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111 One-Minute Middle School Monologues

Audition Monologues, Contemporary Themes


   * Written by L.E. McCullough, Ph.D.

   * ISBN: 1-57525-419-0

   * Retail List Price: $17.00 (check online retailers for other prices)


INSIDE THIS BOOK are 111 Pre-teens, each one waiting to talk to you, eager to let you know what’s on their minds.


Listen, and you’ll definitely learn a few things about their world ... and yours.


Expressly designed for honing the interpretive skills of young actors, this book presents a wide range of situations, emotions and characters expressing the dreams, doubts, joys and sorrows of modern adolescence.


These are fresh, realistic and powerful audition pieces guaranteed to make a memorable impression at casting calls.

Synopses & Excerpts from 111 One-Minute

Middle School Monologues

All material © 2003 L.E. McCullough



HEARD IT THROUGH THE WEBVINE (female-comic). (Typing on keyboard.) Yes, maam. No, maam. (looks up defiantly) But Shana blogged me first! She set up a web site that had a picture of my head stuck on a rhinoceros body. And the body was weaing my Lilo and Stitch bathing suit! (typing on keyboard) Yes, maam. No, maam. (head lowered contritely) It was wrong of me to use the school computer to send Shana’s email address to the International Avon Dealers list. (giggles) She’s still getting spam from eighty-nine countries and fifteen time zones!


SLEEPOVER (female-comic). (Waves cheerily.) Hi, Kimberly! So glad you could sleep over! (aside) Mom said if I didn’t invite her, I couldn’t have the party. I was like, “Mo-ommmm! I haven’t hung with Kimberly since fourth grade! We are worlds apart! I’m *NSYNC, she’s Backstreet Boys. I’m Coke, she’s Pepsi. I’m CosmoGirl, she’s TeenVogue. I’m dELIA and she is sooooo K-Mart. I mean, Kimberly has a right to exist, I guess, and pursue as normal a life as someone with her brand-name tastes ever can. But, puhleeeeze. . . not at my sleepover!


FIRST KISS (female-comic). There’s this whole mystery about your first kiss. You know, what it’s going to feel like when it happens with a boy you’ve thought about kissing for a while. I think it’s going to taste like strawberry sherbet. Okay, with maybe a thin layer of white chocolate in the middle to keep it rich and tender, light but filling with a tangy aftertaste depending on what mouthwash he’s using.


DREAM JOB (female-comic). Now that I’m on the verge of almost entering the minimum-wage teen work force, I’ve been thinking about my dream job: I’d like to sell stuff at a kiosk in the mall. Mostly, I’d like to work at the crystal kiosk. I’d be surrounded by hundreds of crystals that hang and twirl and glimmer and shine!


MY LIFE IS OVER (female-comic). I have a bit of advice for anyone looking to survive middle school with a minimum of psychological scarring. Never play Truth or Dare. And if you do, never, never tell the Truth! Last night when my turn came up, I was going to choose Dare. But the turn before, Marla Whittaker dared Sunni Ramos to hop around like a frog shouting, “I love shopping at Goodwill!” That is so immature, and I vowed never to let Marla borrow my Powerpuff Girls Denim Lunchbox Handbag ever again.


STYLE POINTS (female-comic). (Looks in mirror, smooths hair, tweaks clothing.) About a month ago, I started working on my style points. You know, dressing a little better, a little more popular. Pretty soon, I see guys notice me, looking at me different than before. And they notice I see them noticing. Except now I see my girlfriends notice guys noticing me. And they won’t talk to me at all!


THE ONLY RATIONAL EXPLANATION (female-comic). Something happened to me this first year of middle school. Something unexpected, tragic and — to a sensitive pre-teen like myself — emotionally devastating. I think I stopped being fun. I think I’ve started to turn into a grownup. Alien abduction is the only rational explanation. Somebody stop me before I adultify again!


THAT’S GRATITUDE FOR YOU (female-comic). Call me radical. Call me righteous. Call me really sick of listening to my friend yak about her gorgeous movie-star hair all the time. You wouldn’t believe the attention she gets from kids at school! So, when I was at her house last week — you’re thinking I waited till she was asleep and then cut off her hair, right? Wrong! And shame on you! What kind of weirdos are you people? I simply went into the bathroom and put a few drops of green food coloring in her shampoo. (giggles)


PUT TOGETHER (female-comic). (Standing in front of mirror, inspecting hair and face.) Big dance tonight. I’ve got to get put together. Let’s see. I’ll do my hair like Shiri, or no — like Alyssa, she looked so swerve in Charmed. Jessica Simpson uses this shampoo, I saw that in Sugar. This curling iron was endorsed by Katie Holmes, did you see that on E!? She’s my fave! Okay, I want my brows like Julia in My Best Friend’s Wedding and nose like Nicole in Moulin Rouge. That’s what I like best about getting older: you finally can discover who you really are.


THE MOST LOGICAL THING (female-comic). My friend and I are crushing on the same guy. I think he likes me better, though. Should I tell my friend? Let’s look at this logically, there’s a deep, deep friendship on the line here. I’ll try walking a mile in her shoes.


THINK WHAT OVER? (female-dramatic). You just wanted to give me time to think things over. Is that what you think? Or are you just scared to tell me how you really feel? You use my family as an excuse. I’m not my parents, Steve. I’m me! Can’t you tell the difference? Or do you want to?

I WANTED TO PLAY (female-dramatic). (Dribbling basketball, setting for a shot.) I’m a good point guard, best on our team. Everybody says so, ask any girl in the league. But today, all-city championship on the line, I’ll be riding the bench. (tosses ball up, catches it) Whatever! (dribbles ball) I mostly wanted to play cause my dad is leaving for overseas duty tomorrow. (sets for shot) I wanted the last thing he saw me do be something I was really good at. (shoots)


CHAT ROOMMATES - TISHA (female-dramatic). My friend Melanie is always in the chat rooms. I know her user names in the chat rooms, and sometimes I’m in the same ones. I see her writing some really sick stuff about drugs and sex. When I ask her about it in school, she just laughs and says she’s just making it up for fun. I just don’t know who the real Melanie is anymore. Whether it’s my friend I sing with in church choir, or the stranger I hear cursing at people in the chat rooms.

CHAT ROOMMATES - MELANIE (female-dramatic). I try to get my friend Tisha to chill out. You’re supposed to let yourself go a little crazy in a chat room. You can be somebody you’re totally not, somebody you’re afraid to be, maybe. Or ashamed to be. I pretend I’m old, around twenty. And blonde. And sometimes, divorced, or a dancer in a club with a hot red convertible.


