go eat something?

Jack: Sure, what do you want?

Arnold: Lets go get some alfalfa.

Jack: No restraunt around town serves alfalfa.

Arnold: Just go somewhere and ask if they have alfalfa.

Jack: I’m not going to ask them that.

Arnold: Do it or I’ll tell your girlfriend you’re just going out with her for the money.

Jack: Stupid goat. You think I’m afraid of you? If you do that then I’ll sell you to the circus.

Arnold: Oh yeah, well, I told her last night.

Jack: You what?

Arnold: I told her last night that you were only going out with her because she’s rich.
That’s why she left so soon.

Jack: I’ll kill you!

Arnold: You can’t kill me, I’m the only talking goat in the world!

Jack: What’d you tell her for?

Arnold: ‘Cause you’re mean to me. (pause) And you tied me up last night. (pause) and because I felt like it. (pause)

Jack: I can’t believe you Arnold.

Arnold: Hey, you got a radio around here?

Jack: Yeah, its over there. But don’t turn it on, I’m not in the mood.

Arnold: Come on, I want to jam.

Jack: (sigh) Alright. (Arnold turns on the radio.)

Radio Song: Oh honey, you left me last night,
Oh honey, you took you’re money with you.
Oh honey, you left without saying goodbye,
Oh honey, your name is Popolou.

Arnold: That’s a beautiful song. (Arnold wipes away a tear and Jack goes to the radio and slams it around, or punches it) Hey I was listening to that! And you just broke your stereo!

Jack: How could you have told her?

Arnold: I said, "Hey Popolou, leave Jack 'cause he's just with you for the money."

Jack: This is horrible!

Arnold: Well it’s a good thing I told her now, 'cause sooner or later she would have found out, and then she would have felt so bad. Imagine how much time she wasted thinking that you really cared for her. (pause) I did you a favor.

Jack: You’re probably right.

Arnold: Now what are we gonna do about the stereo you just busted?

Jack: I guess we’ll have to buy a new one. Hey, Farmer Fred is having a yard sale today. Maybe there'll be a stereo there. You wanna go?

Arnold: Sure. (They exit house)

Jack: He lives right next door. ( They walk in place. Farmer has a table with junk on it set up.) Howdy Farmer Fred!

Farmer Fred: Howdy Jack!

Jack: Got a yard sale here today?

Farmer Fred: Sure do. You got a goat there?

Jack: Yep.

Farmer Fred: Looks like a good one.

Jack: Thanks. (pause)

Farmer Fred: You should buy some of my stuff! I mean, if you want to, that is, he he he.

Jack: I'm looking for a new radio.

Farmer Fred: (picks up a radio, hands it to Jack) Here's one.

Jack: Cool.

Farmer Fred: (holds up the truth machine) Can I intrest you in a truth machine? It really works!

Jack: Wow.

Farmer Fred: (holds up a book) And lookie here, I got a old big book about goats. Maybe that'll
help you with your new pet.

Jack: Boy, Farmer Fred, you're the best nieghbor a guy could ever have. I'll buy all the stuff in my hands here. How much is it?

Farmer Fred: That'll be 12 buckaroos. (Jack pays for the stuff) Nice doing business with you. You're a pretty fine nieghbor yourself.

Jack: Thanks. Bye.

Farmer: Bye. (Jack and Arnold walk back to the house)

Jack: Oh, what a nice day. (They enter the house) Isn't Farmer Fred a great guy?

Arnold: I guess so.

Jack: Well, I gotta go to work. Don't get into Mrs. Johnson's yard, and don't eat Farmer Fred's crops.

Arnold: I won't. I'll just watch TV all day. And I'll eat stuff. Bye.

Jack: Bye. I'll be back in about eight hours. (Arnold watches TV)

Arnold: Heh. These silent movies are so funny. Ahh… what an easy life I have.
(Popolou stands outside of Jack's house)

Popolou: I miss Jack. I miss him so much. He was a jerk sometimes, but… deep down, I'm sure he meant the best. People don't know him like I do. Inside he's sweet and tender. And even if he was going out with me for the money, I don't care. Money is meaningless. It doesn't matter to me. All that matters to me is love. Love, love love love love love love. (She knocks on the door. Arnold answers it.)

Arnold: Popolou.

Popolou: Hello.

Arnold: Hi. Uh… Come in. (She enters) What brings you here?

Popolou: I want to talk to Jack.

Arnold: What do you want to talk to him for?

Popolou: Um… Well, really I was hoping that we could back together, so that's why I'm here.

Arnold: Oh, Popolou, you don't want to get back with him. The man sells postcards. Actually he does'nt even sell postcards anymore. He was fired.

Popolou: Fired? Why?

Arnold: You did'nt hear this from me, but, he was stealing from the register. Yeah. He's at his Mom's house drunk now.

Popolou: Really?

Arnold: Mm-hmm. Popolou, you deserve better. (takes her by the hand, they sit on the couch) You deserve a man that'll comfort you when you're down. A man that'll support you, give you compliments, be romantic. You should have someone that would treat you like the queen you are.

Popolou: (entranced) That's the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me.

Arnold: Yes, Popolou, you deserve a man like that. Or a goat like that.

Popolou: (flattered) Oh! But, I came here to talk to Jack. I want to talk to Jack.

Arnold: I told you, he's not here.

Popolou: Oh yeah. (pause)

Arnold: You know you have a beautiful eye. (Popolou wears a pirate-like eye-patch. Jack enters as Arnold and Popolou kiss)

Jack: Hey I'm back because I forgot my a-- Ahh! Popolou! Arnold! Aghh! Popolou, that's a goat! You kissed a goat!

Popolou: I don't care! I don't care! He's a better man than you ever were!

Jack: What?

Popolou: What are you doing here? I thought you were at your mom's house drunk.

Jack: I was on my way to work.

Popolou: No you were'nt. You got fired! You stole from the register!

Jack: Where'd you hear that?

Popolou: I have my sources. (Arnold hides behind couch.) I used to love you, Jack, I used to love you, but that was just because, ugh, I don't know why! But I don't love you anymore! I love Arnold!

Jack: But, Arnold's a goat!

Popolou: I don't care! You cant stop love! I'm leaving! And I'm taking Arnold with me. (She starts to drag Arnold out)

Jack: You're crazy! Anyway, you can't have him. He's my goat!

Popolou: But you don't love him! (She swings her purse at him.) Aghh!!

Jack: What are you trying to do, you crazy beast lover?

Popolou: Shut up!

Jack: Popolou, I think we need to talk.

Popolu: There's nothing to talk about! I love Arnold, and he loves me. Right honey? Right honey,
don't you love me?

Arnold: Not really.

Popolou: Agghhh!!!

Jack: Arnold, leave the room! (Arnold exits) Popolou, look, I'm sorry. I don't know what my goat told you, but I still have a job, I'm not a thief, and I'm a pretty decent guy.

Popolou: Arnold told me that you were only dating me 'cause I pay for everything. Is that true?

Jack: No, I mean, it's not completlely true. Look, Arnold's not as good as he wants you to think he is. All he does is lay around and watch TV while I go to work. He drinks all the time. He's irresponsible. He has no respect for other people's property, and he's a goat! But me, you know, I think you're a cool person.

Popolou: So does this mean… you really do love me?

Jack: No, not really.

Popolou: Aghhh!! You're so mean!

Jack: I'm just trying to be honest. What'd you come here for anyway? I thought you would'nt come back.

Popolou: I came here to get back together with you, but I've changed my mind if you have'nt noticed! And I don't believe what you said about Arnold! Oh! I don't know what to believe! Aghh! I'm leaving! (She exits. Jack sits down. Arnold reenters)

Arnold: How do you feel about all that?

Jack: I don't know.

Arnold: I don't know either. I''ll just say she's crazy and everything is her fault.

Jack: That sounds good. I'll say that, too. She's crazy and everything is her fault.

Arnold: So we're still friends?

Jack: Yep.

Arnold: Cool.

Jack: I'm gonna go to work now. (Jack stands and exits) I'll see you later.

