From Brett

Please Pass the Carrots

One of my fond experiences was directing/acting for college theater. In my course, I was given 10 minute plays to direct, but I had to choose material by David Mamet and other ‘classic’ playwrights. Reading through those plays were agonizing… they didn’t capture my attention. I wanted something fresh and new… I first started to direct Monty Python skits and then others chose similar material. I wanted to be original, so switched things up and began to write my own. The first short I wrote was lack-luster. The instructor said I couldn’t direct my own work because I couldn’t view it through an objective lens. I knew what he was talking about, but didn’t really care. I just wanted to make my own stuff… I was motivated and wrote another play, but this time, I used an Alias: ‘Art Hugh’. ‘Art’ because of my love for art and ‘Hugh’ because that’s my middle name.

After our performance, the class cheered. The instructor even complimented on how entertaining it was… I later told him that I wrote it. He smiled and told me that I could continue to write while I took his course… he even asked if he could use it in a series of shorts he wanted to produce. To this day, I haven’t changed much. I still try to push the limits to where I want to see things go.

Below is the play “Please Pass the Carrots” written by “Art Hugh”. It’s a sit-com format set around a dead dog named Meaty. Enjoy.

PLEASE PASS THE CARROTS

by Art Hugh

Characters:
Bill Horrace (father)
Margie Horrace (mother)
Sally Horrace (daughter)
Kimmy Whithers (neighbor)

SCENE I

Lights fade in. The scene is set in the Horrace family’s dinning room. Sally and Kimmy are seated in the middle and Margie is sitting at one of one of the heads of the table. On the floor is a bundle of fluff. This is Meaty, their dog. Their home is located right next to train tracks and occasionally, you hear a train roaring through their neighborhood. Bill enters the scene. He’s coming from work. There is a train whistle and the noise of its passing shakes the Horrace home.

Bill: Wow… The 715 is early tonight… (goes to wife and kisses her) Hello dear, sorry I’m late, but I have a good reason to be…

Margie: It’s allright, we haven’t started yet.

Kimmy: Hi Mr. Horrace.

Bill: (sits) Hello Kimmy. Honey, you’ll never guess what happened to me today at work. Do you remember my division manager, Mr. Finny?

Margie: (thinking) Mr. Finny… You know, his name sure rings a bell.

Bill: We had him and his wife over for dinner a few months ago.

Margie: Oh yes. I remember him. Wasn’t he the one that yelled profanities at our dog for not coming when he called it?

Bill: That’s the one.

Margie: What about him?

Bill: Well… he’s dead.

Margie: What?

Bill: He’s dead. He choked on a ham sandwich while cussing at his goldfish for not swimming the way he wanted it to… Real tragedy…

Margie: Oh my god, that’s awful!

Bill: Yes, it is… Poor fellow… (excited) But now, thanks to that sandwich and his fish, you are now looking at the new division manager for A.W. Shucks Socks Mending Company!

Margie: Oh! Congratulations dear! I knew you could do it!

Sally: Congratulations daddy!

Kimmy: Great job Mr. Horrace!

Bill: That’s right! Now I’ll have my own desk, I’ll be treated with a little bit more respect and who knows, maybe, one day, Mr. Johnson, the President of the company, will drop dead from an infectious wound or something.

Margie: If we could only be so lucky. (gets up and clears table)

Bill: A man can dream, can’t he?

Margie: He sure can dear… (kisses him on his head)

Bill: Now that I have this new position of manager… “Manager”… I like the sound of that… Now that I have this new position of “Manager”, I’ll be making a whole lot more money than I did before and we’ll be able to afford more elegant silliness… like…

Sally: Like a pool?

Bill: Even better Sally.

Kimmy: Like a petting zoo where you can pet llamas and chipmunks?

Bill: Uh… no, not like a petting zoo…

Kimmy: (disappointment) Oh.

Bill: No… I want to get something much better than that… What I want to do is to pack up our things and move to a brand spanking new house in that ritzy city about five miles down the road!