INSTANT MOM (female-dramatic). Things are gonna get bad pretty soon. Mom got laid off again. That means she gets depressed and starts drinking. Or taking pills from the doctor that make her sleep a lot. Then I become the Instant Mom. Oh, I know it’s not fair. But what’s fair got to do with it?


A DIFFERENT DREAM (female-dramatic). My name is Essie — short for Esperanza, which in Spanish means “hope”. That was my name when we lived in Mexico, where I was born twelve years ago. Here in the United States, where I live now, people call me Essie. It is easier for my teachers to say than Esperanza. And better for our family, says my mother, until we get our residence papers in order.


IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE (female-dramatic). So I took some old jewelry my gramma had left my mom, just a couple old rings and some scrubby bracelet, and pawned them at Ritter’s. It’s not like she ever wears them, and I figured I’d get them out of hock the next week, but they got sold. Look, maybe we could just say I learned a lot from the whole experience and leave it that? I mean, if you love somebody, it’s all right, right?

I WANT IMMATURE (female-dramatic). The more time we spent with each other, the more he wanted to be with me. My other friends envied me, at first. They thought it was cool my boyfriend was so intense. I’m not so sure “intense” is something I want in my life right now. I want friends. I want immature.

GUESTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS (female-dramatic). (Hands clasped behind back.) “Mama, can I ask you a question? I know oughta be in bed, but, we’ve got guests.” Mama looked past me into the living room and gasped. A man and a woman stood next to our Christmas tree. The man was tall and broad-shouldered, the woman short and thick around the waist. Their faces were swarthy, their clothes ragged and gypsy-like. Illumination from the corner street lamp filtered in through the window behind them, framing their shapes with a soft contour of pale, glistening light.


GROUP DYNAMICS (female-dramatic). Groups of friends can be tricky. You see it very clearly, don’t you? Janet needs to be taught a lesson. A very harsh but permanent lesson that will help her fit in better with the group. And you’re the best girl I know at delivering that kind of a lesson. (presents object) Here, this is the knife. And this is to wipe up with and take to the incinerator. Tell the truth now. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to make decisions like this on your own?

COMFORTABLE GENES (female-dramatic). Mom, I like doing things with you. I know other girls sometimes don’t like hanging out with their mom, but I do, really. And I appreciate you being concerned about my weight. Okay, about being “healthy”, whatever. But don’t tell me that appearance doesn’t matter. I’d believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny before I’d believe that!


THE UNITED STATES OF BUTT-KICK (male-dramatic). Just heard the results of the new survey on school violence. Schools are safer than ever before, it says. Violence is down nationwide. Uh-huh. Guess the kids in this school didn’t see that survey. Or maybe they live in a different nation, the United States of Butt-Kick. (shows top of head) See that? Thirty-three stitches from some eighth grader who smacked me on the head with a metal stool cause I looked like some guy on TV he didn’t like. Or maybe it was a racial thing. Or maybe he’s just on the wrong medication. Who knows? I was unconscious, and I don’t think he stuck around to answer any survey questions.


HALF-AND-HALF (male-dramatic). It’s no big deal being so-called “mixed race”. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone not serve me at a restaurant or beat me up cause I’m half-and-half. White kids try extra hard to show how cool they are by ignoring the race thing. And the only time black kids get weird is when the actual subject of race comes up.


A BIG RESPONSIBILITY (male-dramatic). All right! Let’s go! (waves a group forward) Hey, guys! See you at recess! (steps to one side and addresses audience) I’ve been a school crossing guard for about two weeks, and I really like it! It’s a big responsibility, my dad says. I just found out the guard at Kessler takes money from the first graders. He tells them it’s a “crossing fee”, and they have to pay him or he doesn’t let them cross. All the other guards do it, he says. A bonus, he says. I bet if I asked the principal, I’d find out it wasn’t a bonus. (sighs) This is a busy street, and I really like helping kids cross. But being a snitch. . . (touches badge reverently) I guess doing things you don’t like is a responsibility, too.


BROTHERS UNTIL DEATH (male-dramatic). I didn’t think it would be any big deal to show Jimmy how to huff. He’s my little brother, y que, what you gonna do about it? I figured he’d get so sick he’d quit following me and my friends around. But Jimmy wanted to be part of la clica — carnalitos hasta la muerta, brothers to the death.


A LIFE LIKE THIS (male-dramatic). Yes, I have heard the jokes. “You know your Amish pre-teen is in trouble when they stay in bed after six a.m.” Or, “An Amish drunk driver was recently pulled over for ‘trotting under the influence of cottage cheese.’” Yes, I find them funny, too. And sometimes I do wish I were going to school past eighth grade like my non-Amish friends. I see the world out there, and I know there’s so much of it I won’t ever know or do living on this farm, in this small town, with these people. But people out there, they might live their whole lives and never know they could have a life like this.


PARTY TIME (male-dramatic). (Talking on phone.) Yeh, sounds phat! I’m down wid it! Straight up! Peace out! (clicks off) Party at Vanessa’s house tonight. Her parents are gone for the weekend. (frowns) I’m not sure I really want to go. Sure, I want to go, cause it’s a party and everybody’s gonna be there, everybody that’s Type Hot! I dunno. I feel weird enough doing normal things. I’m not sure I want to go to a party and feel weirder still.


SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT (male-dramatic). Here’s all you need. Binoculars, putty knife, two slim jims, a hammer and screw driver. You’re set. Naw, I’ve done this a hundred times. You watch awhile, make sure nobody’s home, find the right door or window, then, bam! — showtime, you’re in, you’re out. Me? I never take anything. Really. My parents both make like a hundred grand a year, I don’t need to pawn Game Boys for pocket money. Didn’t you see all the crap they got me for my birthday? Naw, I don’t rack for money. I do it for the sense of accomplishment. That’s something my parents can’t just go out and buy me.


“PRE” THIS! (male/female-comic). Can someone tell me what’s with this “pre”-teen stuff? It’s like training wheels for being a teenager. Like you can’t quite be trusted with being an actual teenager — as if that exalted state of humanhood required some kind of advanced degree! Pre-teens also get labeled as “pre-pubescent” and “pre-adolescent”. Yeh, uh-huh, keep rubbing it in, keep ratcheting up our hormonally-induced sense of inferiority, why not just say we’re “pre-human” while you’re at it? But don’t forget we’re also precocious, precipitous, pre-conscious and prematurely predisposed to pretend we’re presumably and preposterously precarious and prehensible. And it’s all predestined! So, hey, world: pre this! (throw out arms)


RIDDLE-MANIA (male/female-comic). Okay, people, it’s time for Riddle-Mania! Arrrrrrrre you ready? Why did the gum cross the road? Because it was stuck to the chicken’s foot! Then why did the elephant cross the road? Because he was tied to the chicken! So why did the rooster cross the road? Because the chicken was on vacation! (giggles) Wow, looks like a storm is coming. (to audience) When is a storm cloud not fully dressed? When it’s only wearing thunder wear! (laughs)


A MORE STABLE CAREER (male/female-comic). My middle school isn’t ranked very high on the educational pyramid. Our chemistry teacher thinks the melting point of cadmium is the temperature of a Cadillac engine. Our history teacher told us that not only did Christopher Columbus discover America, he invented the first electric pizza maker.