Arnold: Bye. (Arnold watches TV)

TIME PASSES

Jack: So what do you want to do today?

Arnold: Don’t you have to work again?

Jack: Yeah, but not for a few hours.

Arnold: Lets go swimming at the high school pool.

Jack: No, they’d kick us out. They don’t allow goats.

(Mrs. Johnson pops out from behind the couch)

Mrs. Johnson: I knew it! I knew it all along!

Jack: Mrs. Johnson?!

Mrs. Johnson: That's right.

Jack: What are you doing in my house?

Mrs. Johnson: I thought you might ask that. Luckily, I came prepared. (Clears throat, pulls out
paper) Jack, Do you know what this is?

Jack: No.

Mrs. Johnson: This is a certificate proving that I am the president of the nieghborhood watch committee. You'll notice the signature of mayor Gerald H. Kessler at the bottom here and the city seal stamped in the top right hand corner. (puts away paper) As president, my duties include presiding at meetings, editing the monthly bulletin, maintaining a positive public image, corresponding with nieghboring committees, and many other prestegious tasks which I'm sure you would not appreciate. But despite my high position, I also share with the lowliest of new recruits the basic duty of watching for and reporting suspicious behaviour. Now Jack, I know I'm using longer sentences than you're accustomed to, but please be patient while I explain further. You moved here 3 years and 2 months ago, Jack, and in all that time, you have lived alone. Whenever I heard 2 voices coming from your house, it was yours and Popolou's, or some other guest. But lately, there have been two voices, and there's only one person. But wait, you have a new pet. Or is he a pet? Could it perhaps be true that I was right about that goat? Could it possibly be that our queit little community is being assaulted by a Satanist and his demonic goat?!
Jack: Mrs. Johnson, calm down.

FIX SCENE

Arnold: Hey, how about we go on a road trip? To Florida or something.
Jack: Uh, I have to go to work in 3 hours.
Arnold: Quit your job, man! Who wants to sell postcards, anyway?
Jack: Uh, well, it’s a stable job and I need the money.
Arnold: Shut up! Call your boss right now and tell him you quit!
Jack: Are you sure, I mean, uh- I just don’t-
Arnold: Do it Jack!
Jack: (thinks) OK, I’ll do it!
Arnold: Rock and roll!
(Jack picks up the phone, puts it back.)
Jack: Wait a minute, what am I going to say to him? All these years of hating my job and dreaming of the day when I could tell him off once and for all. What should I say to him?
Arnold: Tell him: “Listen Mr. you’ve got some attitude making me go in there day after day after day after day after day after day and I hate your attitude and I hope your postcards are all stolen! I quit! I quit! I’m never coming back again ‘cause I quit!”
Jack: (dials) OK, I’ll do it. Hello, Mr. Herman? This is Jack. (pause) Listen, I’m sorry for bothering you and I really had nothing to say I just called to say that your’e a good boss and I’ll see you in a couple of hours. Bye.
Arnold: What are you doing?!
Jack: I panicked.
Arnold: Call him back!
Jack: huh?
Arnold: Call him back and tell him you quit!
Jack: (dials) OK, I’ll do it for real this time. Hello, Mr. Herman? Now I really do have something to say to you! I quit! I quit! I hope your business fails, fails fails fails fails, miserably miserably fails and I’m never gonna sell your postcards again! (hangs up)
Arnold: Rock and roll!
Jack: Yeah, I told him off, that’s for sure!
Arnold: (give each other high fives) Yeah buddy!
Jack: Alright I’m pumped up! Let’s go to Florida or Las Vegas or something! Wherever the wind takes us, that’s where we’ll go.
Arnold: I’ll grab some snacks!
Jack: Wait a minute, we’ll need money for gas and food.
Arnold: What happened to all your money?
Jack: I don’t know. I spent a lot of it at Farmer Fred’s yard sale.
Arnold: Hey I got an idea. Why don’t you sell postcards for a couple more days, and then we can go on the road trip?
Jack: Arnold, I just quit my job.
Arnold: Well you could call him back and ask him if you can work for a few more days.
Jack: I told him I hope that his business miserably miserably fails. He’s not going to give me my job back.
Arnold: Alright. How about you sell that stack of comic books you have?
Jack: I’m an adult, Arnold, I don’t have comic books.
Arnold: Want me to get the truth machine?
Jack: You went through my room, didn’t you? I should probably sell you. Or that stupid truth machine. Anyway, who would we sell the comics to?
Arnold: Hey, there’s a kid walking in front of your house holding a lot of money! Let’s go sell the comics to him!
(There’s a kid walking in front of Jack’s house holding a lot of money. Arnold runs outside, Jack grabs comic books and runs outside)
Kid: Ooo, that’s a goat. I like goats.
Jack: Hey kid, do you like comic books?
Kid: Yeah I like comic books. My favorite superhero is Spiderman.
Arnold: How about we sell you all these comics for all your money?
Kid: Why is the goat talking?
Jack: Uh… He was sprinkled by magic goat talking dust from the goat fairy.
Kid: I’ve never heard of the goat fairy before.
Jack: Well trust me, there is one. I know him personally.
Kid: The goat fairy’s a man?
Jack: Yeah.
Kid: But I thought all fairys were ladies.
Jack: Nevermind about the goat fairy. Now do you wanna buy these comics?
Kid: Where does the goat fairy live? In a cave or in a tree?
Jack: He lives on the North Pole.
Kid: Does he get in the way of Santa Clause?
Jack: They have separate houses.
Kid: Would’nt he get cold?
Jack: He wears a coat.
Kid: Oh. You’re weird. And I don’t believe in the goat fairy!
Jack: You don’t believe in the goat fairy?
Kid: No, I think you’re making this all up just so you can get my money.
Jack: Well, that’s very sad because, every time a child says, I don’t believe in the goat fairy, The goat fairy has a heart attack.
Kid: He does?
Jack: Uh-huh. You just put him in the emergency room. (kid starts crying) How does it feel to put someone in the hospital?
Kid: I do believe in the goat fairy! I do believe in the goat fairy!
Jack: It’s too late now, the damage is already done. (Kid cries) But buying these comic books will make his heart feel all better.
Kid: It will?
Jack: Mm-hmm.
Kid: OK, I’ll buy them, just to make the goat fairy feel better. Here’s all my money.
Jack: And here’s the comics. Enjoy.
Kid: (to the sky) Goat- fairy! Goat-fairy! If you can hear me, I’m so sorry! I’m sorry. I promise to always believe in you forever! I love you, goat-fairy! I love you! (Kid exits, crying)
Jack: That would have been a lot easier if you hadn’t of opened your mouth.
Arnold: Yeah. How much did we get?
Jack: (going through money) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. 8 dollars?! That’s it?! Those were good comics! (they go inside)
Arnold: I can’t believe that kid was carrying all ones. I thought for sure there’d be some twenties in there. (pause) Too bad you broke up with your rich girlfriend. I bet she would have given us some money.
Jack: You’re the on that broke us up, you stupid goat!
Arnold: Oh yeah. So now how are we gonna get a bunch of money?
(Farmer Fred knocks on the door.)
Jack: I wonder who that could be.
(Jack gets the door.)
Jack: Hello.
Fred: Howdy Jack.
Jack: Hi Farmer Fred.
Fred: Now is it just me or do ya’ll have a goat?
Jack: Yeah, I have a goat.
Fred: Can ya’ll bring it out so Farmer Fred can take a gander?
Jack: You want to see it, is that what you mean?
Fred: Does a cow like to moo?
Jack: OK. Come here Arnold. Farmer Fred wants to see you. (Arnold comes)
Fred: (pets Arnold) That’s a mighty fine lookin’ goat you got there. Listen, I’ve got a proposition for you fellas. My female goats back at my farm are in heat, and I’m looking for a male goat to breed ‘em to. Well, if you let me borrow your goat for one day, I’ll give you 300 big buckaroos!
Jack: Deal!
Arnold: Ahh! Ugh!! Aghhh!!
Jack: Now you behave yourself, Arnold.
Fred: Oh, my names Farmer Fred.
Jack: I was talking to my goat.
Fred: Oh, one thing you should never do is name your animals. Cuz then it gets mighty heartbreaking when ya gotta give their necks the old axe. But I guess, he’s your animal and not mine. (Fred gives Jack money) Well, here you go, 300 big buckaroos! Bye now.
Jack: Bye.

