Scene Detail

"Amazing what you can convince a man to do if you just let him ride you and ring your bell every now and then."

From: Emigrant Theater Play Date
9 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male Adult: Any Age DEXTER, the Stage Direction Reader
Female Adult: Any Age KELSEE (Mermaid #1)
Either Adult: Any Age MONKEY (Brian)
Female Adult: Any Age BICYCLE
Male 50s GERRY
Male 50s REYNOLDS
Male Adult: Any Age HAMILTON
Female Adult: Any Age ARIEL (Mermaid #2)
Female Adult: Any Age MANATEE
 
Setup:
With a first scene adapted from Moliere's "The Forced Marriage," the play then branched out in two possible directions. There were no rules, no boundaries, no specifications. Each of those options in turn branched off into two more options and so on until each of ten playwrights had contributed three scenes, for a total of 30 scenes and sixteen possible plot strands, all based off of the same beginning point.

This is scene 4E. In the scenes that preceded it...

Scene 1 - Moliere, adapted by Matt DiCintio

Two men in their 50s meet on a stone bridge over a river in a large city. Reynolds, on his bicycle, declares that he intends to be wed, but first must find his bride. Gerry, his friend, thinks this is ridiculous at his age, but agrees to watch the bike, as he enjoys ringing the bell. Reynolds leaps into the river in search of true love.

Scene 2B - by Kimberly Burke

With the help of a manatee, Reynolds is guided out to sea and the lost city of Atlantis, where he meets two mermaids - a dim one (mermaid #1), and a smarter one named Ariel (mermaid #2). While the stage direction reader flirts with mermaid #1, Reynolds and Ariel try to come to an understanding about possible marriage and the bearing of children. The stage direction reader and mermaid #1 sneak off to make out, the mermaids' father Neptune, god of the sea, makes an ominous approach. Reynolds must decide whether to hide or run.

Scene 3C - by Jordan Harrison

Neptune, Ariel, Reynolds and the Manatee engage in a conversation made up entirely of rumbles. Meanwhile, mermaid #1 (Kelsee) convinces the stage direction reader (Dexter) to return to his duties and save the play. And meanwhile back on the stone bridge over the river, Gerry turns to the bicycle and asks, "Will you marry me?"
 

Scene

copyright 2005 by Matthew A. Everett


Scene 4E


SCENE 4E - In which Gerry and the Bicycle debate the true nature of love and Gerry must battle for her affections with a homeless man - the mermaids return with Reynolds, and things become very complicated because of a monkey. Yes, a monkey.

A stone bridge over a river in a large city.

Morning.


GERRY

Well?

BICYCLE

You expect me to answer that? Seriously?

GERRY

Why else would I ask?

BICYCLE

To hear yourself talk, would be my guess.

GERRY

I'm sincere.

GERRY reaches out to ring the bell.


BICYCLE

Hands off the bell, Charlie.

GERRY

Gerry.

BICYCLE

Whatever. Men earn that privilege.

GERRY

But it's so shiny. And the tone --

BICYCLE

Or they don't.

GERRY

Oh all right. At least have the common decency to answer my question.

BICYCLE

Your friend told you he was off in search of true love, off to find a wife and what do you do? He jumps off the bridge into the water and you spit on him.

GERRY

Not on him exactly.

BICYCLE

You called him ridiculous.

GERRY

Well, you have to admit, jumping into the water like that --

BICYCLE

You called him ridiculous before he even hit the water.

GERRY

He was all set to be married and he hadn't even met anyone yet.

BICYCLE

The greatest of man's follies?
Why burden yourself with the heaviest of chains?
Who exactly do you think planted that idea in his head?

GERRY

You? You convinced him to seek true love and get married?

BICYCLE

Amazing what you can convince a man to do if you just let him ride you and ring your bell every now and then.

GERRY reaches out again.


BICYCLE (cont'd)

Ah ah.
I'll have you know my chain is well-oiled and lighter than a feather. Not that you'll ever know.

GERRY

But you see, he was searching for a woman. I --

BICYCLE

Yeah, what is with that exactly? I get him all primed and ready and then he goes off in search of a fish?

GERRY

A woman.

BICYCLE

You're one of those guys who only reads the scenes he has lines in, aren't you? Typical.