WONDER YEARS (male/female-comic). My parents always say these are my Wonder Years. But every now and then, I do wonder. . . are there really are twenty-four hours in a day? Or are there more and somebody has been hiding them somewhere just so I have to get up earlier? And I wonder if animals really do understand human language and think we’re all dumber than rocks. I wonder how long it really takes for paint to dry if you sit and watch it. I wonder if fishermen are able to make a living from their net income. I wonder if you’d get fired from a sandwich shop if you couldn’t cut the mustard. I wonder why it seems no one is listening until you say something really dumb. I wonder if I’ll get this part. I wonder if I’ll spend my whole life asking questions with no answers. I guess my parents are right. These are my Wonder Years. I wonder how they knew that?


BIRTHDAY BASH (male/female-comic). (Sings last line of “Happy Birthday”.) “Happy birthday to you!” (claps) Oh, yeh, I like birthdays! I like birthdays so much that when I was seven, I woke up every morning pretending I had a new name, which meant I was a new person and it was this person’s birthday! Couldn’t get my parents to buy into it. Might have been the part about wanting mom to make a fresh birthday cake every day.


THERE WENT MY ELECTRODES (male/female-comic). Remote-controlled rats. Sounds like the name of one of my brother’s favorite rock bands, but no — it’s for real, sort of. I just read where scientists have implanted electrodes in the brains of a rat. They can make the rat turn left and right, climb up and down, maybe even tap dance and do algebra. I think people are wondering, “If they can do this with rats, can they do it to humans?” I’m wondering, maybe they already have.


DON’T CALL ME LEFTY (male/female-comic). I am not a backward person! But, being a left-hander, I am forced to live in a “righty tighty, lefty loosey” world. A world of intrinsic bias where each and every object conspires to resist and humiliate me.


CAREER DAY (male/female-comic). They had a Career Day at our middle school last week. Can you have a career that takes you someplace you just don’t exactly know where? In other words, can I have a career just standing here like I am now doing what I’m doing now, which is thinking about stuff and talking to people about it? Cause that’s the career I’m really looking for: I talk, you listen, you pay me money and do what I say. Hmmm, maybe they have a job like that already. It’s called: Middle School Principal.

I’M NOT STRESSED (male/female-comic). They say pre-teens are getting more stressed these days. I don’t know why, cause I’m not stressed. After school I have a relaxing tennis lesson that gets out any stress from the day’s class work. That’s on Monday at 3:30. Then at 5, I do jazz dance, and that really loosens me up for a good dinner at 6. Then at 7:30 I practice violin for an hour — music really mellows me out — and I’m ready to dig into three or four hours of homework, except that this Monday I’ll have to get that finished up a little quicker cause I’m doing an online interview with the school paper at 9. Did I tell you, I’m running for Student Council? You’re right. I need to simplify my life. Got it! I’ll sign up for Stress Busters Club! I think they just started one at church. If they didn’t, then I’ll start one. And run for president. No, too much stress. I’ll just be activities director. I’m really good at scheduling!


MOVING TARGET (male/female-comic). (Ducks as if being shot at.) Whoa! Almost got me that time! (rises warily) It’s not easy being a target every minute of your life, hunted like prey — by advertisers! To them, pre-teens are the most highly prized catch in the demographic jungle. They stalk us mercilessly, day and night, targeting us with the most diabolical product messages you can imagine — on radio and TV, at the mall and school, even in our textbooks! (ducks) Watch out! It’s a soft drink ad aimed right at your vulnerable self-esteem! (rises warily) I — aaahhh! (staggers as if shot, grabs ankle) They got me in the Reeboks. . . with a Blazing McNugget!

SILENCE OF THE FOLLICLES (male/female-comic). Ssssh! Listen. Can you hear it? Ssssh! There it is! It’s the sound of your hair. Growing. Out from your head, millimeter by creeping millimeter. Inside your head, pushing up from your skull through the skin. Breaking through the skin, several layers of skin — krrgghhhhhhh! — erupting like little barbed spears, even the finest strands, crunching through the crackling skin — pakrrgghhh! — there’s one! — pakrrgghhh! there’s another! — pakrrgghhh! pakrrgghhh! pakrrgghhh! — thousands of them every second crunching and smashing and ripping and tearing, swarming all over your head devouring your scalp! Unstoppable! Invincible! — and then there’s the silence. . . the silence of the follicles. . . regrouping, waiting to make their next move, waiting to push forth. . . and sprout. (cackles with diabolical laughter) You think listening to your hair grow is scary? Wait till you go get your hair cut!

AQUA VIVA (male/female-comic). (Bending over, peering into a fish tank.) Wouldn’t it be wild to live in a fish tank? I mean, to be a fish living in a fish tank. You’d always get to swim whenever you wanted. No classes, no grades, no cliques or clubs you couldn’t belong to. No parents losing their jobs and getting divorced and you having to move to some stupid town you don’t like where nobody likes you. No worrying about what high school’s going to be like or if you’ll be smart enough to get into college or if anybody ever is going to go out with you on a date — nope, if you were living in that fish tank right there, life would be pretty simple. And wet.


COMPUTO, ERGO ME-AMO (male/female-comic). (Stands zombie-like.) I am blind. I am deaf. I am mute. (shouts) Yes, mute! My computer is down, and it’s like every sense has been stripped away! I can’t email, can’t instant message. Can’t j-peg or quick-time. Can’t p.d.f. or scan, it’s like my thumbs have been cut off at the knees! Computo, ergo me-amo. Without a computer I cease to exist as a functional human!


TOP TEN WARNING SIGNS OF PRE-TEEN SUICIDE (male/female-comic). Here are the Top Ten Warning Signs of Pre-Teen Suicide: One. I clean my room without you nagging for hours. Two. I accept responsibility for my mistakes and take blame for things that aren’t my fault, like global warming and badly-written teen sitcoms. Three. I exhibit severe hallucinations and tell you how great I think my teachers are. Four. I gets lots of sleep and don’t argue with you about staying up all night. Five. Massive change in appetite — I no longer consume fifteen pounds of processed sugar a day but occasionally eat a green vegetable. Or three, if served with ketchup. . .