TIME PASSES
(Arnold enters Jack's house)
Jack: Hello Arnold. (pause. Arnold is messed up and silent)

WRITE SCENE

Jack: Ah, road trips. I love driving. (takes a deep breath) No scheldules. No appointments. Just freedom. Complete and glorious freedom.
Arnold: How far 'til Vegas?
Jack: About 240 miles.
Arnold: Hey I gotta an idea. Lets sing that song with all the bottles of beer on the wall.
Jack: OK.
Arnold: (singing) 50,000 bottles of beer on the wall, 50,000 bottles of-
Jack: Are you crazy? That'l take forever!
Arnold: We have time to kill.
Jack: You're right.
Jack and Arnold: 50,000 bottles of beer on the wall, 50,000 bottles of beer, you take one down pass it around, 49,999 bottles of beer on the wall. 49,999 bottles.

Narrator: And so we leave Jack and Arnold in the car, singing. Time passes, and when we re-join them, they're still in the car, singing.

Jack and Arnold: 1 bottle of beer on the wall, 1 bottle of beer, you take one down, pass it around, no bottles of beer on the wall. Woo-hoo!
Jack: Finnally. We're done. Good thing we skipped all those numbers between 49,999 and 5!
Arnold: Yeah. So how many miles 'til Vegas?
Jack: You just asked me that. About 240 miles.
Arnold: Oh yeah.

Narrarator: And so they drive longer until they get to Las Vegas.

(Jack and Arnold exit the car. The Las Vegas set is up)

Jack: You ever been here before?

Arnold: No. Have you?

Jack: No.

Arnold: Looks like a cool place.

Jack: Yeah.

Arnold: Hey, I got an idea. Let's split up. We can do more stuff that way.

Jack: OK. Let's meet back here tommorow afternoon sometime.

Arnold: Alright. (They walk opposite directions)

Narrator: And so they split, and the following day, they reunited.

Jack: Hey Arnold.

Arnold: Hey Jack.

Jack: What'd you do?

Arnold: Drank beer. What'd you do?

Jack: Found a dollar. Made a phone call home, just to see if someone would pick up.

Arnold: Cool. I don't want to sleep outside again. I say we get a motel.

(Jack and Arnold go to place with bed)

Narrator: Time passes.

Jack: (dreaming:) uhh.. please be an ace, please be an ace, please, please be an ace… Yes! Jackpot! Jackpot! (He wakes up) Arnold, wake up! (shakes him)

Arnold: (he wakes) Huh! guhh…

Jack: We gotta go gambling!

Arnold: I'm asleep!

Jack: I just had a dream. A weird dream. If we gamble, we'll win!

Arnold: Oh Ok, (stands)You better be right about this.

Jack: Oh I'm right. I believe in my dreams, man. Sometimes, they're messages from the other side.

Arnold: You have enough money?

Jack: Yeah.

(They enter casino and Jack is playing blackjack)

Narrator: We bring you to the Lucky Gems Casino.

Jack: (intense) Hit me. (dealer gives card.) Hit me. (dealer gives card.) Hit me. (dealer gives card.) Hit me. (dealer gives card.) Hit me. (dealer gives card.)

Arnold: (Jack and Arnold stage whisper to each other) Jack, don't you think you've had enough?

Jack: I'll tell you when I've had enough! (to dealer) Hit me again. (dealer gives another card)

Jack: Again, I say, again! (dealer does not give card)

Arnold: Jack, you're talking crazy.

Jack: Shut up. I know what I'm doing! (to dealer) I said hit me.

Dealer: Sir, you already have 7 cards.

Jack: Listen mister, I don't like you and you don't like me. But your job is to stand there, look polite, and gimmie a card when I say hit me! So hit me!

Dealer: Alright. (gives card) To win, you must have 4 threes and 4 twos. That's highly unlikely, considering I have a 3.

Jack: Don't tell me how to play the game! (looks at hand, puts it down, covers his face, yells and pounds his fist on the table several times)

Arnold: So… Does this mean you won?

Jack: Shut up!

Arnold: How much money do we have left? (Jack holds his hand like a zero) Is that a zero
you're making with your hand?

Jack: Yes.

Arnold: You bet all our money on one hand of black-jack?

Jack: Yes.

Arnold: And you asked for 8 cards?

Jack: Yes.

Arnold: Do you even know how to play blackjack?

Jack: Well, no, but I figured I'd pick it up as I went along.

Arnold: Gaaahhhh!!!

Dealer: Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to remove your screaming goat from the building.

Jack: Alright, we're leaving!

Arnold: Now what are we gonna do?

Jack: (sigh) We'll have to hitch hike home. Or get some money somehow.

Arnold: Hey, Hey, A five dollar bill! Do you know what I could do with this?

Jack: I've got a pretty good idea! (Arnold runs offstage) Looks like luck has finnally come our
way! Arnold's gonna go in there with 5 dollars and come out with a thousand! Miracles can happen! They do happen! Arnold can do it! He will do it! (suddenly sad) Oh, who am I kidding, anyway? Arnold's not gonna win anything. He'll probably buy whiskey with that 5 dollars. I don't blame him though. Maybe getting drunk is good for him. Why did I come here at all? Why did I even buy that stupid goat in the first place? And that dream. (shouts to sky) I don't believe in dreams, do you hear, me, dream giving fairy? I don't believe that dreams mean anything! Do you hear me yelling down here? You, you dream giving fairy, sitting up there on your cloud, sprinkling down dreams on everybody, you're not real! You don't sprinkle dreams! Listen to what I say! You're not even there! I'm not talking to anybody! Dreams mean nothing! Nothing! (pause) I'm hungry. I lost all our money. I never shoulda came here! I never shoulda quit my job!

(Arnold re-enters stage, goes to black jack table with a panty hose on his head or some type of mask and a gun. Points gun at dealer)

Arnold: Gimmie all your money!

Dealer: Hey, we don't want any trouble, so I'll just give you the money. (Dealer hands money to Arnold)

Arnold: Rock and roll! (runs to Jack. Next few lines are very fast)

Jack: Arnold, you have money!

Arnold: Yeah!

Jack: You won all that with the five bucks you found?

Arnold: No. I stole all this money.

Jack: Oh. Yeah. That would explain the gun and the mask/panty hose.

Arnold: Right.

Jack: What'd you do with the five dollars?

Arnold: No time for questions, cops are probably coming! Let's run! (they run in place. Card table taken away)

Jack: Ok, that's far enough.

Arnold: Let's blow all our money and do cool stuff!

Jack: Yeah! Gimmie half the money! (Arnold gives half of the money) Meet me here tommorow. Have fun! (they walk off stage, immeadiatly re-enter)

Arnold: Oh what a wild time I had.

Jack: Yeah, me too. What'd you do?

Arnold: First I went to the fanciest resteraunt in Las Vegas and ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. It was lobster stuffed with caviar, spun on one of those rotissori things. I watched it spin. I rode a limousine to a carnival and rode a bunch of roller coasters. I bought lots of weird expensive art at a gallery and then burnt it.

Jack: Huh?

Arnold: Haven't you ever wanted to burn weird expensive art before?

Jack: I guess so.

Arnold: I bought some gum at a gas station. I threw hadfulls of quarters at people in the street to see if they would get mad. On one hand, you're throwing something hard at them and it hurts. On the other hand, quarters add up. Bought some bird seed. Fed pigeons in the park while I yakked with a bum. Got a facial, a manicure, a mud bath. Drank beer, the expensive kind of beer. That's all I can remember. What'd you do with you're money?

Jack: Gambled again.

Arnold: Cool.

Jack: I lost all my money.

Arnold: Not cool.

Jack: How much do you have left?

Arnold: This much. (holds cash up)

Jack: (looks at it) Good, that's enough to get us home. (pause) Arnold, we're criminals.