GERRY

What are you -- ?

BICYCLE

Long story. Look it up. Meantime, explain to me why I'm not first on the list? I thought you guys loved your gadgets. Is it because I'm not this year's model? You all get distracted by the latest shiny object?

GERRY

I'm offering to --

BICYCLE

What, exactly?

GERRY

We could see the world together.

BICYCLE

I'm exhausted already.

GERRY

Where's your sense of adventure?

BICYCLE

Who do you think's going to be carrying most of the weight in this relationship?

GERRY

Well --

BICYCLE

Uh huh. Well, let me tell you, buster brown --

GERRY

Gerry.

BICYCLE

Whatever. Just because I'm not a flesh and blood woman, doesn't mean you get off easy. I'll have you know I am a very high maintenance piece of machinery.

GERRY

And you wonder why he jumped off a bridge?

HAMILTON, a homeless man, appears.


HAMILTON

My God, you're beautiful!

GERRY

Why thank you.

BICYCLE

Not you, Clyde.

GERRY

Gerry.

BICYCLE

Whatever. There's a man who knows how to treat a lady. Get over here, big boy.

HAMILTON begins to caress the bicycle.

A MONKEY enters, dragging a hurdy-gurdy along behind him, taking in the scene between the men and the bicycle.


GERRY

But I was willing to marry you.

BICYCLE

To make your own life easier.

GERRY

You think he'll demand less of you?

BICYCLE

He'll more than compensate me for my pains.

HAMILTON

I'll polish your seat.

BICYCLE

Reynolds left and didn't look back.

HAMILTON

I'll shine your rims.

BICYCLE

You're just feeling lonely.

HAMILTON

I'll wash your spokes.

BICYCLE

This is real commitment.

HAMILTON

I'll patch every rupture.

BICYCLE

You're gonna be spending your golden season humping your fist, sweetie. Get used to it.

HAMILTON

You will never want for air.

GERRY

Well, I'm sorry, but you're not going anywhere with it.

BICYCLE

IT? Ha! He'll fight you for me.

HAMILTON

I will.

BICYCLE

Go ahead and ring the bell, big boy. You've earned it.

HAMILTON rings the bell.


GERRY

You brazen hussy.

BICYCLE

He needs me, Gerry.

GERRY

Gerr -- oh.

BICYCLE

You have a car.

GERRY

Two, actually.

BICYCLE

Precisely my point. So does Reynolds. You won't miss me, either of you. Look at the shoes on his feet.

GERRY

He doesn't have any.

BICYCLE

I can lift his feet off the ground for a while. I can be his home. Do you need me like that?

GERRY

No.

BICYCLE

Let me go, Gerry.

GERRY

May I? One last time?

BICYCLE

Oh, all right.

GERRY rings the bell. Shivers.


BICYCLE (cont'd)

Now?

GERRY

Go.

HAMILTON

Thanks, man.

HAMILTON and the BICYCLE go.

GERRY watches them disappear.

After a moment, the MONKEY speaks.


MONKEY

I'll marry you.

GERRY

Excuse me?

MONKEY

Sorry. Should have introduced myself. The name's Brian.

GERRY

Gerry.

MONKEY

Pleased to meet you. So, what about it?

GERRY

About?

MONKEY

Marriage. You, me.

GERRY

To be honest, I'm surprised I'm even talking to you, much less --

MONKEY

Didn't take you for a bigot.

GERRY

See here --

MONKEY

A minute ago you were proposing marriage to a bicycle. I thought at the very least you were open-minded. Perhaps even desperate.

GERRY

Well, now I really want to marry you.

MONKEY

Marriage of convenience only.

GERRY

Oh really.

MONKEY

Well, unless you like a monkey on your back.

GERRY

For whom exactly would this union be convenient?

MONKEY

Look, my organ grinder died a week ago. I can't reach the handle on this thing. A cute face only goes so far in panhandling without a little music to dance to. Without the music, honestly, I just look like I'm having a seizure. It's off-putting to potential supporters of the arts.

GERRY

So you want me to turn your crank.

MONKEY

Well, when you put it that way --

GERRY

So what do I get out of it?

MONKEY

Something to pass the time. Companionship.

GERRY

I'm an extremely busy man.

MONKEY

Uh huh.

GERRY

I have friends. Human friends.