OLD ENOUGH (male/female-comic). (Rapturously.) I am in love! But my parents, naturally, they’re opposed. “Too young”, they say. “Not ready emotionally. You’ll just end up getting hurt.” Look, I know it’s a big step. I know it’s going to demand incredible commitment and maturity. Yes, I know I’m only eleven years old, but in some societies, that is old enough! Look, it’s my life we’re talking about here. My growth, my needs, you can’t keep us apart, it’s destiny! Mom, dad — I’ve got to have a cell phone!


HAPPY HOLIDAZE (male/female-comic). What about my report card? Excessive Unexcused Absences? I beg to differ! They were all holidays. All seventy-four of them. Our teacher said celebrating holidays shows respect for traditions of all people; that’s a good thing, right? And nobody goes to school on a holiday! Not on Chinese New Year or Scottish New Year’s Bank Holiday! Or on Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday, National School Nurse Day, Professional Secretaries Day or the Grand Duchess’ Birthday in Luxembourg. . .


SOME IMAGINATION (male/female-comic). You know the worst thing about being a kid? Having grownups tell you tall tales and thinking you believe them. My mom says that when she was my age, instead of cell phones, people used to have to talk on something called a “party line”, which sounds cool until you realize everybody in the whole town was listening in on your call — especially some nosy busybody named Ma Bell. Then were “milkmen” that left milk bottles on your doorstep at night. Really, and they were filled with milk! And there was a guy called The Fuller Brush Man who roamed the neighborhoods selling stuff for your bathroom. How weird is that? And she said they had candy cigarettes but no computers and no Diet Coke. And McDonald’s hamburgers were fifteen cents and MTV used to have music instead of game shows. Unreal! Next she’ll be telling me televisions came with only thirteen channels and no remote!


EVERYBODY SING! (male/female-comic). Oh no, please no. Please, don’t let it happen! Not here, not now, not again! (buries head in hands, looks up terrified) Indescribable agony. A recurring nightmare, over and over. It starts like this: I’m riding in the car with a new friend, somebody I really want to make major prop points with. Suddenly, like a fire-drill siren, my dad starts singing! Dad, I really appreciate you being chauffeur guy. But if I pay for gas, will you promise to, like, pretend you’ve had a vocal lobotomy?


THINGS I’VE LEARNED AS A PRE-TEEN (male/female-comic). Things I’ve learned about life since becoming a pre-teen: If you squirt hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they will catch fire. Just when I get my room the way I like it, mom makes me clean it up. Super glue is forever. It’s way more fun to color outside the lines. Even Popeye didn’t eat his spinach until he absolutely had to. There is no good reason why clothes have to match. I’m always anxious to test the water, until I find out it’s really cold…


CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (male/female-comic). Yes, officer, my villainous crime of feeding the ducks is the fault of my parents. They taught me my ABC’s, which in turn, led to my learning to read. And then they put a fully loaded library card in my childish hands, a weapon I used with full premeditated intent to peruse the works of one Henry David Thoreau. You know, the civil disobedience guy who said that when unjust laws exist, you’ve got three choices: one, obey them; two, obey them while working to change them; and three, stop obeying them at once. Or as Thoreau would say, “That government is best which feeds ducks the most!”


Z-TOWN BLUES (male/female-comic). (Head down, asleep, waking up with a start.) Ummm, whaaa, no, Miss Hansen, I wasn’t sleeping, no, I was, ummm, trying to pick up a contact lens without using my hands. Ummm, actually, I was (stifles yawn) testing the desk for drool resistance, it’s a project for science class. (stifles bigger yawn)


CASE IN POINT (male/female-comic). I don’t know how my parents ever survived this long in the cruel, harsh laboratory of life. Case in point: I got grounded last week for breaking curfew. (parental voice) “You didn’t leave a note telling us where you went.” Hold on to your space hats, junior rocketeers — my parents actually expected me to leave a note saying I was going out, when I was grounded in the first place? Parents. . . such innocents! When will they ever learn?


ALWAYS THE GIGGLING (male/female-comic). I really get yucked out when I see my parents kissing. It’s grotesque! No, not kissing each other. . . kissing their new lovers! After the divorce, mom got a boyfriend within a week, and dad’s just started seeing some woman he met at church. Sometimes I accidentally turn a corner, and — uulllaa! — they’re wrapped around each other like gummy worms. And giggling. Always the giggling. (sticks out tongue)


TURKEY DAY TIPS (male/female-comic). Here are some tips to make a typical family Thanksgiving much less boring. First, open the oven, squirt a few wads of cheez-whiz into the turkey while it cooks. If observed in the act, tell mom it adds the neatest flavor. Bring along tapes of old, recorded football games. Pop them in the VCR when dad’s not looking. Amaze everyone with your psychic ability to predict the next play. During dinner, slurp your cranberry sauce loudly through a straw. . .


MUM’S THE WORD (male/female-comic). (Points up and right.) Meet Ebeneezer Aloysius Tattleford. I guess he founded this town in eighteen-oh-whatever, and so they put a statue of him on the front lawn of our school. The pigeons needed a pit stop on their way to the stadium! (chuckles) It’s funny, but of all the times I passed that statue, I only just started looking at it closely. And thinking: what if those eyes could really see? What if the unblinking, pigeon-crusted eyes of Ebeneezer Aloysius Tattleford were watching as kids went into school day in, year out? Think of all the changes in clothes and hair styles, from hoop skirts and spats to dreads and pierced noses!


GETTING THE IDEA (male/female-comic). (Training dog.) Yes. Good. No, down boy. No, Sparky, over there. Sit, good boy, no, don’t do that! (to audience) This is a project for science class. An experiment in altering mammal behavior. I’m teaching my dog to use a litter box. I mean, people think cats are so brilliant because they know how to sit on a pile of sand. But it’s dogs that dig people out of avalanches and earthquakes and sniff out drugs and explosives and help blind folks cross streets. I think that rates a little higher on the smartness scale than knowing how to squat in a box and purr. (turns to dog)


SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (male/female-comic). (Dialing phone.) Ooops, sorry, wrong number. I beg your pardon? Look, I said I was sorry! Do you talk like that to everyone, or do you brush your teeth with trash-o-dent? Hey, all I did was dial the wrong number, what is your problem? Talk about self-esteem issues, whoa! Yeh? Yeh? Yeh? No, but I’d love to hear you say that to my face! Okay, you’re on, boo-wah, for sheezy! At the food court in the mall, 7 p.m. Friday. I’ll be dressed all in black. Black on black with a dash of black for color. Yeh, my cheery spring wardrobe. See you there, if you dare! (hangs up) Wow, scoring dates is getting harder all the time!


