JONNY STRANGER

2 DREAMS, 2 CRIMES, AND AN OPERATION

#1: FIRE AND FAT

SOUND = THE HOWLING OF A WOLF

CRIMINAL
I dream.

DETECTIVE
I dream.

CRIMINAL
I dream that I am burn victim.

DETECTIVE
I dream that I am fat.

CRIMINAL
I dream in red (fire engine).

DETECTIVE
I dream in blue (little boy).

CRIMINAL
I'm burnt.

DETECTIVE
I'm huge.

CRIMINAL
You wouldn't notice the scars unless you saw me naked.
The burn is from my nipples to my ankles.

DETECTIVE
I weigh nine-hundred pounds
and work for a guy named Dick
at a circus side show
the freak show
of Coney Island
The man in the hat
describes me as fat

CURIOSITY
Come inside and see the Mighty Mattilda
the fattest girl in the whole wide world
nine-hundred and ninety-nine pounds
It takes ten men to hug her
and a boxcar to lug her

CRIMINAL
The burns are to the degree of three
Stop sign red and nasty looking

DETECTIVE
I'm so hungry that I could eat my arm.

CRIMINAL
nobody knows my scorching secret
nobody has seen my scars
my scarlet scars
my body suit
of fried flesh
my red that
reads each
spasm
my
basted
broiled, baked
and blistered flesh
that feeds the passing
moments pain in the key of memory

DETECTIVE
Memory.
All alone in the sunshine.
Sunshine daydream in the nightmare's wake.
I wish I could. I would pinch myself-

CURIOSITY
-If you could find yourself.

DETECTIVE
I'm naked on the beach
standing in the sand
reading Camus
and listening to the Cure
all alone in a crowd of people
they cackle and giggle
and snicker and sneer
in a mob mentality
like frat boys on beer
I sink in the sand
rolls upon rolls upon rolls of flesh
I sink and stink
It's almost impossible
It is impossible for me to
wash between the folds of flesh
without your help
who ever you are
where ever you are
If you are-
If you-
If-

SOUND = LAUGHTER

CRIMINAL
I put a very special medicated cream on my giant scar
The stuff helps. It seems to bring out the red.
It makes my skin look like a cheeseless pizza.
I put it on fourteen-hundred and ninety-two
times each hour. It's a bitch.
There is this spot.
This spot I can't reach.
Between my blades.
My shoulder blades.
There is this spot I've never treated.
I have never been able to reach
and trying makes my skin crack and bleed.
I just can't reach.
Can't reach
Just can't-
reach.


#2: COP AND ROBBER

SOUND = SIRENS IN THE CITY

CRIMINAL
An inanimate object
an egg beater, a cotton ball, a rubber nipple
I kill them each in various ways
I take trophies
I leave clues
I've never been caught

DETECTIVE
It was a manic Monday
I was working the night shift
on the corner of Forty-Fourth
and Blue avenue

CRIMINAL
I've never been caught.

DETECTIVE
I was on the clock.

CRIMINAL
I've been stalking a certain
digital time-keeping device
you know the type
your standard glowing red numbers
that tell you the time
behind a window, I watch the clock
I wait till midnight and watch till the red reads
12:12

DETECTIVE
I watch him watching time
If I catch him
it will be red-handed,
white knuckled and Bluebeardish
Weirdish, odd -I wouldn't know what
to charge him with
Would it warrant a warrant?
Would the truth be abhorrent?
(or just a little on the disturbing side)
And what if he just wants to fuck
or what if I just want to fuck
or what if we both want to fuck
so we fuck and it sucks?
What if we never fuck, but should have?
What if he thinks I'm a potty-mouth and that I say
"fuck" too much?
Fuck him! I'll say fuck if I want to.

CRIMINAL
Shit.
I stalk the clock
I bide my time
like a mime...
hands pressed against an imaginary window
(except the window is real and the glass is cold)
I can see but I can't touch

CURIOSITY
Have you ever had the feeling you're being watched?

CRIMINAL
I haven't. I never have.

DETECTIVE
I clock him going 99 in a 98 zone.
I let him slip away.
I want to catch him when he's
pushing the envelope or pulling my finger.