Arnold: What?

Jack: You stole that money. We ran from the cops. I was your partner. We're criminals.

Arnold: I guess we are.

Jack: Hey what'd you do with that gun you used to rob the casino?

Arnold: I don't know. Sold it to some kids, I think.

Jack: Cool. Where'd you get it from in the first place?

Arnold: I don't know.

Jack: Hmm. How about we leave Las Vegas?

Arnold: OK

Narrator: And so they leave Las Vegas.

(Jack and Arnold are in the car)

Arnold: How far 'til home?

Jack: About… 120 miles. We're low on gas. There's a gas station five miles from here. Can you give me the money?

Arnold: Uh… I don't have it.

Jack: You don't have it? (Arnold shakes head) Where did it go?

Arnold: I took the last 150 dollars and bought this old button. It's an antique. Pretty neat, huh?

Jack: Ahhh!!! You spent 150 dollars on a stupid button? How are we gonna get home?

Arnold: This button's not stupid.

Jack: Shut up. (pause)

Arnold: I have an idea.

Jack: What? What is your idea!?

Arnold: Let's pull over, act like-

Jack: We're gonna have to pull over, we're out of gas! (They pull over, get out of car) Great, now
we're stranded.

Arnold: Wait, let me finish. We'll pull over, act like our car is dead, and when somebody stops to help us, we'll grab a baseball bat, sneak up behind him, be real quiet, and then hit him really hard on the head with the baseball bat! Then we can steal his money and buy gas with it!

Jack: Couldn't we ask for money instead of stealing it?

Arnold: We could, but I have another idea. We could say, "Hey mister, look under the hood. I
think the problem is under the hood." And then when he looks, we slam the hood on him and take all his money! Ha ha ha.

Jack: I don't want to do that, Arnold.

Arnold: Well I have another plan. How about when whoever stops to help us says, "What seems to be the trouble?" I'll pick up a big rock and say, "This is the trouble!" And then I'll take all his money! Ha ha ha. Or if he says, "Can I be of some assistance?" I'll say, "Assist this!" Then I'd stab him with my horns! Then I'd take all his money. Ha ha ha. Or if he says, "You guys need a hand?" I'll say, "Yeah, I need a hand, in a bad way!" Then I'd grab his hand and rip it off! Then I'd take all his money! Ha ha ha!

Jack: Let me do the talking.

Arnold: You're such a square. Hey, look, there's a car slowing down. He stopped. He got out of the car. He's coming towards us.

Jack: Alright, be quiet.

Man: Hi.

Jack: Hi.

Man: You guys need some help?

Arnold: Yeah we need some help. We need some help with my horns! (Arnold charges Man, Jack stops him)

Jack: No! Stop! Act normal! Act normal! (to Man) I'm sorry about that sir, my goat has been acting strange lately.

Man: That's alright. I take care of many animals. I know how they can be. So, the car's giving you trouble, huh?

Jack: Actually, no, the car is fine. But we're running low on gas.

Man: Hmm. Well, I have this gas in my backpack. (takes off backpack and gets out gas can, and gives it to Jack.)

Jack: Oh, wow, thank you so much!

Man: You're welcome.

Jack: We're running low on money, too.

Man: I'll just give you 250 dollars.

Jack: Oh thank you so much. That's incredible. You're incredible.

Man: Don't mention it.

Jack: You must be my guardian angel!

Man: No, I'm not your guardian angel, Jack, I'm just a man. A man that likes to help people. So
long. (starts to leave)

Jack: Wait, how did you know my name?

Man: You told it to me.

Jack: No I did'nt.

Man: Did'nt you though?

Jack: Uh,… no I didn't tell you my name.

Man: Someday you will understand, Jack, someday you will understand. (pause)

Jack: Well what's your name?

Man: My name does'nt matter. Suffice it to say that I'm a friend of your family, and I'm looking
out for your well-being. Take care of yourself, now. (Man exits. Jack watches him leave in awed silence. Arnold gets in car)

Arnold: Let's get back on the road!

Jack: Did you see that Arnold? He's the nicest person I've ever met. But he was also mysterious.
That man was no mortal. He was an angel.

Arnold: You don't believe in angels.

Jack: Well maybe I do believe now. I feel better. I want to go to church. I want to… I want to be a monk or something.

Arnold: I'm not worried. That feeling'll pass. Now lets get back on the road.

Jack: Boy if everybody were more like that man, there'd be world peace. World peace. Why can't you be more like him, Arnold?

Arnold: Why don’t you bake him some cookies if you like him so much?

Jack: (gets back in car) Maybe I will bake him cookies. I'm serious, we should be more like him. We should be more kind, and loving… maybe we should help other people. Do some good service, like read books to kids in orphanges, play games with old people.

Arnold: Don't get preachy on me.

Jack: Do you have a reason to be preached at?

Arnold: Let's change the subject. 400 bottles of beer on the wall, 400 bottles of beer!

Jack: Arnold, I don't wanna listen to that now.

Arnold: Why not?

Jack: You don't sing that well.

Arnold: What?

Jack: You don't sing that well.

Arnold: Shut up! You're mean! Whatever happened to Mr. Spiritual, huh? (headbutts Jack)

Jack: Arnold, I'm driving!

Arnold: You hurt my feelings!

Jack: You're gonna crash my car! (Siren is heard. Cop comes up on a wheelie chair behind
them) The cops are behind us! You got us pulled over! Duck down, Arnold, and don't say anything!

(Cop walks up to the drivers side of the car)

Cop: So son, how's your day been going?

Jack: Pretty good, I guess.

Cop: Pretty good? Well it's going to get real worse real fast. Cuz I just pulled you over! Would
you care to explain to me what you were thinking back there when you decided to drive like a clown car?

Jack: Uh, well, I was going-

Cop: You coulda killed me!

Jack: Sorry officer.

Cop: You better be sorry. Ha ha ha. You better be real sorry real fast 'cause I have a gun! Ha ha ha. You know that don't you? (point gun at Jack) I have a gun. Ha ha ha.

Jack: Yes sir.

Cop: (sniff sniff) I bet you're drunk! (sniff) You're drunker then a skunk, I can tell! Little Miss Muffet better get off her tuffet 'cause the big bad spider's gonna give her a ticket! (pause) THAT MEANS GET OUT OF THE CAR! (Jack gets out of the car) Walk in a straight line! (Jack walks in a straight line. Cop nudges him.) Ha. You cant even keep you're balance. ha ha ha. (Jack stops and looks at him. Cop points gun at him) Keep walking!(Pushes him harder) Ha ha ha. You've completley lost your motor sensory skills! Keep walking! (pushes him over) Ha ha ha! You fell over! You fell over you're so drunk!

Jack: You pushed me over.

Cop: What was that?

Jack: You pushed me over.

Cop: I did not hear what you just said. Say it again, and say it loud.

Jack: You pushed me over. It was'nt fair.

Cop: (points gun at Jack) Say that one more time, I dare you. (silence) You're really pushing my buttons, you know that? (puts gun away) Get up againt the car. (Jack gets up against the car) Put both your palms on the side of the car and spread your legs. (Cop frisks him) This is the part that I like. Ha ha ha. (feels pocket) What is this in your pocket? Cocaine?

Jack: No, it's my wallet.

Cop: It sure feels like cocaine to me, you coke head! (takes it out) Hm, so it is your wallet. How convienent. (looks through wallet) Driver's liscene, library card, and what's this? Drug money! Looks like I just hit the jackpot. More incriminating evidence I can nail you with!

Jack: What?

Cop: 250 dollars, son, 250 dollars! Nobody carries around that kind of mean green except for pimps and drug lords, and you don't much look like a pimp to me! So what are you dealing? I'm in the market for some hallucenigetic mushrooms. They're for my daughters. Those crazy chicks are into those weird kind of drugs. You got any of those? Shrooms? I'll let you go free if you give me some.

Jack: I don't sell drugs.

