The Devil and Tom Jones Scene 1
Posted by Universal Shift
An excerpt from a play of mine, “The Devil and Tom Jones.” I’ve always wanted to have this show put on, but the time just isn’t right yet, I suppose. Enjoy!
The setting is a cocktail lounge right smack dab in the middle of the Black Void. There are some things you’d expect to see in a cocktail lounge. Some conversations you’d expect to overhear. But there are other things as well, unexpected things. But all the same, there they are and here they will remain. It’s all distinctly the same. The purpose of it all is reality skewed in a white wine sauce. Oh yeah, and kick ass lounge tunes. Lights up on Marvin. He is sitting alone at the end of the bar nearest the audience. When he’s feeling a monologue, he delivers it to everybody and to himself at the same time.
Marvin: I could rant about my muse. I should rant about my muse. Maybe it’d wake her up. Inspiration is as fickle as fortune. Secretly, they are sisters. Honestly, some days you have it, you know? You can feel the energy zipping through your veins. It’s exciting, it feels good. And then Boom! Gone. No more zipping, no more excitement, no more writing. When that happens I end up at coffee shops or bars staring blankly at white pages blankly staring back. Nothing. Like the bitch went on vacation or something.
Fade up on Devil. And now is the time when the Devil sings your favorite lounge tunes. He is wearing a devil costume. The shinier the better. His secret is self loathing. He lost his self worth when he lost his job. He’s that kind of person. Anyway, he likes to open with Tom Jones’s “She’s a Lady.” When he gets done with that, fade the music down really classy like, because he’s got a few words to say to everyone.
Devil: I’d like to dedicate that song to the memory of Polyester. She was the only woman I ever really loved. Anyway, it’s good to see everyone here tonight. I’ll be your host. The main man, your numero uno, “Light it up Lou.” So, let me be the first to welcome you to the fabulous Barbelos Lounge. Please enjoy your evening.
Fade out on Devil and up on Purple and Trainwreck who are sitting at a table. They each have a couple of shot glasses and a beer in front of them. These are somewhat hip, somewhat careless youth who have been jaded by a society they aren’t sure how to become part of. Some would call them lazy and hopeless. I would call them lost and aware of it.
Purple: If you were a ninja would you be a black one or a white one?
Trainwreck: Why do I have to be black or white? Why can’t I be red?
Purple: Because whoever heard of a red ninja? They don’t exist.
Trainwreck: Says who?
Purple: Says reality, that’s who. Everyone knows that red ninjas are a figment of Hollywood’s imagination, whose real purpose is to lull the viewing public into a hypnotic state so they can be properly brainwashed. I mean everyone knows this, c’mon. So. Black or White?
Trainwreck: But I really like red.
Purple: Enough with red already! Black and white! That’s where it’s at! They represent something. They have meaning. Duality, struggle, good and evil, complimentary polar opposites. One is the combination of all color, the other is the lack thereof. Can you not fathom their substance, their essence?
Trainwreck: Fathom this. Red is a power color. And it is also the color of Santa’s suit, love, Christmas, passion, lust, anger-
Purple: Wait, wait, wait. That doesn’t make sense.
Trainwreck: What doesn’t?
Purple: How can it be the color of love and anger, or love and lust? It has to have an opposite or it doesn’t make any sense.
Trainwreck: Sure it does. It makes perfect sense in that, “Can’t wear white after Labor Day” kind of way.
Purple: It’s “Before Easter.”
Purple: Can’t wear white before Easter. That’s how it goes.
Trainwreck: No it isn’t.
Purple: Yes it is.
Trainwreck: No! It isn’t!
Purple: Yes! It is!
Trainwreck: Well I don’t give a damn. I like my way better so I’m gonna use it.
Purple: Your way is evil. You should repent and embrace the truth before your heathen soul is lost forever to the torments of HELL!!!!
Trainwreck: I really don’t think I’d go to hell just because I didn’t agree with the way you chose to interpret a cultural cliché. God’s not that petty.
Purple: You most certainly will end up in hell because God is a down right stickler for proper grammar and syntax. That’s why it’s written down like it is. So there wouldn’t be any mistakes. As a matter of fact, proper grammar is such a deadly sin that it had to have its own category of Uber Deadly Sin created. So, yeah. Repent or die, infidel. And you know what else?
Trainwreck: What’s that?
Purple: The devil is red. And so is Hell. How’s that for your favorite color, you minion of Beelzebub.
Trainwreck: You live in a sad and terrible little world, don’t you?
Fade out and up on the Devil.
Devil: Remember Pablo! He was all that ever really mattered. What? Are you—can you really—have you forgotten? And after you promised you never would? Gawd! You freaks make me crazy! Pablo! Jesus! No! I didn’t mean Jesus. Pablo isn’t Jesus. Jesus is Jesus. I know this because that’s him sitting at the table in the corner over there. Hey Jesus!
Devil: Yeah, no. Pablo isn’t Jesus. You know who else isn’t Jesus? You aren’t. How does that make you feel? (beat) But you know what? Who cares how you feel? Why is it always about how you feel? I mean, who ever asked Jesus how he felt? How he likes a bunch of groupies mimicking his every move and doting over every utterance like obsessive girlfriends? Well? Who ever asked him? You? You? Answer me! Well, fine! I’m asking him right freakin’ now! Hey Jesus!
Devil: How do you like a bunch of confessed posers constantly nipping at your heels?
Jesus: Kinda creeps me out.
Devil: You hear that? It creeps him out! You know who you people are like? You’re like that chick in that movie who moved in with that other chick. And then she started getting all freaky and wearing that other chick’s clothes and getting the same hair cut and stuff. Before you knew it she was trying to bang the other chick’s dude! People died, man! They died! And that’s what you people remind me of! Boiled Rabbits! Oh what? You’re getting all pissy like I’m the bad guy. Like I made you do it. Like you got no free will. You know what you ain’t got? You ain’t got no class, dig? No style, no rhythm, no heart. And that’s my fault? Please. (He brushes it off) Are you independent souls? Or are you puppets? Fade up with Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Give the Devil till the first chorus then fade out on him and up on Missy and Sigmund.
About Universal ShiftI am the Sonata Unusual. I coat myself with some obtuse angle too far below zero to become any warmer. I create motivation, activate schemas, moisten gardens with scents of natural honeydew. Construct this meaning, you sleepy flock. Silence your singing—despairing contortions out of tune. Shatter the brittle butterfly glass with your hideous wailing. I am born of my god’s imagination. When I die I shall meet him. For there are many things to discuss over tea…or scotch.
Posted on December 27, 2011, in Author, Fiction, Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality, writing and tagged Devil, Gnostic, literature, Lounge Music, plays, rat pack, script, theater, Tom Jones. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.