SOUND=FART

CRIMINAL
My heart races
Like the cowboy of American graffiti

DETECTIVE
I want to give him a ticket.
I want to pull him over
I want to ask him some questions
I want him to stop
I want him to roll down his window
I want him to put his hands on the wheel

CRIMINAL
I'm going in.
I dress like an exterminator.
I bypass the security system.
I flirt with the receptionist.
I sneak in with a spray can.
(The can says, "poison", but it's empty)
I put the clock in my pants and walk out
Real cool and calm.
Like I'm walking on a cloud.
None of that cat burglar shit for me,
I'm into the old razzle-dazzle
I'm an international playboy
who supports himself by stealing
cheap digital clocks.

DETECTIVE
I'm on a stake out
I order take out
from a corner room
in a building where
people check in and check out
Room service bites the big one
so I send for sushi

CRIMINAL
I take home the clock
I tie it up
I break off the hands
I send them to the press
but they never print my letters.

SOUND = ALARM

I kick the clock around
and wonder how I ever
broke the hands off a digital clock
or why I wound it too tight.

DETECTIVE
I have you surrounded
come out with your hands up

CRIMINAL
I could take a hostage
but I don't.
I surrender.

DETECTIVE
My favorite times
are the moments of madness
when the red and blue lights flash
when I arrest and read rights
The Village Voice gave me his letter.
Inside the envelope were two severed hands
the hands of a digital clock
Somewhere out there
he's torturing that poor little time piece.
I gather clues.
I hold the revolver and give him rope
I hope he will hang himself
I find his sock and give it to a bloodhound named
Scooby-doo
I hop in a mystery machine and ride to the scene of
the crime
Red and blue lights flashing
I wear a bullet proof brazier
I have my weapon ready
I kick in the door.
I rush into the room.
I stick it to his head
and threaten to pull


#3: TRIAL AND TRIBULATION

SOUND = LITTLE GIRLS LAUGHING

CRIMINAL
I'm on trial.
I represent myself.

DETECTIVE
I see him in court
I am ashamed

CURIOSITY
The man who wrote a modest proposal once said that
Laws are like cobwebs
they may catch small flies
but wasps and hornets break through

CRIMINAL
I am condemned to die

CURIOSITY
We all are

DETECTIVE
We are all going to die

CURIOSITY
Don't panic.

CRIMINAL
It is my sentence
I plead for a pardon
I fondle the fuzz that busted me

DETECTIVE
I play with him in prison
I try to take him out
like Eddy Murphy
in 48 hours
but can't
get past
the guard
I go to see Ptaki
and show him the photos
I shot on a case in Chelsea
Pictures of Ptaki making love
to a five dollar bill
photos of him frying an egg
in olive oil
pictures of Ptaki
smoking cloved cigarettes
on a trampoline
I blackmail the bastard
and bend him to my will
while demanding freedom for the man I put away

CRIMINAL
I play chess with the other inmates
I develop my pawns
to beat a bishop.
We play speed chess
we press buttons to
stop a special clock
if they only knew...

DETECTIVE
I drive like Tiger Woods to the hole

CRIMINAL
I've never seen a woman in the joint
women have their own prison

SOUND = MAN SCREAMS

DETECTIVE
I have come to set you free

CRIMINAL
I am free

DETECTIVE
I've come to free you from your cell.

CRIMINAL
what about my brothers
from the death row chess club.

DETECTIVE
Do not worry about them.
They will be given lethal injections
of pure truth

CRIMINAL
I will come back for my brothers
They are all innocent.

CURIOSITY
Only children are innocent

CRIMINAL
You know that scene in the movies
where the first prisoner who escapes
throws the keys to the scraggly old men
who have been in jail forever.
The escape artist
sets them loose
to wreak havoc
wreck the jail
and shame the warden?
You know that scene?

CURIOSITY
There is this episode
of Mash where Hawkeye
is teaching Radar
how to talk to
some pristine
cultured
smart
girl.
Hawkeye says,
"If you get stuck
in a discussion
about classical music,
and she asks you what you think, just say, Ahhhhhhh ,
Bach."

CRIMINAL
I don't understand.

DETECTIVE
So just say, "Ahhhh Bach."