Margie: You mean…

Bill: That’s right Margie! I want us to be rich snobs!

Margie: Oh Bill! (hugs him) I’m so happy!

Bill: It’ll be great! We’ll start from scratch and only buy the finest stuff for our new home!

Kimmy: Wow!

Bill: We’ll even get some of that rich people food… Like fish eggs, or something.

Margie: Fish eggs!

Kimmy: Wow Mr. Horrace! Fish eggs!

Bill: That’s right Kimmy… Fish eggs for everybody! We’ll be able to buy a maid that can’t speak a lick of English, we’ll buy a naked lady statue for our front yard and we’ll even buy some stinky cheese that we won’t eat, but just to have handy so we can say that we have some stinky cheese!

Margie: Stinky cheese!

Kimmy: Wow Mr. Horrace! Stinky cheese!

Bill: And Sally, remember that hair scrunchy that you wanted me to buy for you? Well, I’ll have enough money to buy you four or even five of those scrunchies… What do you say to that?

Sally: (looking depressed) Great daddy.

Margie: What’s wrong Sally? You don’t seem to happy for your father.

Sally: I’m happy for daddy, but it’s just that…

Bill: What is it dear?

Sally: Well… It’s Meaty.

Margie: The dog?

Bill: What about Meaty dear?

Sally: Lately, Meaty hasn’t been acting like his usual self. All he does is lie around the house and won’t even come when I call him. He doesn’t even lick himself in his no-no spot like he used to.

Kimmy: Maybe Meaty has worms. Once, my cat had worms and he acted really different. He ran wild aroung the house. My mom got rid of him and now we have a parakeet…

Bill: Meaty is fine honey, maybe he’s just doing some inner self examination at this point in his life. He probably just needs to be left alone right now.

Sally: I don’t think it’s that daddy. Meaty has been in the same spot for the last week and he hasn’t moved at all.

Margie: Honey, call Meaty over so Sally won’t worry anymore.

Bill: Sure… Meaty! Come ‘ere boy! (whistles… there is no response) Meaty? Now where is that dog?

Sally: He’s right over there daddy… Lying near the stove.

Margie: How cute. He’s trying to stay warm.

Bill: Meaty, come ‘ere boy!

Kimmy: Here Meaty…

Margie: Meaty? (they all begin to call the dog except for Sally)

Sally: See? I told you something was wrong with Meaty. He’s been like that for the last week. He just lays there.

Kimmy: Maybe he’s meditating… My Auntie Helen can meditate for three hours without even blinking… My dad calls her the freak of our family.

Margie: Dogs don’t meditate dear.

Kimmy: Oh.

Bill: Meaty? Are you allright?

Margie: Go pet him dear.

Bill: I don’t know if I should.

Kimmy: It’s allright Mr. Horrace, you rarely get worms through contact.

Sally: See if Meaty is allright daddy, please?

Bill: Ok… (goes and checks Meaty. with horror he stands erect) OH MY GOD! THAT DOG IS DEAD! MEATY IS DEAD!

Margie: What?

Sally: Meaty? No! Not Meaty!

Bill: HE’S DEAD! OH MY GOD!

Kimmy: I’m in the same room with something that is dead? (gets out of her chair and runs to side of room opposite of Meaty)

Bill: How long has he been there?

Sally: For a week.

Margie: I was wondering why whenever I stepped on him, he didn’t whine.

Kimmy: Oh my god! I can’t believe I’ve been coming over here with a dead dog just lying on the floor!

Sally: I’ve been playing with a dead dog?

Bill: IT MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF THOSE DAMNED TRAINS! (poking Meaty with spatula) Poor Meaty.

Margie: And I just thought he was being finicky with his food.

Kimmy: (on the phone) Dad, come pick me up… The Horrace family has a dead dog in their kitchen… That’s right, it’s Meaty. He’s been dead for a week… Yes, a week… uh huh…

Bill: What are we going to do with him?

Margie: I guess we’re supposed to bury him.

Bill: I’m not burring it.

Sally: Daddy!

Margie: Bill! We can’t have a dead dog lying on our kitchen floor.

Kimmy: You people are sick! I can’t believe you didn’t even know you had a dead dog in your house.

Bill: I’ll bury it, but I’m not doing it alone.

Kimmy: I’m not going to help you! I read that if you even breath the same air as a dead thing, you can get some bacteria that grows in your stomach and then eats you from the inside out.

Sally: I’ll help you daddy.

Bill: Get my shovel.

Sally: Ok daddy… (goes out of room to fetch a shovel)

Margie: Where are you going to bury Meaty?

Bill: In the backyard somewhere.

Margie: But I just planted flowers back there… Let’s not bury him there honey.

Bill: Then where should we bury him?

Margie: How about Mr. William’s house next door. He’s pretty old and never goes into his garden. We’ll bury Meaty there and we’ll be able to visit him often while still keeping our yard nice and pretty.

Bill: Sure dear.

Sally: (coming back in room with a shovel) Here you go daddy.

Bill: Thank you Sally…

Kimmy: I think I’m getting sick.

Bill: Ok… (prepares to scoop up Meaty)

Margie: I’ll get the door…

Sally: I can’t watch.

Kimmy: I can feel the bacteria growing in my stomach now… I feel nauseous.

Bill: Here we go Meaty… (takes shovel and scoops Meaty up)

Sally: Is it over?

Bill: I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST SCOOPED UP A DEAD DOG! OH MY GOD!

Margie: Good job dear… You’re almost there…

Sally: Is it over?

Bill: THIS IS NOT WHAT I HAD IN MIND WHEN I GOT HOME TODAY! (begins to move Meaty around near the two girls)

Kimmy: Aaaah!

Sally: Ewwwwe!

Bill: THIS IS CRAZY! I’M WALKING WITH DEAD MEATY ON THIS SHOVEL! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! (trips over chair and accidentally flings Meaty on the kitchen table) HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD!

Sally: DADDY!

Margie: Bill, you just threw Meaty on our table.

Bill: I CAN SEE THAT MARGIE!

Kimmy: I’m never coming over here again…

Margie: BILL! GET MEATY OFF THE TABLE! IT’S UNSANITARY!

Bill: DO YOU THINK THAT WAS INTENTIONAL?!

Margie: BILL!

Bill: Sally, get over here and hold up Meaty…

Sally: Daddy?

Margie: Go help your dad dear.

Bill: NOW! (Sally goes to Meaty and holds him up with a spatula)

Kimmy: Sally, I’m seriously questioning our friendship… (holds stomach) Oh my god, I think I have an alien about to jump out!

Margie: GET HIM OFF THE TABLE BILL!!! HE’S GOING TO RUIN MY PLACE MATS!

Bill: I’M GOING AS FAST AS I CAN!

Margie: WELL, GO FASTER!

Kimmy: Oh boy! You’re all going to get some serious diseases!

Bill: HOLD HIM SALLY! (Sally begins to cry) Here we go Meaty…(picking up Meaty once again) MY GOD! THIS IS DISGUSTING!

Margie: Over here dear… Now watch your step… Watch it… (Meaty is swung close to Margie) I SAID WATCH IT DAMMMIT!

Bill exits with Margie following behind. The two girls go to the door to watch. There is a short pause. We hear a train whistle blow and then a crunch. Meaty has been run over by yet another train.

Margie: (offstage) MEATY!!!

Sally: MEATY!!!

Bill: MY GOD! YOU DAMNED TRAINS! ARE YOU SO BLOOD THIRSTY THAT YOU MUST STRIKE TWICE? MARGIE, PACK YOUR BAGS… WE’RE LEAVING THIS HOUSE TONIGHT!

Kimmy: I’m going to puke.

Lights fade out with the sound of a train roaring by.

END OF SCENE I

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