Cop: Well your wallet tells a different story, now does'nt it? (pause) I'm afraid I'm gonna have to
confiscate this money. (puts money in pocket) It's criminal evidence. Ha ha ha. (throws Jack's wallet) Go get your wallet! I have to search your vehicle! (Jack goes to get his wallet, Cop looks in the car) Aggh! A goat? You're crazy man! What are you doing with a goat in your car?! That's gotta be illegal! I'm gonna arrest you, man! (Cop tackles Jack, pins him down, points gun at him) You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial and you can uh… you can get represented by a lawyer in the court if you want to and… uh… Anything you say or do is gonna be held-

Arnold: (gets out of the car and yells) Don't arrest my friend!

Cop: Who said that?

Arnold: I said it! And I'm a goat! And I'm talking! (Cop is scared) Let him go and leave us alone!
Cop: Aagghhh!!! (goes to Arnold, shoots him, if possible, or beats him to death with his gun or a billy club)

Jack: You are so corrupt! You are so corrupt!

Cop: Ha! I killed your goat, me, me me me, I did it! Ha ha ha… (Shoots Jack) Ha ha ha.
(Man enters triumphantly, and holds up his hand like he has magical powers) Who are you? Aghhh… What are you some kind of magical wizard or something? Agghhh!!! (Cop falls to the ground and groans in pain. Man places one hand on Jack, reaches into the sky with the other, drawing on mysterious powers)

Man: Ohhmmmm… (Jack comes back to life)

Jack: (gasp) I'm alive! (looks at Man) It's you!

Man: Yes Jack, it's me.

Jack: I was dead! You brought me back to life! (goes to Arnold) Uhh… but Arnold! Can you heal him, too?

Man: Yes I can heal him, and I will heal him.

(Man goes to Arnold, does same ritual as he did with Jack. Arnold comes back to life.)

Arnold: Guhhh… What's going on?

Man: You're safe now, Arnold. I came to protect you. I came to protect you both.

Jack: Oh joyous day!

Man: Now lets go beat up that cops car.

Arnold: Rock and Roll! (Arnold kicks over the cops car, Man and Jack join in on beating it up. They really beat it up good. Man waves his hand and Jack and Arnold magically stop beating the car up.)

Man: Enough. It's time for me to go. Where am I going? Wherever anyone needs me. When will I get there? Just in time to save a few souls. Why am I going? Because that is my eternal calling, my everlasting destiny, and because the inward spiritual beckonings and the outward spiritual beckonings must not go unheeded, lest the stars prematurely fade. Will I buy some snacks on the way? Yes. (starts to leave)

Jack: Wait, don't leave us!

Man: Jack, I must go.

Jack: But you make me feel so good. I don't think I can live life without you.

Man: You must live without me. You must. It's the only way.

Jack: I don't understand, but, well, if you must go, then who am I to stop you?

Man: So long. (exits)

Jack: Thanks for saving my life.

Arnold: Both of our lives. (Jack and Arnold sit down on ground, overwhelmed, and sad. Pause. Man re-enters)

Man: Hey, what do you say we beat up the cops car again, just for old time's sake?

Jack: Yeah!

(They beat up the car for 10 seconds, Man waves his hand, they stop like before.)

Man: And now I must depart.

Jack: Goodbye, my angel, goodbye.

Arnold: I love you. (Man exits. Jack and Arnold sit on the ground again. Pause) I love him, you
know, I really do.

Jack: I love him, too. (pause) Now what are we gonna do with that cop's dead body?

Arnold: Uh… Let's just drag it off the road a ways.

Jack: OK. (they drag the body offstage and re-enter)

Arnold: What a strange day it's been.

Jack: Yeah, a lot of stuff has happened.

Arnold: It makes me want to think about it all.

Jack: Yeah, me too. (They drive)


Narrator: And so they drive. Blah blah blah. Time passes.

Jack: (Jack and Arnold enter Jack's House) Ahh… we're back. I'm tired. I'm gonna take a nap.

Arnold: Me too. (Jack exits. Arnold lies on floor. Popolou is outside, pacing.)

FIX SCENE (Man refers Arnold to a hypnotist, or gives him a note that gives him the address of the hypnotist and Arnold reads it in the car.)

HYPNOTIST SCENE (forest trees are set up. Jack and Arnold enter the forest. Bum, bum bum bum bum)

Arnold: This note says, "stand in the middle of the forest, spin to the right three times while saying Madame Hypno, come to earth, Madame Hypno, come to earth, Madame Hypno, come to earth." (They do that)

Arnold: I don't see anybody.

Jack: Maybe it takes a while for her to hear our call.

Arnold: Maybe we did it wrong.

Jack: Where's she supposed to come from, anyway? "Come to earth" sounds like she's from a
different planet.

Arnold: Yeah. (A drum beat is heard)

Jack: What's that noise?

Arnold: I don't know.

Jack: It's getting faster. (pause) and scarier.

(Jack and Arnold huddle together)

Arnold: Wher'es it coming from?

Jack: I don't know. It sounds like something big is going to happen.

(Madame Hypno enters anti-climactic, beating the drum.)

Hypno: Hi guys.

Jack and Arnold: Ahhh!!

Hypno: Whoa, hey, hey, it's ok, it's just me. Did my drumming scare you?

Arnold: Well, with the forest and the atmosphere and that drum noise coming out of nowhere,
yeah, you spooked us.

Hypno: Hey, you're a talking goat. That's cool. Good to meet you. (Shakes his hand) I'm
Madame Hypno.

Arnold: Arnold.

Hypno: And you are…

Jack: Jack.

Hypno: You look like cool guys. So tell me, how'd you hear about me?

Jack: It's a funny story, really. Um, actually, it's a really crazy story. To be short, this guy with
super powers, um, we don't even know his name, gave us this note, (hands note to Hypno) and
we followed the directions on it, and uh…now we're here.

Hypno: Oh, yeah, I know this guy, He's one of the nicest people I know. We dated for a while,
actually. But I don't know his name either, isn't that funny? He's so mysterious about his
identity. But anyway, what can I do for you? I can look in a crystal ball, read your palm, mix up
some potions, hypnotize you, talk to your dead relatives,

recite Shakespeare, whatever.

Jack: My friend Arnold here wants to be hypnotized.

Hypno: This goat here?

Jack: Yeah.

Arnold: I used to be a man, but, somehow, I turned into a goat.

Hypno: Oh, that would explain the business with the talking.

Arnold: Right.

Hypno: OK, Arnold, you want me to hypnotize you.

Arnold: Yes.

Hypno: What for?

Arnold: I want to find out how I turned into a goat. See, if I figure that out, then maybe I can
find out how to turn back into a man.

Hypno: What's the last thing you remember as a man?

Arnold: Well, I was drinking in a bar one night, I uhhh… I don't remember what else happened,
and then the next morning I woke up in a petting zoo.

Hypno: (interested) Hmm… Intresting. Shall we start the hypnosis now?

Arnold: Yeah.

Hypno: Go ahead and take a seat on this boulder. (Arnold sits on the boulder. Jack sits on the
ground. Hypno talks in a soothing voice) Alright Arnold, I want you to relax. Can you do that
for me? Relax. Close your eyes. Breathe with me. In…(they inhale) and out. (They exhale)
Alright now keep taking deep breaths while I talk. (write To Be read by a Sunflower) Now I
want you to leave your body sitting on that boulder while your mind travels upward, upward,
upward into the sky. (pause) Is your mind in the sky, Arnold?

Arnold: Yes.

Hypno: Good. We're gonna stay there for a while, alright?

Arnold: Yes. I will stay there.

Hypno: Jack, Arnold is now hpnotized. This is where we start getting some answers about what
happened the night he transformed. The only voice he can hear now is mine. So feel free to say
whatever you wish.

Jack: Hey Arnold, you're stupid.

Hypno: Hey, no insults. Those create negative vibes.

Jack: Sorry.

Hypno: Arnold, think back. Way back. You are a baby now. What are you doing?

Arnold: Lying on the floor. Crying.

Hypno: Mm, childhood is so hard. Now you're a teenager. What are you doing?

Arnold: I'm smoking in the bathroom at school.