CRIMINAL
Ahhh Bach

DETECTIVE
Beethoven wrote an opera for Napoleon

CRIMINAL
Ahhhh Beethoven

DETECTIVE
Mozart makes me wet.

CRIMINAL
Where are you wet?

DETECTIVE
Are you talking dirty?

CRIMINAL
All talk is dirty.

Every word is inherently a lie
Semantics is slimy and language is one big cesspool

SOUND = TOILET FLUSHING

DETECTIVE
I saved your life.

CRIMINAL
Thanks.

DETECTIVE
Now what?

CRIMINAL
I don't know.


#4: NURSE AND CURSE

SOUND = CAR DRIVING BY

DETECTIVE
When I was a little girl,
I had a lump on my forehead

CRIMINAL
When I was a little boy
I used to take a butcher knife
and a bottle of ketchup and
stage bloody scenes
at the side of the road
with my brother.

SOUND = LITTLE BOYS LAUGHING

DETECTIVE
When I was sixteen
a plastic surgeon
put on rubber
and cut out
a lump

CRIMINAL
Tableaus in blood
the same blood
you put on a hot-dog
or a burger

DETECTIVE (CONT'D)
It was an underdeveloped twin
the second half of my sister
who never grew up.

CRIMINAL
Cars wouldn't stop
and if they did
we ran away
in triumph.

CURIOSITY
Hey you kids!

DETECTIVE
It was tiny
but it had teeth
and hair.

CRIMINAL
Dripping wet
with ketchup and sweat

DETECTIVE
I fainted

CRIMINAL
I faked it

DETECTIVE
I'm out

CRIMINAL
I'm dead.

DETECTIVE
Cold

CRIMINAL
I've given up killing clocks.

DETECTIVE
I quit the police department.

CRIMINAL
I got my self a steady job.

DETECTIVE
I show my tits to strangers.

CRIMINAL
I show my dick to dangers.

DETECTIVE
I quit the strip.

CRIMINAL
I quit my dick.

DETECTIVE
I quit the night.

CRIMINAL
I quit the day.

DETECTIVE
I crash

CRIMINAL
I burn.

DETECTIVE
I cop some Z's.

CRIMINAL
40 winks.

DETECTIVE
Cat nap turns into coma.

CRIMINAL
I snooze.
I loose.

DETECTIVE
I grind to find
I search my whole body

CRIMINAL
I crack and peel
and find nothing
underneath.
I remember when you
broke me out of jail.

DETECTIVE
I remember when you watched the clock.

CRIMINAL
The prison you put me into.

DETECTIVE
Time bleeds
the blood is blue

CRIMINAL
Until oxygen hits it
I remember you
You used to be a cop
You had a nightstick

DETECTIVE
and handcuffs
you plead insanity
and bled my mind

CRIMINAL
How kind

DETECTIVE
How queer

CRIMINAL
I disappear.

DETECTIVE
I'm lost like the boys in Neverland.

CRIMINAL
I belong in jail
I violate parole
I crave incarceration
I get what I want

DETECTIVE
I work with the wounded.
I learn about butterfly stitches
dressing lacerations
and how to suck and spit
the poison from a snake bite
If only Orpheus knew

CRIMINAL
I watch the tower and give
the guard the finger
I hope he shoots me
I try to break out
but I'm way too beat

CURIOSITY
A cobra creeps into the courtyard

SOUND = GUNSHOTS

CRIMINAL
Fuck!
I'm hit
I also got bit
shit at and missed
shot at and hit.

DETECTIVE
I nurse his wound
I curse the snake

CRIMINAL
Ouch!
Easy.
It hurts
Easy with the teeth
It's okay to use your hands
a little lower
Yeah, that's
it.

DETECTIVE
Ouch!
Easy.
It hurts.
Easy with the reach.
It's okay to use your hands
a little higher
Yeah, that's
it.

CRIMINAL
Yes

SOUND = APPLAUSE

DETECTIVE
When you are inside me
I'm inside out.

CRIMINAL
Outside the circle
I work
Under the radar
I run
I'm lost inside the lips
I kiss...

DETECTIVE
...when I'm coming
out of a screaming yellow cab...

CRIMINAL
...and the red neon is reflected in your eyes

DETECTIVE
I melt down

CRIMINAL
ice cream in the sun.