CAMP CHALLENGE (male/female-comic). (Struggling to complete a sit-up.) My parents sent me off to this cool-sounding summer camp, Camp Challenge. I thought it was a camp where you learned chess and did some computer art design, a little jazz dance, you know, real challenges. Imagine my surprise when the counselors lined us up for Rope Climbing Over the Snakepit. And then Advanced Worm Swallowing. Looks like they’re lining us up for a rollicking session of Titanic Survivor. I’m going to play dead. Believe me, after three days at Camp Challenge, it won’t be hard! (falls back)

Synopses & Excerpts, cont.

STYLE POINTS (male-comic). (Looks in mirror, smooths hair, tweaks clothing.) Couple months ago, I started working on my style points. Know what I’m saying? Dressing a little better, a little more popular. And pretty soon, I see girls notice me, looking at me different than before, smiling even. And they notice I see them noticing. Which is way cool. Except now I have to figure out what to say when they want to talk!


JUST WIRED FUNNY (male-comic). They say kids my age have problems getting enough rest. Something about a change in sleep cycle rhythms. Here’s a sure-fire cure. Have your parents ask you to cut the grass. You’ll be comatose within seconds. Every time I’m supposed to cut the grass — or shovel snow or clean my room or sort clothes for washing — I feel the immediate and overwhelming need for a nap.

FIRST KISS (male-comic). There’s this whole mystery about your first kiss. You know, what it’s going to feel like when it happens with a girl you’ve thought about kissing for a while. I think it’s going to taste like a cheeseburger medium well done. Okay, with maybe a thin layer of barbecue sauce in the middle to keep it rich and tender, light but filling with a tangy aftertaste depending on what lipstick she’s using.


DREAM JOB (male-comic). And now that I’m on the verge of almost entering the minimum-wage teen work force, I’ve been thinking about my dream job: I’d like to work at a fireworks stand on the state highway. I’d be surrounded by hundreds of explosive devices slumbering peacefully in their cozy cardboard beds. Imagine the enormous concentration of propulsive power just snoozing under the rotting boards of that plywood shack! You’d meet lots of interesting people. Truck drivers and vagrants, maybe even real hobos with amazing life stories. And you’d test out some of the merchandise and shoot it off in the field behind the stand. Brrrwhaaaammmm! Sounds like a dream job to me!


TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE. . . (male-comic). Sometimes you can get more information about life than you really want. For instance, I drink about six cokes a day to maintain my DMR of CLV — that’s Daily Minimum Requirement of Carbonated Liquid Vitamins. Coke peps me up. Keeps me sharp, focused, alert and always smiling. Until yesterday. That’s when I saw an infomercial on TV where they used coke to clean a really rancid toilet bowl. I mean, this bad boy had more layers of crust than a deep-dish pizza! I thought, “if coke can eat through industrial-strength doo-doo, I wonder what it does to my stomach lining?” (shudders) Why is it the more I learn about life, the less I enjoy it?


PUT TOGETHER (male-comic). (Standing in front of mirror, inspecting hair and face.) Big dance tonight. I’ve got to get put together. Let’s see. I’ll part my hair in the middle this time, yeh, like the drummer in Korn. Wish I had sideburns like the guy on Smallville. Man, Wolverine really had some great chops in X-Men. Oh, wow, yeh, and then an earring in the right ear, a silver one with the cross just like the NBA all-star point guard wears, no, I got it — a rub-on tattoo of the new BioHazard CD cover on my forehead, dude, you are so perfectly put together! That’s what I like best about getting older: you finally can discover who you really are.


ACCORDION THERAPY (male-comic). I’ve got a secret. Promise you won’t tell a soul? If anyone found out, it would mean the end of my life as one of the cool kids in seventh grade. Okay. (whispers into friend’s ear) Oh, louder, okay. (loudly) I love my accordion. There, I said it! Ssshhh! Keep it down! I play drums with some guys in a little rock band, but you know what, I really love my accordion!


SEA STORY (male-comic). Gather round, lads and lassies, I’ll tell you a tale of the Seven Seas! We were in the North Atlantic headed from Nantucket to Liverpool, when we hit the granddaddy of all storms. There were clouds and fog, and the sky got as black as balled pitch. Not a thing could be seen; why, the sun didn’t come out for two weeks.


JOHN HENRY WAS A NATURAL MAN (male-dramatic). This is the story of a great American hero, John Henry. You all heard of John Henry! He was a natural man. He could drill more holes and drill ’em deeper than any other man on the railroad. Drill the holes, dynamite goes in — blammity-wham-blam! Tunnel comes through. That’s because John Henry was a natural man. Had a hammer in each hand and a mouthful of spikes. He’d spit out the spikes — thew! thew! — and swing those hammers down — whop! whop! — and pound down those ties just ahead of a steaming train.


SHORT END OF THE STICK (male-dramatic). Brian Mitchell was a kid in my summer camp last year. Meanness seemed to hang over him like a cloud. He made enemies faster than a tire makes tracks in mud. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when the last night, some kids snuck into camp with knives and ropes and beebee guns. They weren’t going to just scare Brian Mitchell. They were going to hurt him.


I WANTED TO PLAY (male-dramatic). (Winding up, practicing a baseball pitch.) Tomorrow is the last game of the season. If we win, we go to finals. And it’s my turn to pitch. (throws) Well, it was until today. Coach says he’s going to start Mickey Dobson, even though the whole summer, I’ve been a starter. If Mickey pitches, Coach’s son, Josh, gets to play centerfield and gets a chance to get one more hit and win the batting title. And win a digital camera from the team sponsor, Photo Maxx. Which my aunt says buys stuff from Coach’s advertising business, whatever. (goes into wind up, stares intensely at home plate, then sighs and relaxes) I joined Little League cause I wanted to play baseball. I didn’t do it to play games. That’s for grownups.


QUORUM (male/female-comic). Yo, people! Now that we have a quorum, maybe we should get down to business. All rise! The six hundred and twenty-ninth secret meeting of the Mighty Marvel Milkdud Avengers is called to order. (Stand at attention, hand over heart.) I pledge allegiance to the Milkduds, and to the chocolate goodness for which they stand. One candy, indivisible and chewy over all, so help my cavities, amen. Mighty! Marvel! Milkdud! Avengers! Rule! Forever! Can we skip the secret handshake? (Rub left arm.) I think I got poison ivy.


MY GOALS (male/female-comic). I didn’t have a single goal until I was nine-and-a-half. Then I got one — just a little, teeny practice goal. Which was to sample every flavor of ice cream that existed in the entire world. My life was transformed. I had direction! I had purpose! I had a goal!


SUMMER SURE GOES FAST (male/female-comic). Summer sure goes fast when you’re this age. We went to a state park for vacation. It was cool until my big brother ran into a bear. Got away, though. Lucky for the bear! So we came home and my Aunt Sally had her special meatloaf recipe printed in the newspaper. Then her oven caught fire, and her kitchen burned. Then she started dating one of the firemen, and they got married last week. It was a strange summer.


JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT (male/female-comic). Sometimes I look at older people like my parents, and I worry. Not about them, about me! About me growing up and becoming like them, which is to say, totally losing the ability to be spontaneous. Like jumping into a stream with your clothes on. Running barefoot in the snow. Puddle-stomping in the rain. Rolling around in the grass and babbling babba-da babba-da babba-da nonsense talk till you break out laughing for an hour.


YES, I AM A GENIUS (male/female-comic). I sometimes think I am a kind of genius with a real gift. Some days it’s a gift for painting. Other days for dancing. Yesterday it was for designing video games. Today it’s for playing three-dimensional chess, and tomorrow — who knows? I wonder if when you grow up and people know you’re a genius, they let you be one. . .


TONGUE TWISTER (male/female-comic). Hewo. . . jus gah mah tongue pierce. . . hurd a liddle. . . look priddy, huh? (opens mouth, grimaces) Oww! Mah parens gonna be surprise. . . they thoughd I was gonna ged a new pair shoes, ha-ha-ha — (laughs, then grimaces) Oww!


SO, WHAT’S UP WITH WIND? (male/female-comic). I am not a big fan of wind. You know, the thing that makes the air seem colder and blows stuff in your face — snow in the winter, rain in the summer — and always messes up your hair and snarls your clothes and makes everything just a big, whipping, flying-around mess. What’s up with wind, anyway? Why did God put it into the world? So it moves plant seeds from Point A to Point B to fertilize things, okay, don’t they have city workers for that?


MY ANGER JOURNAL (male/female-comic). The school counselor says I’m supposed to keep an “anger journal”. Whenever you start to feel angry about something — or somebody, usually, like the school counselor — you stop and write down what you’re angry about and why. (sighs) Okay, here goes. (writes) I am angry at having to keep a quote-unquote anger journal. I am angry that I can’t just be angry cause I feel like being angry. I am angry that I am wasting quality anger time on merely writing about anger, when I could be doing some of my favorite anger activities such as yelling, stomping, raging and seething.


SECRET POWER (male/female-comic). I’m not so worried about starting a new school this fall. I think I can handle it. Well, I dreamed I can handle it. Last night I dreamed I was eating in a restaurant with my dog, Picasso. I was having spaghetti and pancakes, and Picasso was having pork chops with macaroni, and this restaurant was at the top of a very tall building, two hundred stories high!


WORLDLY KNOWLEDGE (male/female-comic). I’ve just finished my first year of middle school. According to my report card, I didn’t get very high grades. As if mere grades could measure the true extent of my knowledge about the world! Hah! Middle school won’t tell you the way things really work in the universe. It won’t tell you there are forty-four million ways to make bingo on a single bingo card. It won’t tell you that rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. Or a shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes. That there are more chickens than people in the world, that a cat has thirty-two muscles in each ear, mosquitoes are more likely to bite if you’ve just eaten a banana and you won’t get new freckles after you’re twenty. Start laughing now, folks, cause in two seconds I’m going to forget everything I learned in school this year — including this!


HOTLINE (male/female-comic). (Answers phone.) Hello, you’ve reached the Hotline Hotline. The Hotline Hotline is a 24-hour service where you can talk to a real person about a problem for which there is no actual hotline, or because you just need to think you have a problem and want to talk about it with someone you believe is actually listening. The Hotline Hotline provides no referrals, counseling or any useful information whatever — unless babbling into the ear of a complete stranger is your idea of useful. But we’ll listen to you anyway because it’s a lonnnnnnng, slow Saturday night, and the Stuck-At-Home-Alone-Babysitting-Your-Baby-Brother-and-Sister Hotline is closed for the weekend. Have a nice day! (hangs up)


CRISIS OF FAITH (male/female-dramatic). I used to think God was there in church, physically right there, so close you could feel it, so close you almost see God standing next to the priest, guiding his hands as he raised the chalice and looking on with a kind, wise smile as the choir sang and everyone seemed happy, because for this little bit of time every week you felt that heaven could be right around the corner and the world was going to be okay, really okay with no more badness or evil people making things a mess. Now, it seems like God’s left the building. God’s gone missing. And I don’t know where to look.


WAY AHEAD OF EVERYBODY (male/female-dramatic). (Shouts.) Hey, retard! (Pause.) Retard! It’s just a word, right? It’s a word people use to describe my sister. It’s not a word that says how pretty she is. Or how kind she is. How nice a smile she has or how she loves to pet animals and make cookies and dance and draw pictures of butterflies. Nope, it’s a word that describes the relative speed of how fast or slow her mind works to do certain things — relative to “normal people”, quote-unquote. Slow, not stupid. Why is that a problem? I think it’s a bigger problem that people move too fast. They talk too fast, drive too fast, spend too fast, start wars and kill too fast, grow up and get unhappy too fast — I kind of like the idea of the world being just a little bit slower.

WALK AWAY (male/female-dramatic). Here’s my advice to you —walk away. Whatever they’re saying to bug you, just walk away. I know, I know, it’s easy to blame all your problems on ADD, it comes over you like a wave, you just have to fight. Not beat-people-up fight, but go-crazy fight because there’s so much stuff going on inside.


A CLIQUE OF ONE (male/female-dramatic). Clique. The dictionary defines a clique as “a small, exclusive group of people”. I would disagree with this definition on one important point: members of a clique are not “people”. They are demons from hell who have been given human form and put upon the earth for the sole purpose of making my life miserable. That’s right, I am the only student in my school who does not belong to a clique. Which, I suppose, would by definition make me a very small exclusive group and therefore, a Clique of One.


HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY (male/female-dramatic). Kinda bummed out. Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend. I don’t have any money for a present, so I thought I could at least get her a nice card. One of those fancy ones with flowers and ribbons and the mirror kinda thing on the front that shimmers when you hold it at different angles. The kind of card with the poetry inside. Cursive script and big words that say stuff you feel a lot better than you could ever say it. But all I can afford is a cheapo card that uses small words and plain type, just a couple of lines I could have written myself. I just wish I could buy better words. My mom deserves the best made-up words money can buy.