MONKEY

Again with the bigotry.

GERRY

You're very thin-skinned for a marsupial.

MONKEY

There's no need to be insulting. I'll simply take the monstrosity and be on my way. Not everyone is immune to my charms, you know.

And so the dragging of the hurdy-gurdy begins anew.


GERRY

Wait.

More dragging.


GERRY (cont'd)

Brian. Please.

MONKEY

Yes?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch --


GERRY and MONKEY

What the -- ?

DEXTER (THE STAGE DIRECTION READER)

Sorry. Always wanted to say that. In fact, it reads --

Suddenly KELSEE the slow-witted mermaid --


KELSEE (MERMAID 1)

Hey!

Suddenly Kelsee, the extremely beguiling vixen of the deep --


KELSEE (MERMAID 1)

Attaboy.

(to GERRY and MONKEY)

Pays to have well-connected friends.

Suddenly -- !


KELSEE (MERMAID 1)

Back at it.

Suddenly, KELSEE the mermaid rockets out of the water and lands on the stone bridge beside GERRY and Brian, the MONKEY, floundering about like a fish out of --


KELSEE, GERRY & MONKEY

Don't say it.

DEXTER (THE STAGE DIRECTION READER)

Fine.

They all wait.

For what seems like an eternity.


KELSEE

Drying out over here.

And still they wait.


KELSEE

Fine.

-- fish out of water. When suddenly, who should come back around but --


HAMILTON

Hey! Fish for dinner!

BICYCLE

You don't honestly think that's going to fit in the basket, do you?

KELSEE

Not very hospitable here on land, is it?

BICYCLE

I have a large rack but a small basket, that's all I'm saying. And I'm not the only one.

HAMILTON and GERRY

Hey!

BICYCLE

Size doesn't matter. Really.

HAMILTON

Up you go.

KELSEE

Dexter!

HAMILTON

Lemon sauce. Melted butter. Tender fillets of softy flaky pink--

KELSEE

Dexter!

HAMILTON

Off we go.

BICYCLE

Easy for you to say.

And so, Hamilton pedals away to make a meal of the mermaid.


KELSEE

Dexter!

DEXTER (THE STAGE DIRECTION READER)

Oh. Hey!

Dexter runs off to save the best piece of tail --


KELSEE

Hey!

Dexter runs off.


GERRY

Well, now we're in it.

MONKEY

So, about the marriage proposal -- ?

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

So we have to do everything ourselves?

REYNOLDS

It would appear so, my love.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

Just as suddenly, Ariel the other mermaid and Reynolds resurface.

GERRY

Reynolds!

REYNOLDS

Gerry! I'd like you to meet -- uh --

GERRY

Wow.

MONKEY

You said it.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

Eyes up here, buddy.

REYNOLDS

-- my new friend -- uh --

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

Ariel.

REYNOLDS

Ariel.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

He's got it. Keep up.

GERRY

She looks familiar.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

So you've seen my sister?

GERRY

Yes. I'm afraid a homeless man intends to scale her and have her for dinner.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

See, I told you. Dad doesn't think. He doesn't like her dating an actor, so what does he do? Toss her on shore. And he thinks she's not going to get eaten? No one thinks ahead.
No one thinks ahead.
No -- one -- thinks --

MANATEE

Still waiting for my cue.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

We have to do our own now.

MANATEE

I surface.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

Third person omniscient narrator.

MANATEE

The manatee surfaces. And spies Brian the Monkey.
Say...

MONKEY

Hey there, fish flakes.

MANATEE

Come to the edge of the water often?

MONKEY

Not often enough, apparently.

GERRY

Hey.

MONKEY

Oh, now you're interested?

GERRY

I thought we were - in discussions.

MONKEY

Talk's cheap. I'm not.

GERRY

He doesn't have opposable thumbs.

MANATEE

Any thumbs, truth be told.

MONKEY

Oh.
Perhaps I could entertain a change of career.

MANATEE

I could evolve.

MONKEY

For me?

MANATEE

What other incentive would I need?

MONKEY

You're dreamy.

ARIEL (MERMAID #2)

Uh, guys? What do you suggest we do to keep my sister from becoming a combo platter?

REYNOLDS

Hey. Where's my bike?




copyright 2005 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
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