DETECTIVE
Chernobyl

CRIMINAL
sticky sweet and contaminated

DETECTIVE
Take off your clothes
and let me scrub you
I'm wearing a safe suit

CRIMINAL
I'm the boy in a bubble
A cosmic condom surrounds my soul
and I fuck the world like the whore of Hollywood
Babylon
or the
motherfucking-multinational-corporate-military-industrial-complex
simple...
just do the math, dumbshit

DETECTIVE
Are you talking to me?

CRIMINAL
the part about the boy in the bubble was directed at
you,
but the rest was just venting
I'm still a boy
in a bubble
in Brooklyn
I stay in my bubble
and send out for-

SOUND = PINBALL MACHINE

DETECTIVE
I blow his bubble

CRIMINAL
I like to have my bubble blown

DETECTIVE
I blow his bubble and wish it would POP
like a lust for life

CRIMINAL
mickey mouse is a fucking louse
He's a no good dirty rat
I despise mickey mouse
He is the symbol of all that
is disgusting about
the world
You, my dear detective,
are the antithesis
of mickey
mouse


#5: FAT AND FIRE

SOUND = THE HOWLING OF A WOLF

DETECTIVE
I'm the biggest girl in the whole world.

CRIMINAL
I'm one big scab

DETECTIVE
I'm so fat, I can't find my vagina.

CRIMINAL
I lost my phallus in the fire.

DETECTIVE
If you find my twat, you can fuck me.

CRIMINAL
If you find my dick, you can suck me.

DETECTIVE
Good morning.

CRIMINAL
I wake and bake

DETECTIVE
My alarm goes off

CRIMINAL
A heat rash

DETECTIVE
A cold sweat.

CRIMINAL
No sweat.

DETECTIVE
no escape
my dream self
dreams
of pumpkin pie
and cries
because
she's
fat.
I cut my hair into an ugly square
a circus tent is my underwear
underwater, rising up, I am happy that I float
I drink the sea and have to pee a flood for Noah's
boat

CRIMINAL
I survive the flood by eating mud
and becoming a volcano
and then I get a phone call

CURIOSITY
I am Doctor Curiosity
the God of the Machine
The only honest doctor
in the whole wide world

DETECTIVE
We had to leave the city to get the operation

CURIOSITY
Do you, Detective Merchandise,
the mighty Mattilda,
solemnly swear to
donate the extra
skin from your liposuction
to this criminal burn victim?

DETECTIVE
I do.

CURIOSITY
Do you, Criminal burn victim
the burnt out human torch
accept the extra skin
from Detective Merchandise?

CRIMINAL
I do.

CURIOSITY
I pronounce you in a foreign accent
you may kiss each other's nipples

CRIMINAL
I am a dog in the yard

DETECTIVE
I am a picket fence

CRIMINAL
I am a bucket of joy

DETECTIVE
Swung round and round at arm's length

CURIOSITY
Centrifugal force keeps the liquid from spilling

DETECTIVE
I am a sloppy wet kiss

CRIMINAL
I am naked...

DETECTIVE
and tangled...

CRIMINAL
in front of the fire

DETECTIVE
touch me, baby one more time
before I fade away

CRIMINAL
Hold me baby and play footsie

DETECTIVE
Scold me baby. I'm late for dinner. Pinch me.
Ouch.

CRIMINAL
Pinch me.
Ouch.

DETECTIVE
I'm awake.

CRIMINAL
I'm awake.

DETECTIVE
Hit the snooze.

CRIMINAL
The snooze has been hit.


Jonny Stranger has worked in the tobacco fields of
Wisconsin, as an environmental activist in Washington
D.C., a Pirate on the Renaissance Festival circuit, a
bouncer in Austin, TX, and a substitute escape artist
at the Freak Show of Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY.
Jonny has a BFA from Texas State and an MFA from NYU.
He is currently being hired to write a screenplay
about a 7 year old Jewish girl’s POV of the Romanian
Holocaust and editing Alas, Poor Yorick, his first
feature film. (alaspooryorick.com) Jonny lives in
Austin, Texas with his beloved canines, Tippi and Uma.







© 2004 Underground Voices