Hypno: Mm, Adolescence is rough, too. Go further now. Now you're an adult. One year ago.
What are you doing?

Arnold: I'm standing in my apartment, in the kitchen. I'm seperating apples from oranges. I
used to want them in the same dish, but now I've decided that they should be kept in different
places. The apples in the bowl, and the oranges in the cupboard.

Hypno: Mm, adulthood. So many important descions to make. It's rough. OK, now I want you to
think on the night you turned into a goat. You're drinking in a bar. What happens next?

Arnold: I'm just sitting at the bar, drinking. There's this guy named Clyde sitting at the bar with
me. I don't like him very much. He blabbers on and on. I don't have enough money to pay for my
drinks, and the bartender gets mad at me. He tries to kick me out. Then I offer the bartender
my socks to pay him, but he won't accept them. But they're very good socks. There's no holes in
them at all. I'm sure they're worth a lot of money. These are nice high-quality socks we're
talking about, here.

Hypno: Think beyond the socks, Arnold. What happens next?

Arnold: The bartender throws me out, and I'm walking down the street. Somehow I walk into a
strange building. I've never been in it before. It's a… it's a… it's a laboratory! A science
laboratory, like right next to the bar.

Hypno: What are you doing in the laboratory?

Arnold: I'm just looking around, and there's some kind of… some kind of animal in the room. It's
a goat! A goat in a white lab coat! I'm interested in it, and I go over there to pet it, and it says
something! Yeah, the goat talks! I start to pet him, and he says, "Cut it out" Then it bites me!
(Suddenly wakes up) Aghhh!! It bit me! The scientist goat bit me! Jack, we gotta go back to that
laboratory! I might be able to be a man again! (He starts to exit)

Hypno: Hey, cool it, what's the rush?

Arnold: I wanna be a man, right now!

Hypno: Well that's cool, but Madame Hypno isn't free, if you know what I'm saying. (rubs fingers
together for money symbol)

Jack: How much is it?

Hypno: 20 bucks.

Jack: Here you go. (gives 20 bucks)

Hypno: Thanks. And thanks for calling, tell all your friends about me. (she exits as she beats her
drum) Come back any time.



Arnold: This is it! I remember it all now! This is the place where the scientist goat bit me! (goes
to the cardboard scientist goat, pets it, puts hand on him to operate mouth) Excuse me, Mr.
Goat, um.. a few weeks ago, you bit me, and I think that's thereason I'm a goat now. (pause)

Jack: Arnold, he's probably just a stray goat, with a lab coat on. He can't talk. Lets go.

Sci: Goat: Wait, I can talk, and I can help you!

Jack: Whoa, two talking goats.

Arnold: Oh my, You can talk! That means you might be able to help me. Can you help me?

Sci. Goat: Yes, I can help you. Allow me to explain what happened to you. You see, I was a
scientist in this laboratory, trying to create a potion to cure cancer. I drank some of the potion I
made, and it turned me into a goat. I was really mad. I mean, how could I go home to my wife
and kids and say, look guys, I'm a goat? So I just stayed here and held my anger in. When you
came in here, stumbling around drunk and petting me, I got really mad. So I bit you. When I bit
you, I probably had some of that potion on my teeth, and it went into your system.

Arnold: Wow, so now I finally know how I turned into a goat. But can I turn back into a man?

Sci. Goat: Well, while I've stayed here in this lab, I've been trying to come up with a cure to turn
me back into a human.

Arnold: And did you do it?

Sci. Goat: See that cup of orange liquid on the table?

Arnold: Yeah.

Sci. Goat: That's the cure. All you have to do is drink that and you'll turn back into a human
instantaneasly. (Arnold is excited, he drinks the liquid)

Arnold: That tasted a lot like orange juice. Hey, I'm not turning into a man. You said it was
instantaneas! What are you trying to pull? How come I'm not turning back into a man? Gimmie
some answers!

Sci. Goat: Ha ha ha I fooled you! That wasn't the anedote, that was just ordinary orange juice. Ha
ha ha.

Arnold: Why'd you trick me like that?

Sci. Goat: Because I felt like it. Ha ha ha. But seriously, there's only one way to reverse the
transformation.

Arnold: What is it? I'll do anything!

Sci. Goat: I'll only tell you what it is if you scratch me behind my left horn.

Arnold: What?

Sci. Goat: Scratch me behind my left horn. I can't reach there myself, and its been itching for
days.

(Arnold scratches as requested)

Arnold: Right there?

Sci. Goat: Oh, yeah, that feels wonderful.. You really know how to scratch.

Arnold: There. Now tell me the cure.

Sci. Goat: Uh, I don't know if you deserve it.

Arnold: What do you mean deserve it?

Sci. Goat: Are you a good person?

Arnold: What does that have to do with anything?

Sci Goat: Just answer the question.

Arnold: Yeah, I'm a pretty good person.

Sci. Goat: Mm, Ok, I'll tell you the secret. But first you must perform a task to prove your
worthiness.

Arnold: What do you want?

Sci. Goat: I wan't you to kill the most ferocious bear in the forest, using a pocket knife, and bring
me back his head in a burlap sack. (pause) Then give me 6,000 dollars.

Arnold: I'm not going to do that!

Sci. Goat: Then I guess you don't get to be a man again, do you?

Arnold: Stop playing games with me! Just gimmie the answer!

Sci. Goat: You know, I would like to, I really would, its just, I don't feel like it.

Arnold: Don't feel like it? This is a man's life we're talking about! I'm begging you, please, just tell
me what to do so I can be a man again.

Sci. Goat: No. Ha ha ha. (Arnold puches the goat, knocks it over, and hits it more.)

Arnold: Now are you gonna tell me your secret? Huh? I said now are you gonna tell me your
secret? Answer me!

Jack: Arnold, I think you killed it. (Jack goes to Sci. Goat) It looks dead. You killed him.

Arnold: Nooo!!! (grabs goat) You've got to live, goat, you've got to live! Wake up, wake up! wake
up wake up wake up! What did you do to me? Oh what did you do to me? (Arnold cries. Pause)

Jack: You know, Arnold, I've been thinking. Maybe you were meant to be a goat.

Arnold: Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about.

Jack: I'm serious. Maybe being a goat is your destiny. Anyway, I think it's cool that you're a
goat. I like you. Even though you've gotten me in a lot of trouble, I like you.

Arnold: You do?

Jack: Yeah. Hey, you've made my life 1000% more interesting.

Arnold: Heh. I'm not very good at things like this, but I like you too.

Jack: Oh lets hug. (They hug) You're my best friend, Arnold.

Arnold: And you're my best friend.

Jack: Let's hold on to each other. No matter what happens, lets hold on to each other for a long
long time. Until one of us dies.

Curtain

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the Serving Line

On the Serving Line

You scoop soupy refried beans
onto white foam trays, plopping
the sludge into the little rectangle,
plopping the tray on the counter,
as Boy Scouts pass by. Some say hi,
some say they don’t want beans,
some stay silent.

Today Mike’s there, you’re favorite
boss, the manager who lets you

listen to the radio. Ever since you
switched to dinners about a month ago
things have been better.

A woman a little younger than you,
a lady in a dress, comes through the line,
and you don’t know what she’s doing here,
with all these Boy Scouts.

You look at her body a little longer than
you should; you want to give her
another scoop of beans, or better yet,
a piece of cake from the back,
but you know you shouldn’t; you've been
warned about sexual harassment.

She asks if there’s any meat in the beans.
You say no and wonder if she’s a vegetarian.

You scoop the beans onto her tray,
taking care not to let the beans spill
over the little walls of the rectangular
compartment on the white foam tray.

She moves on,
you never see her again,
and you're still scooping beans.

When College Professors Laugh

When College Professors Laugh

When college professors laugh,
they don’t laugh the way that I laugh,
or the way juveniles laugh.

College professors laugh with their brains,
not with their mouths. They are less
loud; their bodies make smaller movements.

Professor’s laughs are gentrified,
duly induced by what has been deemed
“intelligent humor” by the Governing Board
of Most Respectable and Deeply Experienced Authorities,
Which Governing Board Governs Ubiquitously.