JUST NEED TO SHOW IT (male/female-dramatic). (Testily flips off iPod headphones.) Mom, it’s just a song! Millions of kids are buying it all over the world! How can you say it’s a bad song if you don’t know what the words mean? Do I know what they mean? Sure! Uhhh, well, that means, uhhh. . .


MY ME BOX (male/female-dramatic). This was our first day of middle school. The teacher gave us each a little cardboard box. She said this was a “Me Box”. And we were supposed to put things in the box that would tell everybody about who we were. Things we keep stored inside us that other people don’t see. Well, here’s my Me Box. (Mimes opening, presenting box.) Hmmm. . . what if I told you it was empty? Ha-ha! Teacher wouldn’t like that. . .

LABELS (male/female-dramatic). I heard this guy on TV last night talking about “undoing negative labels”. Labels that define you and limit you and keep you from being the person you want to be. Do you think he meant labels like mailing labels? That’s easy! Here, I’ll peel off this label called Grouchiness. (Mimes peeling a label from arm.) Zip! All gone! (Smiles widely.) I’m so perky!


CHANGING THE WORLD (male/female-dramatic). It feels a little weird to walk around every day thinking somebody — a person like you, maybe another kid just a little older — is thinking of a way to hurt you. With a bomb. Or some poison in your water. Or a disease that would give you a horrible painful death. Somebody who doesn’t even know you and has no personal reason to hate or want to hurt you but is doing it for a “cause”, like an assignment your teacher gives out for extra credit

A ROUTINE FORM (male/female-dramatic). They handed out a form at school today. A routine form, the teacher said. A voluntary form nobody had to fill it out, but everybody did, cause who wants to be the only nimrod sitting there drawing attention to your geeky insecure self by doing something different? So I sharpened my Number Two and looked at the first question: “What is your race?” It gave some sample races. None of them quite fit me. Except for the race called “Other”. So I checked “Other” and on the line below wrote “Human”. Then I looked around the room and had a mad thought. What if everybody else had checked “Other”? And written “Human” on the line below? It would be a very cool way to be different. . . by showing how we were all the same.


YOU’RE RIGHT, DAD (male/female-dramatic). You’re right, dad, I was wrong to steal that watch. Yes, dad, I knew I was going to get caught. You bet, dad, that was a really, really, really dumb thing to do. Uh-huh, I know, dad, it’s going to go on my permanent record. Right, dad, it isn’t fair to interrupt your day and pull you away from work. No, dad, I won’t embarrass you again. Say, dad, I have a question? How can you say you care about what I do with my future, if you don’t really care about what I’m doing now?


WHAT I SEE (male/female-dramatic). (Pointing, with eyes closed or wearing dark glasses.) Right. Yes, go right at the stop light, then turn left at the Quickie Check, then go over the hill a half mile to the flower stand and there’s a big green sign for Pennsauken and Route 130. It’s just after a two-story white house with a big gravel driveway. Huh? Well, just cause I’m blind doesn’t mean I don’t know where I am. I mean, you’re the one lost and asking directions, right? (Chuckles.)

LET IT ALL OUT (male/female-dramatic). Hi, I have Tourette Syndrome. (clears throat) That wasn’t it, I just have a sore throat today, hah, fooled you! Tourette Syndrome is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes involuntary tics and outbursts. You know how you’re always taught to think before you speak, right? (Shrieks.) I let it all out! I can’t help it! Tourette’s is like having a big bubble in your gut all the time. And the bubble keeps getting larger and larger, and you know that every second it stays inside it’s just going to grow until you’re going to explode! (Makes noises like a chain saw.) But I don’t think of myself as disabled. I think the people who laugh at me and mock me are the disabled ones. Handicapped. Truly brain-damaged. And the really sad thing is, they aren’t always kids.


IT’S ALL ABOUT NUMBERS (male/female-dramatic). (Holds revolver.) Numbers. It’s all about numbers. (puts bullet into gun chamber) The average American child witnesses 8,000 media murders and 100,000 other acts of video violence before he or she finishes elementary school. Thirty-nine percent more American teens die each year from gunshots than from disease. (Puts bullet into gun chamber.) It’s all about numbers. (Puts bullet into gun chamber, snaps chamber shut.) A police officer is killed by guns every five days, an American child every two hours. (Points gun at audience.) Welcome to America, 21st century, where it’s more dangerous to be a child than a policeman.


MY ROOM MINE (male/female-dramatic). (Mimes opening door warily.) I think the day I officially became a pre-teen — as opposed to a regular little kid — was the day I closed the door to my bedroom. At first it was just when I was studying. And then maybe when I had a friend over. Then it was when I went to sleep and finally, I started keeping the door closed even when I was alone. Especially when I was alone. I don’t know. For the first time in my life I felt — embarrassment? No, I wasn’t doing anything bad, I just needed a little world that wasn’t any part of my parents. A little world that I can open. . . and shut. (Mimes closing door.)

GO ’BUSTERS! (male/female-dramatic). I wish we’d never moved here. I hate this school. I hate the kids, I hate the teachers. I hate the name, Sunnyvale Middle School. I especially hate the school mascot name, Sodbusters. (Mimics cheer.) “Go, ’Busters! Go, ’Busters!” Major hick-wad! And these kids make fun of the way I talk! The way I dress! It’s like I landed on some weird planet — Planet Yee-Haw! — and the only way to survive is to pretend I’m not me. Well, I can do that. I’ve done it the other times we moved. But someday, I want to live some place I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I’m not. I just want to be me. Whoever that is.


DAD VS. STEP-DAD (male/female-dramatic). My step-dad thinks I hate him. No, that’s not right, not exactly. He just thinks I don’t love him. And that’s not right, either. It’s just that I still love my dad. Even though he did some pretty bad things to mom a few years ago, and it’s my step-dad that works and supports our family. I’m grateful for that, and he’s a really good guy. But just because Mom won’t forgive dad, it’s like I’m supposed to not forgive him, too. I wish I didn’t have to prove who I love by choosing somebody to hate.


WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THEATRE (male/female-dramatic). I love acting in our drama club! I get to be in every show. And I get lots of attention, because I always play the roles that get lots of laughs, what they call “character” roles. The fat person. The dumb person. The dorky person that falls down and drops stuff all the time or speaks in a silly accent and has really bad hair and stupid clothes. That’s what I love about theatre. You can pretend to be a different person every time. But someday, just once, I’d like to be a character people don’t laugh at.


AMPLE REWARD (male/female-dramatic). I just found out my parents had planned to have me aborted. Dealing with a baby was going to be too big a hassle. But they changed their minds, and here I am. I haven’t asked them about it yet. What do I say? “Hey, mom, thanks for the ride to soccer practice and, oh, thanks for not killing me in the womb!” Or “It’s okay, dad, someday I’ll become a rich executive and amply reward your investment in my life.”


WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM FOR YOU? (male/female-dramatic). Today was an interesting day. It was the first day in school this entire year I didn’t get called a name. No one in class said, “Shut up, nobody wants to hear your gay voice!” And walking through the halls, I didn’t hear anyone say “That is so gay!” about somebody’s clothes or hair style or backpack. I don’t know whether over the weekend the kids here suddenly decided bigotry is uncool, or whether they just got tired of hassling me cause I don’t fight back.


WE’RE NOT THE ENEMY (male/female-dramatic). As you can tell from looking at me, I’m not very comfortable with all this “terrorism” talk. I was two years old when my parents came to America. I don’t speak English with an accent, except what I got from Sesame Street and Sponge Bob. Foreigners, huh? This auditorium we’re sitting in now — my dad’s the architect who designed it. The clinic on Maple Street where you go to get your checkups and measles shots — my mom’s the assistant manager. Remember state lacrosse finals? My sister led the team in goals. We’re as much a part of this town as your family. We’re not enemies of democracy any more than you are.


HANDLE WITH PRAYER (male/female-dramatic). My grandmother is dying. The doctors said she could stop taking her medicine, that it wasn’t going to do anything any more. (Sighs.) I know God doesn’t send out miracles by Federal Express. I know there’s not a magic number of prayers you can say to make a miracle happen. I know that praying is all about belief, that a miracle could happen if you believe — but it won’t ever happen if you don’t. So I don’t pray for this miracle or that. I just pray to keep believing. Because every day older I get, I’m seeing that life doesn’t come with guarantees. Life is fragile. The best thing to do is handle it with prayer.


I LIKE MY LABEL (male/female-dramatic). Labels. You walk down the halls of this middle school, and it’s like every kid is wearing a big fat label on their forehead. Jock. Geek. Hot Babe. Plain Jane. White. Minority. Punk. Gay. Some superficial identity other kids have stuck on you. Even the teachers talk about it and warn us of the dangers of stereotyping, Columbine and all that. But you know what? I like my label.


HAVE YOU SEEN ME? (male/female-dramatic). Have you seen me? I’m a missing child. My photograph has been posted by the National Center for Missing and Ignored Children. That’s when your parents ignore you and treat you like you don’t exist. Because they’re too busy with their job and their (Makes quote sign.) “issues” to notice what’s happening in your life.


WHAT IF? (male/female-dramatic). My family went on a vacation to New York City this summer. As you can imagine, we saw a lot of really cool sights, like the big cathedral right on Fifth Avenue. We’re not Catholic or anything, but this place is amazing! Talk about huge, it’s, like, an entire city block!


A TURN TO SWEEP (male/female-dramatic). (Sweeping with a broom.) Hi! No, I’m not part of the crew, I’m an actor. The lead, actually, in the play opening tonight. I know, actors don’t usually sweep up backstage, stage hands do that. This is a school tradition, I guess you’d call it. The way I heard it, a few years ago at the old theatre, there was a student here named Sam. People thought he was kind of a dweeb. Even for theatre kids, he was a super-geek. Nobody paid him any attention, just ordered him around, expected him to do all the grunt work. And he was so eager to please, he did it all. One night, during final rehearsal, an iron caught fire in the dressing room.

INQUIRING MINDS (male/female-comic). (Clears throat, reads from paper.) Here is my Current Events Report on a Hot News Topic of Today Vitally Affecting the Lives of American Youth: “What does the Queen of England carry in her purse?” Every time you see her, she always carries a purse completely coordinated with her royal outfit. What’s really inside? World security hangs in the balance! Inquiring minds want to know!


TRUE WISDOM (male/female-comic). Yes, as a matter of fact, little brother, I do know everything! For somebody my age, I know quite a lot about the world. Because I listen. Lis-ten! That’s the way you acquire true wisdom beyond your years. Like the early bird that catches the silk purse in sheep’s clothing. When you get to be my age, this will all become as clear as shallow water running skin deep. Until then, you’d best leave the serious thinking to your elder sibling. Better safe than sorry over spilled moss!


WITH YOU GUYS ALWAYS (male/female-dramatic). (Takes a harmonica from pocket.) When I started fooling around with this, it was just to take my mind off things. Off my transplant that was supposed to happen this fall. (Toots loudly on harmonica.) They told me there wasn’t enough time to get good. And after a whole summer, I can still barely play Old MacDonald once through without losing it! But I wasn’t ignoring you guys. But I knew I’d run out of time. Then it hit me. You guys have time. You’ve got plenty of time. You can learn to play this crazy thing. And whenever you play it, you’ll be thinking of me. Of us. That way, I can be with you guys. Always. (Toots softly on harmonica.) Even if it’s inside this little piece of plastic and tin.


DIAMONDS IN THE SNOW (male/female-dramatic). Last Christmas I saw a miracle. My mom was in the hospital, and I was sent to stay with my Grandma who lives out in the country, way out in the woods. “Do you know about the diamonds?” she asked. “What diamonds?” I answered. She said that when it snows on Christmas Eve, you’re supposed to look for diamonds in the snow. “Diamonds in the snow are the footsteps of where an angel is walking,” she said. “And if you see them glitter, a miracle is happening right before your eyes.” I laughed and figured that’s the way old people talk when they think you’re still a little kid. Besides, it was almost 60 degrees with clear skies, no White Christmas this year. But that night I woke up to a wild flurry of whistling wind. I looked out the window at a thin sheet of silvery, sparkling snow covering the ground. There were diamonds everywhere!


UP AND AWAY (male/female-dramatic). (Mime steering wheel motions, hands at 2 and 10 position.) Can’t wait to get my license. Oh yeh! Watch me cruise! Eeeyyyooom! (Quick right turn downward, then straightens wheel pulling up and forward on wheel.) No, not driver license! Pilot license! I’ve been taking lessons the past year, and I can fly solo when I’m sixteen.


EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR (male/female-dramatic). I live in one of those families where there always seems to be a lot of what our therapist calls “expressive behavior”. You know. . . shouting, screaming, kicking, biting, punching, strangling, stomping, breaking fingers and throwing down the basement stairs into the concrete retaining wall. And that’s just when my dad is sober.


DOWNLOAD (male/female-dramatic). Mom, dad! You act like I just killed somebody! Or shoplifted from the supermarket, or-or-or cheated on an exam! All I did was put one little file in one part of my computer over to another part. A very little, tiny part. Then I listened to it. Cause it was a music file, and it was made to be listened to, otherwise why would they make it and put it on the computer?

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