In fact, college professors rarely laugh at all.
They have less reason to.
But when they do, be assured that their laughter is
reserved for very fitting and proper occasions.
For example, college professors laugh mostly at
college professor parties with their
college professor friends, when they

pass around student essays-
they chortle at naiveté,
they titter at a ill-used semi-colons;

Indeed, college professors laugh at bon mots,
not at farts.


They laugh at pointed insights,
revelatory quips into the human condition
as recorded in academical and scholastical publications;

The antics of poodles move them not.

Higher Education

Higher Education

Up late again, I scan my college’s
course catalog. It’s a ritual- I do it when
I procrastinate homework.

PHI 230, a class in philosophy,
will fulfill my liberal studies requirement,
perhaps I should take it next semester,
but I think I am against
a class in philosophy.

Part of me wants to use big words,
in front of lots of people, the way
bearded professors do, words like “empirical,”
“juxtaposition,” and “pragmatic.”

Really I don’t know what those words
mean, but I know I don’t like them.
They sound hurtful,
they sound unkind to children.

I practice saying them out loud; I look
over my imaginary audience
of note-takers, gesturing with my hands
the way my professors gesture with their hands
when they use those big words.

One look in the mirror outs me.

I am a liar.

I pluck a bug from the lip of a fish

I pluck a bug from the lip of a fish.
What type of bug? I don’t care.
I squish and flush it.
That was uneventful.
Fish are gross, anyway.

I fiddle with the window curtains,
play peek-a-boo with the sun,
cut off clouds in my vision.
I squint. Ouch. I quit that game
and go to the TV.

The first thing that comes on
is a commercial for a bed.
It has extra-squishy foam,
and hydraulics. The bed helps you
sleep, the TV says. Duh.

But a bed’s not what I want.
I want a robotic shoulder from
the future- a hulking metallic shoulder,
with knives, and lasers, and bullets
coming out of it like a tornado.
People will see me and think
I’m the Apocalypse.

The Violin’s History

The Violin’s History

My little brother Paul still plays the violin,
now and then, but Dad calls it a fiddle.

It started years ago, back when Dad went to an
old woman’s house to fix her phone and
saw an old violin lying around.
Dad wanted it
and offered her money.

Maybe the lady was downsizing,
letting go of the earth one possession at a time.
Maybe the lady was a widow and childless. Maybe
she wept at the idea of being a burden to the strangers
who would soon clean out her apartment,
or maybe she needed the money.

In any case, Dad didn’t ask about the violin’s history;
He had another phone to fix.
He waved the money in front of her,
and she took it.

Paul hated it at first; Dad forced my little brother
into lessons and forced him into practicing
every night, the way that fathers
have always forced sons into jobs.

Now I am married, and have a son of my own.
Matthew’s around here somewhere, with his mother.

I want to sleep.
I want to lie on the carpet beneath the window
with the curtains drawn back and watch
the afternoon turn to evening, the evening turn

to night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When You See Willie Willingshire Walking


I wonder what you wonder when
Willie Willingshire walks
down Walking Street
and you see him, willy-nilly,
from your looking-eyes.

You look at his boots and grow envious,
I’ll bet. They really are nice boots:
Leather, sturdy,
from a nice place.
Willie knows the cobbler personally;
they eat together, usually at Mario’s, a spaghetti place
downtown on third street- really big meatballs there.
Nice people, really,
the cobbler and Willie.

But is that all you think about
with your thinking-brain,
when you see Willie walk
with his walking cane?
Boots? How plain.

How do I feel about my feelings?

How do I feel about my feelings?
“Peachy,” I answer you,
and you and you and you,
and you too.

“Everything is…
chipper!”

Chipper, like children-
Bright-colored children,
children that expand and laugh-

Chipper, like bees going
buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz
buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz
(Yes, that’s how much they buzz:
Ten times! Now eleven!
The buzzing never stops.)

“I’m feeling chipper because
it’s nighttime and the sun is shining,”
I tell you all,
“and that’s how I feel about my feelings.”

In case you don’t get it,
(and, mark me, I am very much concerned
that you do get it) the sun is shining in Outer Space.
Because it just does hydrogen fusion all the time,

and Outer Space is where the wigglies dwell.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One Coupon From the Mailbox

I hold it in my hand,
and it is mine.

The picture
of the watermelon
on this coupon:
Vibrant red, deep black,

A shining droplet of water on green.
Very clean edges.

Buy two, get one free,
it says.

Balcony

Resting my forearms
on a rail,
I look downward-
a child is
tilting a rock.

A neighbor boy,
nose scrunched,
barefoot, knees
brown with soil.

The sky rumbles.
I go inside to
fix another hot,
dark drink.

Thoughts on my Recent iTunes Purchases, Part Two

Dear Reader,

This summer my appetite for music has not faded, but my budget for buying music has. I don’t plan to buy any music for a long time, possibly the rest of this year, because I’ve spent so much money on music recently. But the music’s great!

One of the cool things about iTunes is that you can either buy one song at a time, or you can buy a complete album.

Here’s all the albums I’ve bought on iTunes so far:

Meat Puppets: Up On the Sun.
Meat Puppets: II.
Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets: Huevos
Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart
The Ting Tings: We Started Nothing
The Wood Brothers: Ways Not to Lose
The Wood Brothers: Loaded
Hank Williams: 20 of his Greatest Hits
Woody Guthrie: The Asch Recordings, Volumes 1-4
Jeff Buckley: Grace (Legacy Edition)
Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture: Songs of the Mormons and Songs of the West
Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture: Folk Music from Wisconsin
Matisyahu: Live at Stubb’s
Igor Koshkendey: Music from Tuva
Angola Prison Spirituals

I got a lot of single songs too, but most of them were free singles of the week. I won’t list all of them, but some cool ones that I got are:

Alicia Keys: No One
Kristin Chenoweth: Taylor, the Latte Boy
Warren Zevon: Werewolves of London
Hercules and Love Affair: Blind
Some songs from “Enchanted”
Gnarls Barkley: Crazy
Daft Punk: Technologic
Sean Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80: Think Afrika

It would take me forever to write about all the music I got, so I’ll just talk about a few of them.

First, the Meat Puppets.

The Meat Puppets are hard to categorize, like a lot of cool musical artists. They’re basically punk, or rock, but they’re a little bit country or folk or jam band-esque. iTunes categorizes them as “alternative.” But uh, I’ve listened to their albums bunches of times. The lead singer’s voice is really weird. It’s not what you think of when you think of “good singing,” but it matches the music and the lyrics perfectly. And I don’t feel bad when I sing along, because I sound a lot like the lead singer, Curt Kirkwood. Ha ha ha. Their first album, self-titled Meat Puppets, is out of control crazy. The lead singer yells and screams and you can’t understand what he’s saying. Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets is incredibly different than any of their other albums. It’s very crash and bang! You can’t understand what the guy’s saying most of the time, because he’s screaming and yelling. It’s more like punk music. When I first heard it, I really didn’t like it, I tried to listen to the whole thing, but it was just so grating on the ears, I couldn’t. It was crazy though, because I’ve listened to “Up on the Sun” and “II” a gazillion times and they never get old, so how can the band I love so much put out an album that’s so raucous? Well, this was their first album, and they were young. But I have been able to listen to the whole thing now and then. I guess it’s about a mood thing. There’s a mood for every kind of music I have, maybe.

The lyrics on Meat Puppets II, probably my favorite Meat Puppets album, are awesome. In “Climbing” Kirkwood says, as near as I can tell, “My mind. Which things are mine? Well I thought I saw a few before I found out I was blind.”

In “Plateau” he sings, “There’s nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds. You’ll see a lot up there but don’t be scared; who needs action when you got words?”

In “Oh Me” the lyrics, as near as I can tell, are thus: “I can’t see the end of me. My whole expanse I cannot see; Formulate infinity stored deep inside me.” Kirkwood sings these trippy words like he believes in them. Like they’re magic incantations that don’t mean literal things the way normal phrases and sentences mean things. Kind of like Beck’s lyrics. Kind of like Bob Dylan’s lyrics sometimes. Kind of like a lot of poetry.


Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart.

I got the free single of the week a good while back and listened to it so much that I decided to buy her whole album. She’s got a beautiful, jazzy, smooth voice. She’s highly recommended. By the way, I used to erroneously think that music was done being good. Like, all the good bands have come and gone. Or that back in some golden age, music was pure and genius, but now it’s too commercial or overdone or something. I used to think that it was safest to buy the classics. You know, albums that are famous and withstood the test of time, the albums that get their cover put on posters, I guess. But now that I’ve bought some brand new music and I’ve really liked it, I’ve decided that good music will come out forever. And the awesome thing about the recording industry nowadays is that there’s so much out there. We’re always recording and recording, the music library of the human race is ever-expanding and ever-growing. And here I am, buying, collecting, and enjoying it.

The Ting Tings: We Started Nothing

A co-worker of mine described We Started Nothing as “cheerleader music.” Ha ha ha. The lead singer does sound like an in-your-face cheerleader, and she kind of looks like one, too. But not an American cheerleader, more like a British cheerleader. Her thick accent is hard to miss. It’s really funny in the song "traffic light," when she says the lyric, “Don’t you be a roundabout.” Lots of Americans wouldn’t get that one because they don’t know what a roundabout is. But by far the coolest song on the cd is “Shut Up and Let Me Go.” One of my favorite lines says, “You’re not adorable/ I want someone unignorable!” The song was featured on an iPod commercial and that’s the first place I heard it, but man it is so awesome. And now I’m old enough to stop believing that nonsense about commercialism ruining music. Now, it’s true that commercialism messes up music now and then, but ultimately it is the people who decide what they like, right? I mean, propaganda can only go so far. The people, the buying public, know what they like and what they want to support. The music they like moves them in some way, a studio is just trying to bottle and sell that wonderful artistry. I guess I’m just defending my purchase of the CD. And you know what? I really like it. I’m not ashamed of that. I just wish I knew how to dance, ‘cause it makes me want to dance.


The Wood Brothers.

I thought I would like the Wood Brothers a lot more than I do. I do like them a lot, and I think I’m glad I bought their albums, (their only two albums so far) but uh… they’re missing some kind of awesome secret ingredient. I first heard them on Pandora radio and really liked them. Don’t get me wrong. I really do like them. They’re very talented and cool. They’re folk/country. One of my favorite songs of theirs is a cover of “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan. I almost like they’re version better than Dylan’s version, kind of like the way I like the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower” a little better than Dylan’s original. It’s hard to explain, but it seems like they have all the right ingredients for a band that I would like. But like I said, they’re just not daring enough. They’re too safe and normal in their music. That’s the only way I can think of to describe it.


Songs from the “Enchanted” soundtrack.

So fun. Lots of fun. If you like fun musicals this is a great album to get. I didn’t get the whole album. See, “Enchanted” isn’t exactly a musical. It only really has 3 songs that originate in the movie the way songs come in musicals, you know, where people just burst out in song and dance? And then there’s one song, “So close” that happens in a dance scene, so it’s not, you know, like a musical song. Anyway, “True Love’s Kiss,” “Happy Working Song,” and “That’s How You Know,” are just delightful and fun. Oh, and I think 3 of the songs, I don’t remember which 3, but 3 of them were nominated for Oscars for best original song! So that’s pretty cool, right? I thought one of them should have won, because I think there were only 5 songs total in the category, but something else won. Whatever.

Jeff Buckley: Grace, Legacy edition

I thought I would like this more than I do. It’s funny, I feel like I have to concede that “Grace” is good music, but nevertheless I don’t like to listen to it as much as I like to listen to the Meat Puppets. That’s sort of how I feel about the Wood Brothers. I have to agree that it’s good music. It’s obvious. But for some reason it doesn’t move me the way other music does. By the way, there’s this guy name Matthew Arnold. He was a British poet and a literature critic, and he had some pretty interesting things to say about the quality of art. He said something like it was the critic’s job to find the best that was ever thought or said and recommend it to the public. He also said that a critic can’t be biased by personal likes and dislikes; a critic had to have what Arnold called “disinterestedness.” He had to objectively analyze a piece of art and gauge its overall worth. With that in mind, I almost feel like I have to say that Jeff Buckley and the Wood Brothers are better musicians than the Meat Puppets, because Jeff Buckley and the Wood Brothers put out more polished stuff; and based on the singing alone, most people hearing it for the first time would say that Jeff Buckley and the Wood Brothers were better. Especially people who have had classical training in music. But then again I get angry at the classically trained musicians- I feel like shouting “Hey! No! I don’t have to say anything I don’t want to say! The Meat Puppets rock, and I don’t care what the critics say, you know what I mean?”

Alicia Keys: No One. (the single)

The first time I heard this song, I saw a girl perform it at a high school talent show. It was dynamite. It’s a perfect R+B song for a high school girl to sing. Then at scout camp, we listened to the popular music station, and “No One” played all the time. It’s kind of cheesy. Not very deep. Bt it’s powerful and just a great example of R and B, and fun to sing along to. Alicia Key’s voice is amazing. Oh, and it’s totally about heartfelt devotion, too. With divorce rates the way they are, people tend to lose faith in love. I’m not saying that this song will fix the nations romantic problems, no way, but, I don’t know, these something fun about being so head-first crazy in love that you belt out lyrics like “No one, no one, no one, can get in the way of what I’m feeling!”

Werewolves of London

This is one of those songs they play on classic rock stations that really sticks out. Wacky lyrics. Good times.

Taylor, the Latte Boy.

Tons of fun. Kristin Chenoweth, who played Galinda in "Wicked," sings this cute song. It’s about this girl who has a crush on this guy who works at Starbucks. Crank it up and sing along!

20 of Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits:

I don’t like new country too much, but sometimes I get a hankering for really old country. Hank Williams fits the bill exactly. Sometimes I wonder if these songs are popular because of the subject matter. They’re all about lost love or lost horses. The songs on this CD remind me of that joke, “What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife back, you get your horse back, and you get your truck back.” Ha ha ha. Hank Williams songs are just more normal and popular than Woody Guthrie’s folk songs. Although, I bet if I heard some of Hank Williams' other stuff, like his almost-greatest hits, or his alright hits, I would hear him sing about other stuff.


Woody Guthrie: The Asch Recordings Volumes 1-4.

A mammoth collection of Woody Guthrie songs, over 80 songs in length. I thought when I bought this, I wouldn’t have to buy any more Woody Guthrie albums, but there’s already another one I’ve got my eye on. (It’s “Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti.”) But the Asch recordings are so far reaching and so incredible, I don’t have the words or the time to talk about it. I love how versatile Woody Guthrie. He’s versatile with the instruments he plays, with the way he arranges his songs, and with the way he sings his songs. But mostly he’s versatile with the subject matter of his songs. A lot of bands fall into a rut. They have one type of sound, one type of song, and one image that they market to the public. Like Rage Against the Machine couldn’t do anything but be angry. Sometimes I wanted to hear Rage Against the Machine do “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And Beck can’t do anything but be weird. Sometimes I wanted to hear Beck sing “Danny Boy." Woody Guthrie, on the other hand, sang protest songs, patriotic songs, children’s songs, folk songs, cowboy songs, train songs, ballads, and he did them all perfectly. Woody Guthrie is someone that will never get old, in my opinion. His music will never become irrelevant. I love Bob Dylan’s quote: “Woody Guthrie is the end all and be all of folk music.” I agree. He was the master of folk music. He was the father of folk music, both in his recordings and in his life. When I think folk music, I think Woody Guthrie. (I'm talking about popular American folk music, not the traditional folk music of the people that the Library of Congress gets field recoridnings of.) By the way, I have a cool picture from a CD case of Woody Guthrie singing, and on his guitar is printed loud and clear, “This machine kills fascists.” I want to post that picture in my office, whenever I get an office.

I have lots of other music I could review, but I think that’s enough for now.

!Viva la Musica!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa