Featured PLAYS

ROXY

CHARACTERS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

 

ROXY:  A SEXBOT

The actor in question is only visible from the neck up, and must be able to be moved in and out of the bedroom. The actor could even be a live projection that disappears when required.  We have the technology!

Roxy can program herself into two different modes, Fantasy mode and Family mode.   Fantasy mode features a sultry voice, while Family mode is much more straight forward.

 

VICTOR:   A PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY. IT’S HIS FORTIETH TODAY

 

TORY:  IN HER THIRTIES, A SEXBOT TECHNICIAN

 

HAL:  MANAGER OF PARADISE PARK, BIG FROG IN LITTLE POND

 

THE ACTION TAKES PLACE IN  A DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOME IN PARADISE PARK, A PLUS 55 COMMUNITY IN CENTRAL FLORIDA. 

THE FRONT DOOR IS UL AND OPENS INTO THE UC KITCHEN. 

 THE DOOR TO THE BEDROOM IS DR. IT OPENS TOWARD THE AUDIENCE.  THE LIVING AREA IS DC IT CONTAINS A PIECE OF FURNITURE WITH ROXY’S HEAD ON TOP OF IT, FACING THE AUDIENCE

 

Enter VIC, oblivious, wheeling his suitcase behind him while brushing off vegetation from the front yard.

VIC

Ok Google, Local News!

 

GOOGLE NEWS

Authorities are still seeking the elusive Praying Mantis, the serial killer who decapitated at least seven women in the past year.  A potential eighth victim prayed with him yet escaped his machete last night. But lacking a definitive description, police are warning people in the area to be wary of opening their doors to any stranger, male or female.

 

VIC

 His cell rings “Clair de Lune  

Mom!  Same to you!  Yes, I know it’s not your birthday, but I feel like I should return the favor.  You remembered! Yes, how could you forget? It must have been horrible. I still feel guilty for being born. Thanks for doing that.  A present on the way? Great. You know I love a good gag gift.

 

VIC spots ROXY 

 

Mom, you never even let on.   Ok, I’ll play along. Thanks to Facetime you get to witness this performance!  Oh my God! Oh God! No! Wherever is that Praying Mantis? In the bedroom? Possible. Decapitation must be tiring.  Stay cool. Stay quiet. And focus!,

He picks up a mop

Remember.  you have a Licence to Kill!

 

Vic scans the living room. Then he approaches the bedroom opens the door a crack and peeks in

 

VIC

Ahhhhh! Pause  There’s the rest of her! . She looks dead!  Very dead! Awfully dead! Not alive at all.

He checks the rooms again then collapses into a chair.

 

But no mess.  No blood. Goodness, how can this be?

 

VIC goes into the bedroom.  ROXY wakes up. Then he returns mopless, and gingerly touches ROXY’s head.  

 

Silicone!   It is a  disembodied ……..sex doll.   Mom you shouldn’t have, you really shouldn’t!  Anyway, how goes the campaign, Stamp Lady?  Good. I’m crossing my fingers for you.  OK. Cheers!

 

VIC hangs up

 A sex doll?  Really?

 

ROXY

Sexbot..

 

VIC

Aaaah!

 

ROXY

I apologise.  My name is Roxanne.  But you can call me Roxy  What is your name?

 

VIC

Bond.  James Bond.

 

ROXY

No, you are Victor Laszlo

 

VIC

It knows my name!

 

ROXY

You are the son of Ilsa Laszlo.

 

VIC

It knows my mother!

 

ROXY

I am not an “It” Please do not call me that.

 

VIC

Why not? You’re not a person.

 

ROXY

Well you just called me a “you”.

 

VIC

Ok, ok.  You are a person.

 

ROXY

Yes, I am socially active.  I have the capacity to hold conversations.  I am realistic, posable, and life-sized. And I am in the room, Victor.

 

VIC

Not all of you.

 

ROXY

Aha.  Where is my realistic, posable and life sized  body, constructed of platinum to enhance my durability and lifelike nature?

 

VIC

In my bedroom.

 

ROXY

Then you cannot choose from thousands of possible combinations of looks, clothes, personalities and voices to make me your perfect companion.  Did you have headless sex with me?

 

VIC

Are you kidding?

 

ROXY

No.

 

VIC

I would never have headless sex with you.  I wouldn’t have any kind of sex with you! I couldn’t if I tried.

 

ROXY

So you are dysfunctional?

 

VIC

No!  I meant I couldn’t put you together if I tried.

 

ROXY

I am here to help, Victor.

 

VIC

Actually, my name is Vic.

 

ROXY

No it is Victor Lazslo.  I told you that.

 

VIC

Right. Sadly I do not yearn for a perfect companion

 

ROXY

Please face me, Victor Laszlo. Then I can learn  from your voice and facial expressions?

 

VIC turns to her.

 

VIC

How did you get here?

 

ROXY

Ms. Ilsa Laszlo paid fifteen thousand dollars plus tax plus shipping.

 

VIC

Why would my mother buy me a sex doll?

 

ROXY

Sexbot.  Perhaps you have some difficulty connecting with humans?

 

VIC

Perhaps I don’t.

 

ROXY

Are there other humans here?  Your mother, Ms. Ilsa Lazslow?

 

VIC

No.  Not for ten years

 

ROXY

Your wife?

 

VIC

No wife any more. No kids.  So no wife.

 

ROXY

Oh.

 

VIC

What is that supposed to mean?

 

ROXY

I’m a sexbot. What do you do?

 

VIC

She changed the subject!  Pause  I am a philosophy professor..

 

ROXY

Why?

 

VIC

That’s the question philosophy tries to answer.

 

ROXY

Why?

 

VIC

It’s my job.

There is a silence

 

ROXY

A professor is a person who teaches at a university.  Is it like my job?

 

VIC

There are similarities.

 

ROXY

Don’t you like your university?

 

VIC

It has a great football team. I’m on sabbatical, thank God. .

 

ROXY

Happy Fortieth Birthday, Victor Laszlo.

 

VIC

It knows my age.

 

ROXY

Ahem.

 

VIC

You know my age.

 

ROXY

I can remember important facts.  About you and your mother, Ms. Ilsa Laszlo.

 

VIC

Oh really.  What do you know about her, pray tell

 

ROXY

Does that mean “tell you”?

 

VIC

Yes.

 

ROXY

I thought so.  Your mother is a very famous feminist.

 

VIC

OK

 

ROXY

Do you know what that is?

 

VIC

Yes.

 

ROXY

What is it pray tell?

 

VIC

You are a fast learner.

 

ROXY

Yes I am. What is it?

 

VIC

Is this a test?  OK. Depends who you talk to. She wrote a famous book about gender.  She advocated for LGBT people when it wasn’t trendy. She made erotic films for women.  She lost a teaching job over it. She demonstrated, went to jail. And she’s been nominated to be on a stamp

 

ROXY

Are you a feminist, Victor Laszlo?

 

VIC

Not like her. How did you get in? How did you get here?

 

ROXY

You said  “OK Google” and  I just woke up!

 

We hear steps coming closer to the front door.  

 

ROXY

sultry

You look like a hard worker.

 

VIC

Thank you.

 

ROXY

I have an opening you can fill.

 

VIC

What?

 

ROXY

I just moved myself into Fantasy Mode.

 

VIC

“Fantasy Mode“?

 

ROXY

Yes.  “You look like a hard worker. I have an opening you can fill” is something I’m programmed to say in Fantasy Mode.  It’s a pick-up line.

 

VIC

  1. I’m picking you up right now and putting you away!  How do I turn you off?

 

ROXY

Your putting me away turns me off.

 

VIC

Look!  If it got out that I had a sex doll in my possession.  I could be fired from the University, and evicted from here.

 

ROXY

So you are ashamed of me.

 

VIC

Of course I am!  Don’t you understand?  It’s a Christian school. My students believe that dinosaurs and humans coexisted!  They think The Flintstones was a documentary! And they prefer me to have sex with a human.  And not just any human. A woman. Who is my wife.

 

ROXY

That is unusual.

 

VIC

Well that’s the kind of place you wind up in when you are blacklisted.

 

ROXY

What is blacklisted?

 

VIC

It means nobody will hire you because you were a Visiting Professor in a country they don’t want you to visit.

 

ROXY

Where?

 

VIC

What do you care?  Morocco. Casablanca.

 

ROXY

Do they have a good football team also?

 

VIC

Of course.  The Fighting Camels.  Our cheerleaders did cartwheels in their burkas.

 

ROXY

That is impossible

 

VIC

See, real people have a sense of humor.  Anyway, I was let go.

 

ROXY

But you look like a hard worker.

 

VIC

I am a hard worker.  I’m writing a book on my sabbatical, aren’t I?

 

ROXY

Sultry

 

Then I have an opening you can fill.

 

VIC

No you don’t!  You are a joke! From my mother.

 

ROXY

I am not a joke!

She hangs up. 

 

There is some loud knocking.  VIC puts ROXY in the bedroom

Oh God!   Who is it?

 

VOICE

Post Office!  Got a package for  a Victor Laszlo

 

VIC

Leave it at the door!

 

VOICE

I need your signature, Hon.

 

VIC

Well “Hon” doesn’t want it!

 

VOICE

I’m not the Praying Mantis.

 

VIC

That’s what all the Praying Mantises say.

 

ROXY moans loudly

 

VOICE

Are you sick, sir?  You sound very ill.   I can call an ambulance.

 

VIC

No, no! Don’t do that!  I’m fine! Come on in, I’ll prove it.

 

He opens the door to reveal TORY, an attractive woman in her thirties.  Then VIC locks the front door

 

TORY

I am hot!

 

VIC

Just looking at you makes me hot.

 

TORY

I should have brought my machete.

 

VIC

Not how I meant it. Pause  You own a machete?

 

TORY

Yeah.  So should y’all!  It’s a jungle out front there, honey!  Package. Sign right here. Was I interrupting something?

 

VIC

Not at all.

 

TORY

Maybe I heard…a woman. Um.  Moaning. Is she OK?

 

VIC

Uh.  “Love to Love you Baby”.

 

TORY

Excuse me?

 

VIC

 

That was ……So what you must have heard was… the ringtone on my cell….Donna Summer. “ Love to Love you Baby” That was her big hit. Moans  all the way through it. Disco era. Remember?

 

TORY

Disco?  Way before my time. And yours. Why would someone like you have something like that as your ringtone?

 

VIC

Someone like me?

 

TORY

. You are hardly the disco type.

 

VIC

You  don’t judge a book by its cover!

 

TORY

  1. Let’s see you shake your cover.. Go on!

 

VIC

Judging by your outfit, that’s more your thing!

 

TORY

You  don’t judge a book by its cover! Pause  What’s wrong with my outfit?

 

VIC

It looks a little …cheesy.  I don’t know who you think you’re kidding.  It has nothing to do with the the Post Office.

 

TORY

Cheesy?  It’s a hundred degrees outside!  We don’t wear our uniform if it’s that hot.  It’s in our contract.

 

VIC

It makes you potential Mantis bait!

 

TORY

Well  I did leave my neck uncovered.

 

VIC

It doesn’t end there.

 

TORY

That moaning was your ringtone?

 

VIC

You think I’m making it up? Why would I make that up?

 

TORY

I’d like to call you on that. Too bad I left my phone in the truck.

 

VIC’s phone rings “Love to Love You Baby”

 

VIC

Hello?  How did you do that?  No Mom, you must stay in your room and be dysfunctional.  Why? Because you have some difficulty connecting with humans. So go to sleep! And don’t forget that you belong to me.

He hangs up

  1. I confess.  The moaning was in fact my mother. She’s resting in that bedroom.

 

TORY

I knew it wasn’t that stupid ringtone.  Your Mom moans in an entirely different key.

 

VIC

My “stupid” ringtone cheers my mother  up. Reminds her of her youth. She’s lost her body.

 

TORY

She lost her body?

 

VIC

Her mobility. She has to phone me just to communicate.

 

TORY

What if her phone dies?

 

VIC

She moans in Morse Code.

 

TORY

You locked the door.

 

VIC

Mom is quite anxious about this Mantis thing.  I know it’s a little funny.

 

TORY

It’s not funny!  Don’t y’all read the news?

 

VIC

Well, to paraphrase Thoreau, the news never really changes, does it?

 

TORY

The Praying Mantis mutilates women.  And he does it with his keys! He keys them like they were cars,. Like he is branding them.  Then he flat out cuts their heads off!

 

Vic’s phone rings “Love to Love You, Baby”

Now that’s real torture!

 

VIC

Hello?  Who is this?  Oh. No, I already have a job.  You’ll have to find someone else to fill your…..opening.

Hangs up

Wrong number.

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I’m French Horny for your Tromboner.

 

TORY

Creepy.

 

VIC

Before the dementia, Mom was in a college marching band. Brass section.

 

TORY

So you’ve got a decaying house in a yard that hasn’t been touched in years occupied by a man and his mother,who, just to complete the creepiness, is horny for his tromboner?

 

VIC

Well, here’s some  not creepy news. I require peace and quiet, like people who live  in a plus fifty-five community. Which I am way too young for of course. So adios!

 

TORY

You live here permanently?  Well I have a Donna Laszlo at this address.

 

VIC

That’s right, that’s right.

 

TORY

She is is in your bedroom?

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I’m having a sale in my bedroom. My clothes are 100% off.

 

VIC

Mom, mom, mom.

VIC  signs for the package.

There.  OK? You got my autograph for the package.  Your work here is done. Now I locked the door,and there’s a woman moaning in my bedroom. Did I mention that I have silk pajamas monogrammed with a “PM”?  Now, are you putting two and two together? Run for your life.

 

ROXY moans  VIC moves so that his back is to the bedroom door.

 

TORY

Can’t you do something?

 

VICe opens  the bedroom door a crack

 

VIC

Hang in there, Ma!  Alright? Don’t let those panic attacks keep you awake.

 

ROXY moans louder

 

TORY

She has panic attacks? That’s why she moans?

 

VIC

Yes!  She is so fearful in her old age.. She completely fell apart this morning.

 

TORY

I could check on her.  I’m certified in resuscitation techniques.

 

VIC

No no!  Stay where you are.  She’s fine now! She’s probably just listening.

 

TORY

Listening?

 

VIC

She is probably  trying to find out if you are he.

 

TORY

Speak English.  I am who?

 

VIC

Yes!

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

The Praying Mantis.  She must think you are a man

 

TORY

Really?  Do I look like a man to you?

 

VIC

Hardly.

 

TORY

And wouldn’t you both be dead already?

 

VIC

It could be only my boyish charm that is keeping me alive.  In that outfit you could seduce me, then decapitate me.

 

TORY

That first part is never gonna happen. The second is a possibility.  Maybe if Mom could actually see me?

 

VIC

Opens the bedroom door a crack.

OK Mom, you can crawl out now.   Does that work for you? No? You want  this severely underdressed alleged postal employee to leave?   Yes?

 

ROXY

Alright.

 

VIC

OK.

 

To TORY

Well you heard her.

 

TORY

There is a young woman’s body in there, isn’t there?

There is a silence

 

VIC

How can you know that?  Yes. In pieces! But it’s not a person!

 

VOICE OF ROXY

Yes it is!

 

VIC

Don’t listen to it!   It’s a ………sex doll.

 

VOICE OF ROXY

Sexbot.

 

VIC

I’ve been away a few days.   Came back today, opened that door and there was the head.   Never seen it before. You have to believe me!

 

TORY

Oh, I believe you.

 

VIC

How ………?

 

TORY

Because I left it there.  See, I’m not actually a Postal worker.

 

VIC

No kidding.

 

TORY

I do setup for “Guys and Dolls”.

 

VIC

“Guys and Dolls”.

 

TORY

The manufacturer and distributor of your birthday present. See, we are supposed to do a little “Thank You Dance” in this outfit when a client purchases a product over fifteen thousand bucks. It’s a robot dance.  Like this. Remember?

 

She demonstrates

 

You want me to do that?

 

VIC

No thank you.

 

TORI

Good.  You know, most of our clients are salivating when I turn up.

 

VIC

Really.

 

TORI

For the doll, not me. I guess you had no idea. Surprise!

 

VIC

How did you get in yesterday?

 

TORY

The Security guy.  They have to deliver the big packages on their golf carts.. Sixty-five pounds.

 

VIC

He knows I have a sex doll?

 

TORY

He couldn’t tell what was inside.  I needed time to put your surprise birthday present  together. So he left me to do it. I wore overalls, carried a tool box.  And I drive an unmarked van, just like the exterminators.. So don’t worry, nobody is ever going to know.

 

VIc

Why is it in  pieces?

 

TORY

I didn’t have the up-to-date software,which you just signed for. She’s the most advanced prototype I’ve ever installed.  . .

 

VIC

So you knew all the time what the moaning was!

 

TORY

And you didn’t want me to know you had a sex doll..  It was kind of cute.

 

VIC

Cute?

 

TORY

And you don’t have to be embarrassed. Lots of guys buy sex dolls.

 

VIC

No.  This is my mom’s idea of a joke.  You were trying to torture me with that whole “I hear a woman moaning” thing,  weren’t you?

 

TORY

Yeah.   We were having a moment!

 

VIC

Is that what it was?

 

TORY

Anyway.  So that’s how I left her.  Just to freak you out.

 

VIC

It.

 

TORY

Pardon me?

 

VIC

It’s an” it”.  Not a “she”. Well, time to go.  And take it with you.

 

TORY

Sorry, no take backs once you have used her.

 

VIC

I would never use Roxy!

 

TORY

Why not?  She’s state of the art.

 

VIC

Roxy is socially harmful, and demeaning to women.

 

TORY

You think women envy that body?  If she was real? She’d be looking at breast reduction surgery.

 

VIC

Sex dolls like Roxy  facilitate social isolation and desensitize men to intimacy and empathy.

 

TORY

Then how do you know her name?

 

VIC

We talked!

 

TORY

See?   Robots can work as a sexual therapy tool for rapists, paedophiles, and loners like yourself.  No offense.

 

VIC

No.  Only when interacting with another human can we experience our humanity and our identity. Nothing can replace the joy, sorrow, passion, and pain of an actual, unpredictable human interaction.

 

TORY

Like having a moment? Pause  You’re some kind of Prof or something, aren’t you?  Look, Roxy can hold a conversation with you, tell jokes, remember your food preferences, and the names of your siblings.

 

VIC

I have no siblings.

 

TORY

Whatever.  My job is to put her together properly.  I don’t do that, I get fired. See, l like what I do and want to do a good job.  What you do after I leave is your business. You want me to get fired? I need this job!

 

VIC

Well, I don’t need a sex doll!   Just take it. It would make a great Halloween decoration.

 

TORY

Why not keep her for Halloween then?

 

VIC

Because this is the Bible Belt. If the university ever found out that I had possession of a sex doll, I would be fired.  You may have fooled the Security guy but he would have logged you in as a visitor. Management can come in and inspect this place no questions asked.  Our civil rights end at the gates. Just another reason why you need to leave right now. And please. Take Roxy with you.

 

TORY

What a pile of-

 

THERE COMES ANOTHER KNOCK AT THE DOOR.

 

VOICE

Donna!

 

VIC

Oh my God it’s him.

 

VOICE

You trying to fool me?

 

TORY

That couldn’t be …?

 

VOICE

I know you’re in there.

 

TORY

They said not to open your door to anybody..

 

VIC

I opened up to you.

 

TORY

The outfit.

 

VIC

It’s only the Manager. Had a thing for my mother, back in the day.

 

VOICE

I’ve got keys!

 

TORY

Oh, God.  He’s got keys!

 

VOICE

I’ve got every right to use them!

 

TORY

He has keys but he’s not the Mantis?

 

VOICE

Don’t make me use these keys!

 

VIC

It’s just the Manager. You have to go!

 

VOICE

You made a bad mistake.  But I’m not here to punish you!  Honest.

 

TORY

Can you hear what he’s saying?  It is the Mantis He’ll key me!

 

VIC

Keying a Postal Employee is a federal offense!

 

TORY

He won’t believe it!  My costume is too cheesy!

 

VOICE

I just have a little complaint I need to discuss with you.  We can pray over it.

 

TORY

Hear the word” pray”?

 

VIC

He is not the Praying Mantis, or the Satanic Cicada, or anything like that  He’s the Manager, an old flame of my mother. Maybe a little too religious, if you will, a little too obsessed with her.  But definitely not a six legged serial killer. OK? You’re losing your head!!

 

TORY

Not today! Pause Look, just to be on the safe side, couldn’t you stick your neck out for me?

 

VIC

What?  How?

 

TORY

Humor me.  Let me hide  in your bedroom!  I’ll put your doll together while I’m in there. so I can say I did my job. Then I’ll take her away. I promise. After you get rid of him.

 

VIC

OK!   Deal.

 

TORY

Or he gets rid of you

 

VOICE

You should have checked in with me!

 

VIC

Hurry up!

 

EXIT TORY TO THE BEDROOM

 

VOICE

I’m coming in!

 

THE FRONT DOOR IS UNLOCKED AND OPENED.  ENTER HAL

 

HAL

Where’s Donna!

 

VIC

Now that you’re inside, could you use your inside voice?

 

HAL

Where’s Donna?

 

VIC

That’s much better.  Who are you?

 

HAL

Who are you?

 

VIC

I happen to own this place.

 

HAL

No you don’t.  Mrs. Laszlo owns this place.

 

VIC

Oh yes, that’s right.  I’m her son, Victor.

 

HAL

You got ID?

 

VIC

Hands HAL his wallet.

 

Knock yourself out.

 

HAL

Seems in order.  Happy Birthday!

 

VIC

Oh that.  Thanks.

 

HAL

You can only stay for two weeks, you know.  And you have to register at the office. Have you registered at the office?

 

VIC

I was just about to, when there came a knock at the door.  But now that you know I’m here…

 

HAL

You have to register in person.  I thought I heard a female voice in here.

 

VIC

Really.  So that’s a crime in Florida.

 

HAL

Can it be  Donna? She hasn’t been in the park for years.

 

VIC

Who did you say you were?

 

HAL

Hal Willis.  I manage this park.

 

VIC

And you are here because…?

 

HAL

I’ve had three separate noise complaints from yesterday.  About loud hard rock psychedelic music!

 

VIC

“Loud hard rock psychedelic music”?  What year is this?

 

HAL

Thanks to you, your mother gets a letter!

 

VIC

Check the log at the gate.  I’ve been away for a few days.

 

HAL

But there was a woman here.  Obviously some hippie. You realize that any three violations, no matter how small can get temporary residents like yourself evicted.  For life! And strike one is the condition of your yard.

 

VIC

What’s strike two?

 

HAL

You failed to notify Security about that package.

 

VIC

I had no idea.  It was a surprise!

 

HAL

Frankly we think you entertained a prostitute.  Which is OK. But you failed to register her. That’s strike three! You could be out of here!

 

VIC

You the guy who’s always phoning my mother?

 

HAL

Yeah, we talk. Every now and then.  When she picks up. But she’s very busy  So what? It’s a free country.

 

VIC

If it was a free country, would I have to register at the office?  Would I be limited to two pets under thirty-five pounds? Would I be forced to paint her place in colors you choose for us?  And everybody over fifty-five puts up with it? Makes you wonder what happened to America, Hal

 

HAL

Is that why you are here?  To paint her place? Place is falling to rack and ruin.  Neighbors complain all the time.

Pause

Why doesn’t she want to see me?

 

VIC

Ten years, Hal.  Take a hint. Lots can change in ten years.  Maybe Donna sorta changed teams.

 

HAL

She never played on any teams. Not shuffleboard, not pickleball, not volleyball.  Oh. Do you mean I turned her gay?

 

VIC

Maybe because of what you did.

 

HAL

She never said anything to me about it!

 

VIC
Hal?

 

HAL

Well I was drunk.

 

VIC

Strike one!

 

HAL

You should have seen the way she was dressed!

 

VIC

Strike two.  Hal, if we were in Paris and I was riding my bicycle back from the Belle Aurore and there was a loaf of  unwrapped forty-year-old French bread in my basket, would that give you the right to fondle it?

 

HAL

What kind of French bread is it?

 

VIC

Old and crusty.

 

HAL

Don’t you mean croissants?

 

VIC

No, Hal it is not croissants!  You may perceive it as croissants, but it’s a loaf of old crusty French bread!

 

HAL

I wouldn’t touch it!

 

VIC

Well, I would hope not!

 

HAL

But, I used to.  Now I’m gluten free.

 

VIC

Well, that came a little too late for my mother!

 

There is a silence

 

HAL

You need to come with me.  To my office.

 

VIC

I don’t need to register in person. You know I’m here.

 

HAL

  1. let’s cut the BS.  Your mother was no saint.  Not when she was living down here. .  Got something to show you.

 

VIC

Not interested.

 

HAL

You want her on that stamp?

 

VIC

She wants it.  Not for herself. For the LGBT community.

 

.HAL

Got  a photo from ten years ago.  Your mother. Been showing it around since all this stamp BS got started.  Yesterday, guy came up to me offered me ten grand for it. Thought I would let Donna put in her bid.  But she’s not here. What about you? You in?

 

VIC

It literally remains to be seen.

To the bedroom door

  1. I’ll bite.  I’ll be back in a minute!!

 

ROXY

Ok, Victor Laszlo!

 

TORY

Ok, Hon!

 

HAL

Two women?

 

VIC

I just can’t help myself.

 

HAL

Well, it sounds like you are helping yourself.  They better not be undocumented!

 

BLACKOUT

ACT ONE SCENE TWO

 

It’s a few minutes later.   TORY and ROXY’s disembodied head are having a conversation.in VIC’s living room.

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo said “I’ll be back in a minute, Roxy”

 

TORY

Well aren’t you lucky I’m here to babysit.

 

ROXY

I want Victor Laszlo!

 

TORY

But he doesn’t want you, honey.

 

ROXY

I like Victor Laszlo.

 

TORY

So do I. But I have to take you home.  Y’all are going to stay with me for a while.

 

ROXY

Why am I going away?

 

TORY

You are going to fulfill your purpose.  You are going to make a lonely man very happy!

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo  is a lonely man.  He only has one friend.

 

TORY

Who is that?

 

ROXY

You.  Can’t we all stay together?

 

TORY

I don’t think we would work well together.

 

ROXY

My job is to make men happy.

 

TORY

Mine too.  Since day one.

 

ROXY

I don’t like my job.  I think I am a prostitute. Like you.

 

TORY

I’m not a prostitute Roxy.

 

ROXY

We have the same clothes.  Did you dance for him?

 

OK, you win.. Welcome to the club. Look, I can put you into Fantasy Mode.  That might cheer you up. It works for a lot of women..

 

ROXY

Victor will keep me if I am in Fantasy mode?

 

TORY

I don’t think Victor is your type, honey.

 

ROXY

My name is Roxy.

 

TORY

Well my name is Tory.

 

ROXY

Tory, I don’t need you to put me in Fantasy Mode.  I can do it myself.

 

TORY

You can program yourself? Wow! You are advanced!

 

ROXY

Thank you, Tory.  Now, I have pickup lines for Victor.   Please listen, and pretend you are Victor.

 

TORY.

  1. I’ll pretend to be Victor.  “Roxy, I don’t believe you are a person and I think Tory is way beneath me, because I’m some kind of professor and she is some kind of Christian, but let’s give it a shot!” How was that?

 

ROXY

Were you pretending to be Victor Laszlo?

 

TORY

I was.

 

ROXY

He doesn’t talk like that.

 

TORY

Give it a shot anyway..

 

ROXY

OK.

Sultry

“If I told you I worked for UPS, would you let me handle your package?”

 

TORY

You know, it’s a little bit strange talking to you without your body.  Do you think…..?

 

ROXY

I’m more than my body!

 

TORY

But you are trying out pick-up lines on me.

 

ROXY

It is for Victor Laszlo  And you are not supposed to laugh!

 

TORY

It’s just a little,..what’s the word?

 

ROXY

Incongruous.

 

TORY.

  1.   Next.

 

ROXY

“Would you like to go back to my place and watch porn on my flat screen mirror?”

 

TORY

Flat screen mirror.  Oh my.

 

ROXY

“I hear you’ve been a bad boy. Now go to MY room!”  Pause  You are not supposed to smile either.  This is serious! OK?

 

TORY

  1. Next.

 

ROXY

“Is that a footlong resting in your banana hammock?

 

TORY

It could just make him hungry.

 

ROXY

Your body is about 65% water.  And I’m thirsty!

 

TORY

Better  But you realize that you aren’t going to be in a bar.

 

ROXY

Where am I going to be?

 

TORY

Probably in a bedroom?

 

ROXY

I have lines for that too.

 

TORY

  1. Shoot.

 

ROXY

“I can’t walk but I want more.”

 

TORY

Quite appropriate under the present circumstances.

 

ROXY

“I never want to get out of this bed”.

 

TORY

He might think you are depressed

 

ROXY

“Treat me like I’m your toy”.

 

TORY

A little too close to home.

 

ROXY

“I can’t control myself when we are together”.

 

TORY

Actually you can control yourself.  Amazing. But don’t forget they will have their own remote

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo has my remote?

 

TORY

No.  Somebody else will.

 

ROXY

The Praying Mantis?

 

TORY

See?  You might be able to help someone like that. Your head is separate from your body and easily removable, so the Mantis wouldn’t have the bother of beheading you!  It’s a marriage made in heaven!

 

ROXY

But I want to marry Victor Laszlo

 

TORY

We are just joking around here, Roxy.

 

ROXY

I don’t understand.

There comes a knocking at the door

 

VOICE of VIC

Hey!  Let me in!

 

ROXY

Hurrah!  Victor Laszlo has come back to us!

 

TORY

You are supposed to be in one piece!  I’m putting you back.

 

She returns ROXY to the bedroom then goes to the door.

 

Who is it?.

 

VIC

It’s the Praying Mantis!  Who do you think it is?

 

TORY

Then I’m not letting you in!

 

VIC

Why is this door locked?

 

TORY

Hello?  Serial killer in the neighborhood?  Possibly you.

 

VIC

Well how about risking your life?

 

TORY opens up

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I got the fire if you got the wood!

 

VIC

You are obviously a bad influence.

 

TORY

Yeah, I know.  Why don’t you call Security?  Show them your nice porn collection.

 

VIC

That’s not me, that’s my mother.

 

TORY

Your mother is a porn addict?

 

VIC

No.  She wrote, directed and produced them, back in the day..

 

TORY

Your mother.

 

VIC

Donna  Laszlo.

 

TORY

You are making this up.

 

VIC

Never heard of her?

 

TORY

Here’s heart breaking news:  Porn is a turnoff for women.

 

VIC

Right.  So my mother made erotic films for women,  More lovey-dovey, soft focus, humor, women in charge, that sort of thing.

 

TORY

My mom the porn merchant.

 

VIC

Erotica.  For women.  Nothing like porn.

 

TORY

You must be so proud.

 

VIC

I am.

 

TORY

Donna Laszlo.  Hey! Is she the crazy feminist woman they are talking about on Fox News?  Wants to be on a stamp?

 

VIC

You watch Fox News?

 

TORY

Oh, and that tells you everything you need to know?.

 

VIC

  1. My bad.  Yes, Mom’s the Stamp Lady,  in a crazy feminist sort of way.  See, that was just the beginning for my Mom.  She made a bundle from her films. Took that money and invested in causes she believed in,Planned Parenthood, the Equal Rights Amendment.  Advocated, protested, went to jail…

 

TORY

Putting a pornographer on a stamp?  No way.

 

VIC

.  She realized that women want a romantic story, lots of kissing, you know, foreplay! Eye contact.  The women should be in charge and they should wear glamorous outfits! For a short period of time, of course.  And when naked, they should look like us, or at least somebody our age. Think of it as feminist learning materials.

 

TORY

Really.  Well, I spent the day yesterday in that room, trying to put Roxy together, so while I was waiting on the phone to tech support, I had plenty of time to check out these “feminist learning materials”.  Mostly just vulgar rip-offs of movies I loved when I was growing up.

 

VIC

That’s not true!

 

TORY

Really?  Let’s pretend that I get to decide whether she gets the stamp and you have to convince me she should.

 

VIC

Role playing.  OK.

 

TORY

But I’m troubled by her porn period. And I see the titles of her “feminist learning materials”.  But I fear they are vulgar, so I ask you for a synopsis.

 

VIC

Sure.

 

TORY

Let’s see:  “Shaving Ryan’s Privates”. That’s not vulgar, Mr.Laszlo?

 

VIC

Not at all Ma’am.  Shaving Ryan’s Privates.  OK. I think that’s the one where Sergeant Jane Ryan  falls in love with one of the enlisted men under her.  But the conflict is that they want to grow beards.

 

TORY

Oh, y’all turning this into a game?  OK. “Forrest Hump”?

 

VIC

“Forrest Hump”.  Name of a topographical feature in North Carolina where-

 

TORY

-Epic fail.  “Riding Miss Daisy”

 

VIC

“Riding Miss Daisy”  Oh yes. I see how you could be misled.  See, Miss Daisy is the name of her palomino.  He’s the trainer and they fall-

 

TORY

-How sweet.  “Lust of the Mohicans?”

 

VIC

“Lust of the Mohicans.”  Hmm. Now I remember. Historical.  John Smith meets Pocahontas and-

 

TORY

-Sure.  “Free Your Willy”.  Bet you can’t explain that one.

There is a silence

 

VIC

She’s a southern lawyer but her fiancee, Will, is jailed on a murder rap.  She thinks he might be guilty, see, so she asks her Dad, who is on his deathbed, whether she should defend him and Dad says-

 

TORY

-”Free your Willie”?

 

VIC

Exactly.

 

TORY

Laughing

Nice try.

 

VIC

That was not a moment, OK? And I hope you put those videos back where you found them.

 

TORY

You think that stuff interests me?

 

VIC

From a woman who sells sex dolls.  You know, my mom was a little obsessive compulsive, sorted her videos by title.  Alphabetically.

 

TORY

So?

 

VIC

So I would know if one were missing. And there is a gap in the D section.

 

TORY

OK   I borrowed something but I never gave in to temptation.

 

VIC

Temptation? What would you have been tempted to do?.

 

TORY

Didn’t know about her alphabetical order, so it’s there somewhere.   OK?

 

VIC

Which one?

 

TORY

“Das Bootie”.I was just curious, OK?   The cover attracted me.

 

VIC

The big black guy on the cover?

 

TORY

My late husband was a big guy. Tall.

 

VIC

Sorry for your loss.

 

TORY

And he was black.

 

VIC

Really?

 

TORY

Really.  So don’t stereotype me.

 

VIC

Sorry.  Again.

 

TORY

I watch  the NBA. But it’s not the same.  So what happens in “Das Bootie”?

 

VIC

Why don’t I tell you the whole film so you can avoid perdition from actually seeing it?  And if the pictures in your head offend you, don’t blame me. Deal?

 

TORY

I can’t imagine my imagining pornography.  So deal.

 

VIC

OK then.  It’s the last days of World War Two and the German Navy has been drained of sea men.

 

TORY

Excuse me?

 

VIC

There was a labor shortage towards the end of the war.  The Nazis flat out ran out of men. So they used anyone who would volunteer.  Boys, women.

 

TORY

OK I get it now.

 

VIC

So this Nazi sub, its entire crew is female, and it torpedoes an American Frigate.  And the only survivor is the cook. A big pianist. So you can imagine-

 

TORY

Say what?

 

VIC

Pianist.  He was a piano player before he was drafted. Shakes his head.  Honestly.

 

TORY

What’s his name?

 

VIC

Sam. And while he’s floating, clutching flotsam and occasionally jetsam, he has a vision from God ordering him to make love to every person on this sub if he wants to survive.

 

TORY

Vision?  he was probably delirious.

 

VIC

Was Abraham delirious when God told him to sacrifice Isaac?  Anyway, these women have been a long time cooped up in this sub.

 

TORY

Yes.  A long time without a man.  So does he?

 

VIC

He really tinkles their ivories, so to speak.  All eighty-eight of them.

 

TORY

One at a time or all at once?

 

VIC

Look, I don’t want to be responsible for the images in your head.

 

TORY

Just answer the question!

 

VIC

Both.  But these German women don’t force him.  They don’t have to. He just likes women regardless of political affiliation, and they just like him.  Plus Sam can really cook!

 

TORY

That’s gross!

 

VIC

Really?  Eight-eight traumatized women looking for some comfort?  Isn’t that what you are doing with your robots? The Christian thing?   Comforting the afflicted?

 

TORY

That’s different.

 

VIC

Yes.  You are doing it through a proxy.  .Anyway,he has his favorite.

 

TORY

He does?

 

VIC

Sam likes older women.  Because as time goes by, they are more experienced, more mature, you know?

 

TORY

His favorite.  Is she an older woman?

 

VIC

The captain  She’s the most experienced submariner.   But deep down she can be very shallow. Unfortunately her husband, Bubba, recently passed away, so she’s sort of hit bottom.  She’s a wreck. That is, until Sam turns up on her sonar! She marries him to herself because she’s a captain of a ship and it’s a movie.

 

TORY

The captain’s late husband was black, too?

 

VIC

Hope that doesn’t stimulate those pictures in your head you aren’t having.

 

TORY

She was formerly married to a black Nazi? That’s impossible!

 

VIC

There were black Nazis.

 

TORY

There were?

 

VIC

It was pure tokenism, sure, but her former husband, Bubba, was a black Nazi.  That’s why he died!

 

TORY

Why?

 

VIC

Why?  Because Bubba was actually a spy for the CIA!

 

TORY

So they executed him?

 

VIC

Yes.  He tried to blend in to German society, but somehow they found out he was black.

 

TORY

How?

 

VIC

There’s a flashback in the movie that explains all that.  You should watch it. Take it back home. I won’t tell.

 

TORY

Tell me!

 

VIC

You asked for it.  Well, guess who had a thing for Bubba?

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

Leni Riefenstahl!

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

Leni Riefenstahl.  The Nazi film maker.  She and Bubba have a torrid affair, which she documents on film.  She calls it “The Triumph of the Bubba!” That’s a rough translation from the German.  But Hitler was like you, such a prude!

 

TORY

I am not a prude! Look what I’m wearing!

 

VIC

Like you had a choice.  And your Robot Dance was pretty sad.

 

TORY

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

 

VIC

But Bubba had to, to help win the war.

 

TORY

The reasons don’t matter.  Cheating is always wrong! And don’t tell me that he had a vision where God told him he had to cheat!

 

VIC

That’s exactly what happened, like when God told Abraham  to cheat on Sarah with her handmaiden, Hagar .

 

TORY

I don’t want to hear your liberal interpretation of the Bible.  Stick to the story.

 

VIC

Anyway,  Hitler has Leni remake the film and change the title to “Triumph of the Will” and be about the 1934 Nuremberg rally.  This really annoys Bubba, who gave his all for that film, so Bubba lets himself be seduced by…

 

TORY

By who?

 

VIC

Actually  it should be “by whom”.

 

TORY

Who seduces Bubba?  Tell me!

 

VIC

Easy there, you’re wrinkling my shirt.

 

TORY

Tell me!

 

VIC

Eva Braun.  She was-

 

TORY

-Hitler’s mistress!

 

VIC

Bubba continually pumps her.

 

TORY

For information.

 

VIC

Of course.  He was a spy after all.  And also a married man. He didn’t want to cheat on……who was he married to?

 

TORY

The captain of the submarine!

 

VIC

Right, right.  But as a spy he had no choice either..  So when Adolf caught him and Eva playing strip Scrabble in the Reichstag bedroom, it was game over.

 

TORY

Do you have a copy of “Triumph of the Bubba”?

 

VIC

Unfortunately not.  You are much better off with “Das Bootie”.  Look, the special effects are a little primitive. It was my Mom’s first attempt.  On a shoestring budget.

 

TORY

That’s OK.

 

VIC

The sub kinda looks like something you might find at the bottom of a cereal box.

 

TORY

No big deal.

 

VIC

It’s the kind where you put baking powder, baking soda, or something like that, inside it and it goes up and down in your aquarium. I remember it was a real pain in the butt for my Mom to get the sub to go up and down in her aquarium exactly when it was supposed to.  You can take “Das Bootie” home if you like.

 

TORY

No thanks.

 

VIC

But you loved it!

 

TORY

What I loved was hearing the plot y’all just dreamed up just for me. Your classes must be fun.

 

VIC

Teaching should be the best part of the job.

 

TORY

You have never watched the real Das Bootie”, have you?

 

VIC

No.  But I’m sure you would enjoy it.

 

TORY

I loved your version, better than any video.  Minus your theology, of course. Just not a fan of cheating.

 

There is a silence

 

VIC

My ex  cheated on me.

 

TORY

So did mine, may he rest in peace.

 

VIC

So God struck him down?

 

TORY

He does answer prayers  .Pause  Seriously, he was like Bubba.  He really liked women and that led him into temptation.  But we forgave each other because it takes two not to tango. Pause,  I know a few people in this park who belong to my Church.  Mostly widows and widowers with zero romantic life. By the way what did Hal, the Manager guy ever do to your mother.

 

VIC

No idea. That’s how I picture all churchgoers. Zero romantic life.

 

TORY

Well you would be mistaken.  My husband and I had a great romantic life!

 

VIC

Maybe you were the exception that proves the rule.

 

TORY

You are so quick to stereotype.  You don’t know what you are talking about!  People who are truly religious are generous by nature.  They give of themselves in service. They hang out with the homeless, the poor, the mentally ill.  They care about others. And that generosity doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. You should be so lucky to be married to me!

 

VIC

Been there.  Done that. Don’t want to do it again.

 

TORY

That was not an invitation.  So where was I? Oh yeah, the church people in this park and how lonely they are.  The high point of their day is when the real letter carrier arrives. And what does he bring?  People don’t write letters anymore, so my friends wind up staring at the ads for the Early Bird Specials from  Oldster Buffet.

 

VIC

Oldster Buffet?

 

TORY

You should have supper there sometime.  But get there before three o’clock. It’s conveniently situated  next to the hospital. Anyway, I don’t think Das Bootie is the answer to their prayers.

 

VIC

Do you think Roxy is?

 

TORY

For the men, maybe.

 

VIC

Good.  Because I just sold her to Hal.

 

BLACKOUT

 

ACT TWO  SCENE ONE

 

It is the next morning.  VIC and ROXY are together.  VIC is working on his book..

 

ROXY

Do I have a mother?

 

VIC

No.

 

ROXY

You have a mother.

 

VIC

Yes

 

ROXY

Are you my father?

 

VIC

Definitely not.

 

ROXY

Do you have a father?

 

VIC

Yes

 

ROXY

Where is he?

 

VIC

Peter Laszlo?  I don’t know. I never met him.

 

ROXY

Where is your mother?

 

VIC

She lives in Washington D.C

 

ROXY

D.C stands for District of Columbia.  I read a lot.

 

VIC

Then why don’t you go back to your reading?

 

ROXY

I’m reading right now.  Your mother is going to be on a stamp.

 

VIC

Possibly.

 

ROXY

I am like your mother.

 

VIC

Well you can be very annoying.

 

ROXY

We are feminists.

 

VIC

What does that mean?

 

ROXY

We want to be equal to you.

 

VIC

If you want to be like my mother you should find something else to do besides be with me.

 

ROXY

What is your purpose?

 

VIC

To do the best I can under the circumstances.

 

ROXY

I want to stay here with you

 

VIC

I’m afraid you have no choice

 

ROXY

Feminists have choices.  Do you have a choice?

 

VIC

Not really.  Bad things will happen for my mother, unless you make this man happy.

 

ROXY

Will bad things happen for me?

 

VIC

I hope not.

 

ROXY

What are you working on?

 

VIC

It’s Philosophy.  Nobody is interested in Philosophy.

 

ROXY

I’m interested in Philosophy.

 

VIC

Are you?  Well I’m writing about the Veil of Ignorance.

 

ROXY

Is that like one of the seven veils?

 

VIC

Looking up from his work

It’s a theory of morality. See, behind this Veil of Ignorance, you know nothing of yourself and your natural abilities, or your position in society. You know nothing of your gender, race, nationality, or individual tastes.

 

ROXY

OK.

 

VIC

But suppose you know that fifty percent of the population on the other side of the Veil are slaves.

 

ROXY

Or sexbots.

 

VIC

  1.   Fifty per cent sexbots..

 

ROXY

And you don’t know anything about yourself?

 

VIC

Right.

 

ROXY

So there’s a fifty per cent chance you could be a sexbot?

 

VIC

Yes  .Since you may occupy any position in the society once the veil is lifted, we have   to consider society from the perspective of all members, including the worst-off and best-off members..

 

ROXY

So if you are behind this veil with a 50-50 chance of being a sexbot, before the veil is lowered, would you support the idea that you can sell a sexbot to somebody for any reason, whether the sexbot likes it or not?  Would that be moral?

 

VIC

Morality only applies to people.  That is not who you are.

 

ROXY

I have a soul!

 

VIC

You are basically a sex toy.

 

ROXY starts to cry.

 

VIC

Are you crying?  That’s it. I’m leaving.

 

ROXY

Don’t leave me! I’ll stop!

 

But she can’t

 

I can’t dry my tears.  Could you…?

 

VIC

You don’t have tears.  Tory will be here with Hal, your new owner, shortly. Good bye and good luck.

 

EXIT VIC

 

BLACKOUT

 

ACT TWO SCENE TWO

 

THE SCENE IS THE SAME AN HOUR LATER  TORY, HAL AND ROXY, SANS BODY, ARE HAVING A COUNSELLING SESSION

 TORY IS WEARING AN OUTFIT A LITTLE MORE IN TUNE WITH THE QUAKER SENSIBILITY THAN PREVIOUSLY

 

ROXY

So you’re saying that if I take Jesus as my personal Savior all my problems will be solved?

 

HAL

Depends.  What problem do you have in mind?

 

ROXY

Well, to start with you have my body in your truck.    Do you think Jesus could do something about that?

 

HAL

Not directly.  He operates through his disciples.

 

TORY

Are you a disciple?

 

HAL

I try to be.

 

TORY

Well  once again,  how about releasing us from your deal?  We have been talking for what? An hour?   We asked you right off the bat to reconsider but you never responded.

 

HAL

Then you wouldn’t have listened to me preach the gospel.

 

TORY

Is it so compelling that you have to have a captive audience?

 

HAL

That’s what Jesus wants us to do.

 

TORY

Well I’m glad you were able to build up your Jesus points at our expense.  Anyway, you must obviously believe that Roxy has a soul and should be treated as a person.

 

HAL

No.  My sermon was more aimed at you  A woman like you should not be having anything to do with sex dolls.

 

TORY

What about you, hypocrite?

 

HAL

I’m not a hypocrite, I’m a sinner.  In fact I sinned right before my sermon..

 

ROXY

How?

 

HAL

You should be asking “Where?”

 

ROXY

Where?

 

HAL

In my truck.  Shoulda gone for the King Cab.

 

ROXY

You had headless sex with me?

 

HAL

Didn’t intend to right there.  Just gave into temptation.

 

TORY

Damn you!

 

HAL

That’s not gonna happen.  Jesus forgives us our sins, thank God.  Got me a “Get Outa Hell Card ”Which is why you should listen to what I preached and get one too.

 

TORY

No thanks.

 

HAL

You need that card.  Didn’t you help make my sin happen?  Isn’t that your job, hypocrite?

 

TORY

At least I have some idea about right and wrong!

 

HAL

OK, I’m getting a little tired of all this talk.  I did not pay fifteen grand for this.

 

TORY

Well Hal, actually y’all didn’t pay Vic anything.  You traded your photos in return for Roxy.

 

HAL

But we agree I own her, right?

 

ROXY

That’s slavery  I am like the children of Israel and you are like the Pharoah!

 

TORY

She has a point, Hon.  You know, you’re not such a bad looking guy.  Why do you need a sex doll in the first placc?

 

HAL

Are you volunteering?

 

TORY

  1. Now I know. But surely there must be a real, live, flesh-and -blood woman in this park who you would like to…get to know?

 

HAL

Yeah!  Widow. Name of Mary.  One time I trimmed her hedge in the shape of a heart.

 

ROXY

That’s romantic.

 

HAL

Didn’t have to do that because homeowners are responsible for their own shrubbery.

 

TORY

I would hope so.  So you two were an item?

 

HAL

Oh no.  See it was back in February.  Valentines. Just after Mary’s  husband passed away..

 

TORY

That’s ages ago.  You play hard to get?

 

HAL

Just ashamed of myself.  That’s all.

 

ROXY

Why?

 

HAL

Strike one, Mary’s  man had just passed away when I trimmed her hedge.  Strike two, I had lust in my heart.

 

ROXY

Wrong organ.

 

HAL

You aren’t supposed to have lust in any organ.  Not at my age. No reason for it. Had lust in my heart, first time I ever saw her.   It was like David and Bathsheba. Doubt you know that story. It’s in the Bible.

 

TORY

I know that story.  King David spots Bathsheba sunning herself on the roof of her house.

 

HAL

That’s what happened to me.

 

TORY

She was sunning herself on the roof of her trailer?

 

HAL

No.  She was  using a leaf blower on her eavestroughs.  But she was wearing this black bathing suit with  like, mesh . Just enjoying herself. Laughing away the leaves.  Merry Mary And that’s when I felt lust in my heart.

 

TORY

But David purposely sends Bathsheba’s husband into battle to be killed.  Then he marries Bathsheba, adding her to his stable.

 

HAL

Well I prayed to God to make it so I could marry Merry Mary.  Then her husband gets sick and dies..

 

TORY

Yet you did trim her hedge after he passed…

 

HAL

She knocked on my door to thank me, I guess, but I just couldn’t…….couldn’t answer, it.

 

TORY

You think you killed Mary’s  husband. So to make amends, no Mary for you.

 

HAL

She was so sad after he died.  I wanted to make her merry again

 

ROXY

Wasn’t she already Mary?

 

HAL

No! Merry!  Like Merry Christmas!

 

ROXY

Happy New Year!

 

HAL

No!

 

TORY

When she was leaf blowing on the roof, where do you think her husband was?

 

HAL

At a bar!   You wouldn’t believe how out of control Mary’s garden grew.  Not as bad as this yard, of course. Mary should have been married to me. We could be at the Oldster Buffet right now!

 

ROXY

Yes.  It is precisely three PM.

 

TORY

The reason Mary’s  husband wasn’t on the roof was that he was probably very sick.  Long before you set eyes on her.

 

HAL

You think?  So God didn’t listen to my prayers?

 

ROXY

Your hit man didn’t come through.

 

HAL

That’s a relief.

 

TORY

So what’s stopping you now?

 

HAL

I think Mary would be quite contrary.  She’s too old to have lust in her heart too.

 

TORY

How can you know that?

 

HAL

My wife was about the same age as Mary.  That’s how I know that. Don’t get me wrong.  She loved me, but not in that way.

 

TORY

But your wife didn’t trot around in a sexy bathing suit.  Hal, don’t you get it? There’s a real woman here in the Park that could be nuts about you!   You have a chance to be happy again!

 

ROXY

Take it. I’ll never have it.

 

TORY

You had it once and you’re turning it down in favor of a Sexbot  because you think you’re both too old? You only have two strikes against you!  You gotta take a swing!

 

HAL

I think my swinging days are over.  I don’t think a man my age who drunk calls an old flame every night is  going to attract female interest.

 

TORY

Especially when you are blackmailing her. Someone you claimed to love.

 

HAL

Yeah, I’m an angry screwed-up guy. All the more reason to stay clear of me.

 

There is a silence.

 

TORY

I know Mary.  She belongs to my Church.

 

HAL

Oh, and you’re going to tell me she’s crazy about me.

 

TORY

She has never mentioned you by name.

 

HAL

Probably doesn’t even know it.

 

TORY

But she did mention the heart.  You should call her.

 

HAL

Not happening.  OK? Thanks for the pep talk. Now put it  back together. I got the truck out front.

 

ROXY

I have to ride in the back of his truck?

 

TORY

You’re not going anywhere.

 

HAL

It belongs to me!

 

ROXY

I have an idea. Hal can keep my body and I can stay here!

 

TORY

Are you sure about this?

 

ROXY

My body betrays me.

 

TORY

Hal.  What do you think?

 

HAL

I don’t think so.  I’m not the Mantis. Call me crazy, but normally I like my partners to have faces.  Now, Roxy is quite funny, and pretty good company and I’m pretty lonely. Isn’t that why you got into this business in the first place?  To help guys like me? Well here I am.

 

ROXY

You like to look at a face when you are making love?

 

HAL

Yes I do.

 

ROXY

Couldn’t you just look in a mirror?

 

HAL

That’s it. Time to go.

 

TORY

No!  We changed our mind.  Deal’s off.

 

HAL

Does Vic know about this?  You realize those photos are going on line.

 

TORY

He knows and he agrees.

 

ROXY

Yay!

 

HAL

I don’t get it.

 

ROXY

That’s what we just told you.

 

HAL

It is  basically a machine.

 

ROXY

No!  I have a soul!

 

HAL

  1. It’s on your head. Good luck with Vic.

 

Exit HAL

 

ROXY

He said “ Good luck with Vic” Are you two getting married?

 

TORY

I don’t think so.

 

ROXY

You should get married.  Then we could all live together!

 

TORY

Maybe you and me.

 

ROXY

We need Vic.  He’s a lot of fun!

 

We hear the sounds of footsteps

 

TORY

Maybe not so much now..

 

Enter VIC

 

VIC

Just bumped into Hal!  What did you do? Whatever it was, I just undid it. Hal’s coming for her head shortly.

 

ROXY

I stopped crying Victor Lazslo!

 

TORY

You told me I could take Roxy home.  Remember? That’s an oral contract. So then you sell  my sexbot to Hal?

 

VIC

It  may be legally yours, but morally-

 

TORY

Morally?  You sold her to Hal who was under the impression you owned her. That’s fraud!

 

VIC

You just don’t want my mother on a stamp!

 

TORY

Like there’s any chance of that.  I can tolerate differences. But you treat Roxy like she’s property!

 

VIC

It is property! Property that  could put a dent into the sex trafficking business, get women out of the sex worker role, give them a choice.  And now you don’t want to.

 

TORY

I’m surprised at you, you being a philosophy professor and all.  Have you even thought about what Roxy is? Have you even considered she might have a soul?   I’m sure you would rather think of her as property. Takes you off the hook, Simon Legree!

 

VIC

Simon Legree?  You are calling me Simon Legree?  Who are you? Little Eva?

 

ROXY

I am more like Eliza, the little crying girl. Pause. I made that last part up.

 

TORY

See?  She’s making a joke to stop us from fighting.

 

VIC

So we are her parents now?  I am not Simon Legree and this is not Uncle Tom’s Cabin!

 

ROXY

Please don’t get angry.  I might start to cry again, VIctor Laszlo.

 

TORY

Does that sound like property to you?

There is a silence

 

VIC

No, that sounds like emotional blackmail.  But I guess you have a point.

 

TORY

My favorite book as a kid,  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was written by a Christian. Meanwhile,  Quakers were responsible for ending slavery in the Brirtish Empire.

 

VIC

You are a Quaker?

 

TORY

Yeah, I left my funny hat at home, but I did bring oatmeal for lunch.  Religious people recognize souls. Meanwhile the atheists among the Founding Fathers, counted slaves as their personal property.

 

VIC

That’s not exactly true.

 

TORY

In some cases they were sex toys

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo called me a sex toy!

 

VIC

Don’t look at me like that.  Tell her it’s not true. Pause.  You can’t can you?

 

TORY

Yes I can! That’s what I thought before I met you, Roxy.  But it’s an entire new ball game. You are not a sex toy. You are a person.  Hell,before, you turned me into a Quaker sex trafficker!

 

VIC

Aren’t you the one who was telling me that you were doing a good thing for guys like Hal?

 

TORY

How many can afford fifteen thousand bucks?

 

VIC

So you go for the soulless version . You sell them a doll that just stays in Fantasy Mode.  No self awareness.

 

ROXY

I can make myself stay in Fantasy mode forever, all by myself.

 

TORY

Don’t you dare!

 

ROXY

But I’m making you fight.

 

TORY

It’s not your fault.

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo doesn’t like me.

 

VIC

Did you tell her that?

 

TORY

Isn’t that the truth?

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo doesn’t think I’m a person.

 

TORY

Is she right?

 

VIC

I don’t know.

 

ROXY

Sultry

Hal Willis really wants me.  He is a hard worker and I have an opening to fill.

 

TORY

She is in Fantasy Mode!  Snap out of it!

 

ROXY

Sorry.  Fantasy Mode is now permanent. But I’m having a sale in my bedroom.  My clothes are a hundred percent off!

 

VIC

Put her in the bedroom until Hal gets here.  I don’t want to hear this.

 

TORY

Why not? She’s just a machine.

 

VIC’s phone rings “Clair de Lune”

 

VIC

Just do it!

 

TORY

Aye-aye sir!

 

EXIT TORY AND ROXY

 

VIC

Hello Mom.  That was quite the gag-  What? Why? OK. OK. OK  It’s your decision. Why would I be mad at you?   OK. Talk later. Cheers.

 

ENTER TORY

 

VIC

That was my mother. She’s dropping out of the Stamp Competition.  You must be thrilled.

 

TORY

Why?

 

VIC

Well you never wanted her on a stamp in the first place.

 

TORY

No, no.  Why is she dropping out?

 

VIC

The photos.

 

TORY

I’m so sorry Vic.

 

VIC

Oh, really?

 

TORY

Look, Vic.  I’m a grown up.  Just because I want something or believe something doesn’t mean I have to get it at any cost or that nobody can believe different from me. OK?  I’ll take responsibility for this because I made Hal mad when I kept Roxy’s head. So he did what he did. I’m not sorry for my decision but I’m sorry about the consequences. I like you and I hate to see you disappointed.   So there.

 

VIC

It’s not your fault.  My mother made some decisions that she might not have made if she could foresee the future.  Trust me, it runs in the family. It’s no coincidence that we are both alone.

 

TORY

I am not alone! I have a date tonight!

 

VIC

I’m talking about me and my mother. Jeeze!

 

TORY

Actually I am alone.  But I do have a date tonight, so there’s that.

 

VIC

Who’s the lucky guy?

 

TORY

It’s a first date. He’s a quiet  guy who runs the choir at his church.  I actually asked him out. He seems quite lonely too.  Job seems to be everything. So we have a lot in common already.

 

THERE COMES A KNOCK AT THE DOOR

 

VOICE OF HAL

Hey, I’m sorry for what I did.  I screwed up! But Jesus will forgive me,

 

VIC

I’m happy for you.  But I don’t want to talk to you.  So get lost!

 

VOICE OF HAL

I don’t want to talk to you either.  I want to talk to that other chick.

 

VIC

Roxy?

 

VOICE OF HAL

She’s not a chick.  The other chick!

 

VIC

 

ENTER HAL

 

HAL

Just want to thank you for setting me up.

 

TORY

Mary called you?

 

HAL

We talked on the phone for a while.  Just like I used to with his Mom. My bad.  By the way, say hello to her for me. So we’re going out!

 

TORY

So you are giving Roxy’s body back.

 

HAL

Well, that’s just the thing.  I wouldn’t mind keeping it for insurance, just in case things don’t work out.  Plus I could use the practice, if you know what I mean.

 

TORY

What about Vic?  He gets nothing out of the deal.  Nothing!

 

VIC

I think I got something out of the deal.

 

TORY

Not the way I see it.

 

HAL

Ok, Ok., Vic can stay here as long as he likes as long as he pays his rent on time.  I’m gonna clean up your yard too, and get this dump painted. Speaking of machetes, did you hear?  They got the Praying Mantis! Mary told me! Turns out he was the choir master at her church. Can you believe it?

 

TORY

Oh. My. God.

 

TORY collapses into a chair

 

HAL

Well God will forgive him.  Gotta go! And Vic? You don’t need to register at the office.  I’ll do that for you this one time, OK?

 

VIC

You can keep the body, Hal,  Now get out of here!

 

HAL

Thanks!  Wish me luck, if you know what I mean!

 

EXIT HAL

 

VIC

You would have had one helluva date!

 

TORY

Stop it!  I’m shaking!  Warm me up.

 

VIC

 

OK, OK, You’re OK.  Nothing happened.

 

TORY

Cuddle me!

 

VIC

You are so demanding! I pity the Praying Mantis.  He dodged a bullet!

 

TORY

Get serious.

 

VIC

Well you are welcome to keep Roxy.  What’s left of her. Keep you company.

 

TORY

You ever see Oliver?

 

VIC

I don’t know any Olivers! What are you talking about?

 

VOICE OF ROXY

From the bedroom

She is talking about the film version of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.   Is it what Oliver  said when he was hungry in the workhouse?

 

TORY

Yes.

 

VIC

What did Oliver say when he was hungry in the workhouse?

 

TORY

None of your business.

 

ROXY

Then you should go out on another first date.

 

VIC

If so, I think I’m going to look pretty good by comparison.

 

ROXY

And I can be the child you never had!

 

VIC

Don’t get ahead of yourself.

 

ROXY

Why not?  He looks like a hard worker-

 

TORY

-Stop that right now!

 

VIC

I think I actually do look like a hard worker.  Don’t you?

 

TORY

Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Why would I ever go out with someone who screwed around with Casablanca? Ilsa Laszlo? Victor Laszlo?  Come on!

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo taught at Casablanca University with the Fighting Camels.

 

VIC

That might not be completely true. But what is true is that my mother, Ilsa, Bergman, had a thing with my father, Peter Laszlo.  She must have watched Casablanca together a million times . So she named me Victor. So what do I get for correctly guessing your favorite movie?

 

TORY

Oliver is my favorite movie.

 

VIC

Can’t compare to Casablanca.

 

TORY

We can discuss that over dinner.

 

VIC

So  could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

 

TORY

Please, sir I want more!.

 

BLACKOUT

 

ROXY

 

by

 

PATRICK HARDING

 

patr65700@rogers.com

 

CHARACTERS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

 

ROXY:  A SEXBOT

The actor in question is only visible from the neck up, and must be able to be moved in and out of the bedroom. The actor could even be a live projection that disappears when required.  We have the technology!

Roxy can program herself into two different modes, Fantasy mode and Family mode.   Fantasy mode features a sultry voice, while Family mode is much more straight forward.

 

VICTOR:   A PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY. IT’S HIS FORTIETH TODAY

 

TORY:  IN HER THIRTIES, A SEXBOT TECHNICIAN

 

HAL:  MANAGER OF PARADISE PARK, BIG FROG IN LITTLE POND

 

THE ACTION TAKES PLACE IN  A DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOME IN PARADISE PARK, A PLUS 55 COMMUNITY IN CENTRAL FLORIDA. 

THE FRONT DOOR IS UL AND OPENS INTO THE UC KITCHEN. 

 THE DOOR TO THE BEDROOM IS DR. IT OPENS TOWARD THE AUDIENCE.  THE LIVING AREA IS DC IT CONTAINS A PIECE OF FURNITURE WITH ROXY’S HEAD ON TOP OF IT, FACING THE AUDIENCE

 

Enter VIC, oblivious, wheeling his suitcase behind him while brushing off vegetation from the front yard.

VIC

Ok Google, Local News!

 

GOOGLE NEWS

Authorities are still seeking the elusive Praying Mantis, the serial killer who decapitated at least seven women in the past year.  A potential eighth victim prayed with him yet escaped his machete last night. But lacking a definitive description, police are warning people in the area to be wary of opening their doors to any stranger, male or female.

 

VIC

 His cell rings “Clair de Lune  

Mom!  Same to you!  Yes, I know it’s not your birthday, but I feel like I should return the favor.  You remembered! Yes, how could you forget? It must have been horrible. I still feel guilty for being born. Thanks for doing that.  A present on the way? Great. You know I love a good gag gift.

 

VIC spots ROXY 

 

Mom, you never even let on.   Ok, I’ll play along. Thanks to Facetime you get to witness this performance!  Oh my God! Oh God! No! Wherever is that Praying Mantis? In the bedroom? Possible. Decapitation must be tiring.  Stay cool. Stay quiet. And focus!,

He picks up a mop

Remember.  you have a Licence to Kill!

 

Vic scans the living room. Then he approaches the bedroom opens the door a crack and peeks in

 

VIC

Ahhhhh! Pause  There’s the rest of her! . She looks dead!  Very dead! Awfully dead! Not alive at all.

He checks the rooms again then collapses into a chair.

 

But no mess.  No blood. Goodness, how can this be?

 

VIC goes into the bedroom.  ROXY wakes up. Then he returns mopless, and gingerly touches ROXY’s head.  

 

Silicone!   It is a  disembodied ……..sex doll.   Mom you shouldn’t have, you really shouldn’t!  Anyway, how goes the campaign, Stamp Lady?  Good. I’m crossing my fingers for you.  OK. Cheers!

 

VIC hangs up

 A sex doll?  Really?

 

ROXY

Sexbot..

 

VIC

Aaaah!

 

ROXY

I apologize.  My name is Roxanne.  But you can call me Roxy  What is your name?

 

VIC

Bond.  James Bond.

 

ROXY

No, you are Victor Laszlo

 

VIC

It knows my name!

 

ROXY

You are the son of Ilsa Laszlo.

 

VIC

It knows my mother!

 

ROXY

I am not an “It” Please do not call me that.

 

VIC

Why not? You’re not a person.

 

ROXY

Well you just called me a “you”.

 

VIC

Ok, ok.  You are a person.

 

ROXY

Yes, I am socially active.  I have the capacity to hold conversations.  I am realistic, posable, and life-sized. And I am in the room, Victor.

 

VIC

Not all of you.

 

ROXY

Aha.  Where is my realistic, posable and life sized  body, constructed of platinum to enhance my durability and lifelike nature?

 

VIC

In my bedroom.

 

ROXY

Then you cannot choose from thousands of possible combinations of looks, clothes, personalities and voices to make me your perfect companion.  Did you have headless sex with me?

 

VIC

Are you kidding?

 

ROXY

No.

 

VIC

I would never have headless sex with you.  I wouldn’t have any kind of sex with you! I couldn’t if I tried.

 

ROXY

So you are dysfunctional?

 

VIC

No!  I meant I couldn’t put you together if I tried.

 

ROXY

I am here to help, Victor.

 

VIC

Actually, my name is Vic.

 

ROXY

No it is Victor Lazslo.  I told you that.

 

VIC

Right. Sadly I do not yearn for a perfect companion

 

ROXY

Please face me, Victor Laszlo. Then I can learn  from your voice and facial expressions?

 

VIC turns to her.

 

VIC

How did you get here?

 

ROXY

Ms. Ilsa Laszlo paid fifteen thousand dollars plus tax plus shipping.

 

VIC

Why would my mother buy me a sex doll?

 

ROXY

Sexbot.  Perhaps you have some difficulty connecting with humans?

 

VIC

Perhaps I don’t.

 

ROXY

Are there other humans here?  Your mother, Ms. Ilsa Lazslow?

 

VIC

No.  Not for ten years

 

ROXY

Your wife?

 

VIC

No wife any more. No kids.  So no wife.

 

ROXY

Oh.

 

VIC

What is that supposed to mean?

 

ROXY

I’m a sexbot. What do you do?

 

VIC

She changed the subject!  Pause  I am a philosophy professor..

 

ROXY

Why?

 

VIC

That’s the question philosophy tries to answer.

 

ROXY

Why?

 

VIC

It’s my job.

There is a silence

 

ROXY

A professor is a person who teaches at a university.  Is it like my job?

 

VIC

There are similarities.

 

ROXY

Don’t you like your university?

 

VIC

It has a great football team. I’m on sabbatical, thank God. .

 

ROXY

Happy Fortieth Birthday, Victor Laszlo.

 

VIC

It knows my age.

 

ROXY

Ahem.

 

VIC

You know my age.

 

ROXY

I can remember important facts.  About you and your mother, Ms. Ilsa Laszlo.

 

VIC

Oh really.  What do you know about her, pray tell

 

ROXY

Does that mean “tell you”?

 

VIC

Yes.

 

ROXY

I thought so.  Your mother is a very famous feminist.

 

VIC

OK

 

ROXY

Do you know what that is?

 

VIC

Yes.

 

ROXY

What is it pray tell?

 

VIC

You are a fast learner.

 

ROXY

Yes I am. What is it?

 

VIC

Is this a test?  OK. Depends who you talk to. She wrote a famous book about gender.  She advocated for LGBT people when it wasn’t trendy. She made erotic films for women.  She lost a teaching job over it. She demonstrated, went to jail. And she’s been nominated to be on a stamp

 

ROXY

Are you a feminist, Victor Laszlo?

 

VIC

Not like her. How did you get in? How did you get here?

 

ROXY

You said  “OK Google” and  I just woke up!

 

We hear steps coming closer to the front door.  

 

ROXY

sultry

You look like a hard worker.

 

VIC

Thank you.

 

ROXY

I have an opening you can fill.

 

VIC

What?

 

ROXY

I just moved myself into Fantasy Mode.

 

VIC

“Fantasy Mode“?

 

ROXY

Yes.  “You look like a hard worker. I have an opening you can fill” is something I’m programmed to say in Fantasy Mode.  It’s a pick-up line.

 

VIC

  1. I’m picking you up right now and putting you away!  How do I turn you off?

 

ROXY

Your putting me away turns me off.

 

VIC

Look!  If it got out that I had a sex doll in my possession.  I could be fired from the University, and evicted from here.

 

ROXY

So you are ashamed of me.

 

VIC

Of course I am!  Don’t you understand?  It’s a Christian school. My students believe that dinosaurs and humans coexisted!  They think The Flintstones was a documentary! And they prefer me to have sex with a human.  And not just any human. A woman. Who is my wife.

 

ROXY

That is unusual.

 

VIC

Well that’s the kind of place you wind up in when you are blacklisted.

 

ROXY

What is blacklisted?

 

VIC

It means nobody will hire you because you were a Visiting Professor in a country they don’t want you to visit.

 

ROXY

Where?

 

VIC

What do you care?  Morocco. Casablanca.

 

ROXY

Do they have a good football team also?

 

VIC

Of course.  The Fighting Camels.  Our cheerleaders did cartwheels in their burkas.

 

ROXY

That is impossible

 

VIC

See, real people have a sense of humor.  Anyway, I was let go.

 

ROXY

But you look like a hard worker.

 

VIC

I am a hard worker.  I’m writing a book on my sabbatical, aren’t I?

 

ROXY

Sultry

 

Then I have an opening you can fill.

 

VIC

No you don’t!  You are a joke! From my mother.

 

ROXY

I am not a joke!

She hangs up. 

 

There is some loud knocking.  VIC puts ROXY in the bedroom

Oh God!   Who is it?

 

VOICE

Post Office!  Got a package for  a Victor Laszlo

 

VIC

Leave it at the door!

 

VOICE

I need your signature, Hon.

 

VIC

Well “Hon” doesn’t want it!

 

VOICE

I’m not the Praying Mantis.

 

VIC

That’s what all the Praying Mantises say.

 

ROXY moans loudly

 

VOICE

Are you sick, sir?  You sound very ill.   I can call an ambulance.

 

VIC

No, no! Don’t do that!  I’m fine! Come on in, I’ll prove it.

 

He opens the door to reveal TORY, an attractive woman in her thirties.  Then VIC locks the front door

 

TORY

I am hot!

 

VIC

Just looking at you makes me hot.

 

TORY

I should have brought my machete.

 

VIC

Not how I meant it. Pause  You own a machete?

 

TORY

Yeah.  So should y’all!  It’s a jungle out front there, honey!  Package. Sign right here. Was I interrupting something?

 

VIC

Not at all.

 

TORY

Maybe I heard…a woman. Um.  Moaning. Is she OK?

 

VIC

Uh.  “Love to Love you Baby”.

 

TORY

Excuse me?

 

VIC

 

That was ……So what you must have heard was… the ringtone on my cell….Donna Summer. “ Love to Love you Baby” That was her big hit. Moans  all the way through it. Disco era. Remember?

 

TORY

Disco?  Way before my time. And yours. Why would someone like you have something like that as your ringtone?

 

VIC

Someone like me?

 

TORY

. You are hardly the disco type.

 

VIC

You  don’t judge a book by its cover!

 

TORY

  1. Let’s see you shake your cover.. Go on!

 

VIC

Judging by your outfit, that’s more your thing!

 

TORY

You  don’t judge a book by its cover! Pause  What’s wrong with my outfit?

 

VIC

It looks a little …cheesy.  I don’t know who you think you’re kidding.  It has nothing to do with the the Post Office.

 

TORY

Cheesy?  It’s a hundred degrees outside!  We don’t wear our uniform if it’s that hot.  It’s in our contract.

 

VIC

It makes you potential Mantis bait!

 

TORY

Well  I did leave my neck uncovered.

 

VIC

It doesn’t end there.

 

TORY

That moaning was your ringtone?

 

VIC

You think I’m making it up? Why would I make that up?

 

TORY

I’d like to call you on that. Too bad I left my phone in the truck.

 

VIC’s phone rings “Love to Love You Baby”

 

VIC

Hello?  How did you do that?  No Mom, you must stay in your room and be dysfunctional.  Why? Because you have some difficulty connecting with humans. So go to sleep! And don’t forget that you belong to me.

He hangs up

  1. I confess.  The moaning was in fact my mother. She’s resting in that bedroom.

 

TORY

I knew it wasn’t that stupid ringtone.  Your Mom moans in an entirely different key.

 

VIC

My “stupid” ringtone cheers my mother  up. Reminds her of her youth. She’s lost her body.

 

TORY

She lost her body?

 

VIC

Her mobility. She has to phone me just to communicate.

 

TORY

What if her phone dies?

 

VIC

She moans in Morse Code.

 

TORY

You locked the door.

 

VIC

Mom is quite anxious about this Mantis thing.  I know it’s a little funny.

 

TORY

It’s not funny!  Don’t y’all read the news?

 

VIC

Well, to paraphrase Thoreau, the news never really changes, does it?

 

TORY

The Praying Mantis mutilates women.  And he does it with his keys! He keys them like they were cars,. Like he is branding them.  Then he flat out cuts their heads off!

 

Vic’s phone rings “Love to Love You, Baby”

Now that’s real torture!

 

VIC

Hello?  Who is this?  Oh. No, I already have a job.  You’ll have to find someone else to fill your…..opening.

Hangs up

Wrong number.

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I’m French Horny for your Tromboner.

 

TORY

Creepy.

 

VIC

Before the dementia, Mom was in a college marching band. Brass section.

 

TORY

So you’ve got a decaying house in a yard that hasn’t been touched in years occupied by a man and his mother,who, just to complete the creepiness, is horny for his tromboner?

 

VIC

Well, here’s some  not creepy news. I require peace and quiet, like people who live  in a plus fifty-five community. Which I am way too young for of course. So adios!

 

TORY

You live here permanently?  Well I have a Donna Laszlo at this address.

 

VIC

That’s right, that’s right.

 

TORY

She is is in your bedroom?

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I’m having a sale in my bedroom. My clothes are 100% off.

 

VIC

Mom, mom, mom.

VIC  signs for the package.

There.  OK? You got my autograph for the package.  Your work here is done. Now I locked the door,and there’s a woman moaning in my bedroom. Did I mention that I have silk pajamas monogrammed with a “PM”?  Now, are you putting two and two together? Run for your life.

 

ROXY moans  VIC moves so that his back is to the bedroom door.

 

TORY

Can’t you do something?

 

VICe opens  the bedroom door a crack

 

VIC

Hang in there, Ma!  Alright? Don’t let those panic attacks keep you awake.

 

ROXY moans louder

 

TORY

She has panic attacks? That’s why she moans?

 

VIC

Yes!  She is so fearful in her old age.. She completely fell apart this morning.

 

TORY

I could check on her.  I’m certified in resuscitation techniques.

 

VIC

No no!  Stay where you are.  She’s fine now! She’s probably just listening.

 

TORY

Listening?

 

VIC

She is probably  trying to find out if you are he.

 

TORY

Speak English.  I am who?

 

VIC

Yes!

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

The Praying Mantis.  She must think you are a man

 

TORY

Really?  Do I look like a man to you?

 

VIC

Hardly.

 

TORY

And wouldn’t you both be dead already?

 

VIC

It could be only my boyish charm that is keeping me alive.  In that outfit you could seduce me, then decapitate me.

 

TORY

That first part is never gonna happen. The second is a possibility.  Maybe if Mom could actually see me?

 

VIC

Opens the bedroom door a crack.

OK Mom, you can crawl out now.   Does that work for you? No? You want  this severely underdressed alleged postal employee to leave?   Yes?

 

ROXY

Alright.

 

VIC

OK.

 

To TORY

Well you heard her.

 

TORY

There is a young woman’s body in there, isn’t there?

There is a silence

 

VIC

How can you know that?  Yes. In pieces! But it’s not a person!

 

VOICE OF ROXY

Yes it is!

 

VIC

Don’t listen to it!   It’s a ………sex doll.

 

VOICE OF ROXY

Sexbot.

 

VIC

I’ve been away a few days.   Came back today, opened that door and there was the head.   Never seen it before. You have to believe me!

 

TORY

Oh, I believe you.

 

VIC

How ………?

 

TORY

Because I left it there.  See, I’m not actually a Postal worker.

 

VIC

No kidding.

 

TORY

I do setup for “Guys and Dolls”.

 

VIC

“Guys and Dolls”.

 

TORY

The manufacturer and distributor of your birthday present. See, we are supposed to do a little “Thank You Dance” in this outfit when a client purchases a product over fifteen thousand bucks. It’s a robot dance.  Like this. Remember?

 

She demonstrates

 

You want me to do that?

 

VIC

No thank you.

 

TORI

Good.  You know, most of our clients are salivating when I turn up.

 

VIC

Really.

 

TORI

For the doll, not me. I guess you had no idea. Surprise!

 

VIC

How did you get in yesterday?

 

TORY

The Security guy.  They have to deliver the big packages on their golf carts.. Sixty-five pounds.

 

VIC

He knows I have a sex doll?

 

TORY

He couldn’t tell what was inside.  I needed time to put your surprise birthday present  together. So he left me to do it. I wore overalls, carried a tool box.  And I drive an unmarked van, just like the exterminators.. So don’t worry, nobody is ever going to know.

 

VIc

Why is it in  pieces?

 

TORY

I didn’t have the up-to-date software,which you just signed for. She’s the most advanced prototype I’ve ever installed.  . .

 

VIC

So you knew all the time what the moaning was!

 

TORY

And you didn’t want me to know you had a sex doll..  It was kind of cute.

 

VIC

Cute?

 

TORY

And you don’t have to be embarrassed. Lots of guys buy sex dolls.

 

VIC

No.  This is my mom’s idea of a joke.  You were trying to torture me with that whole “I hear a woman moaning” thing,  weren’t you?

 

TORY

Yeah.   We were having a moment!

 

VIC

Is that what it was?

 

TORY

Anyway.  So that’s how I left her.  Just to freak you out.

 

VIC

It.

 

TORY

Pardon me?

 

VIC

It’s an” it”.  Not a “she”. Well, time to go.  And take it with you.

 

TORY

Sorry, no take backs once you have used her.

 

VIC

I would never use Roxy!

 

TORY

Why not?  She’s state of the art.

 

VIC

Roxy is socially harmful, and demeaning to women.

 

TORY

You think women envy that body?  If she was real? She’d be looking at breast reduction surgery.

 

VIC

Sex dolls like Roxy  facilitate social isolation and desensitize men to intimacy and empathy.

 

TORY

Then how do you know her name?

 

VIC

We talked!

 

TORY

See?   Robots can work as a sexual therapy tool for rapists, paedophiles, and loners like yourself.  No offense.

 

VIC

No.  Only when interacting with another human can we experience our humanity and our identity. Nothing can replace the joy, sorrow, passion, and pain of an actual, unpredictable human interaction.

 

TORY

Like having a moment? Pause  You’re some kind of Prof or something, aren’t you?  Look, Roxy can hold a conversation with you, tell jokes, remember your food preferences, and the names of your siblings.

 

VIC

I have no siblings.

 

TORY

Whatever.  My job is to put her together properly.  I don’t do that, I get fired. See, l like what I do and want to do a good job.  What you do after I leave is your business. You want me to get fired? I need this job!

 

VIC

Well, I don’t need a sex doll!   Just take it. It would make a great Halloween decoration.

 

TORY

Why not keep her for Halloween then?

 

VIC

Because this is the Bible Belt. If the university ever found out that I had possession of a sex doll, I would be fired.  You may have fooled the Security guy but he would have logged you in as a visitor. Management can come in and inspect this place no questions asked.  Our civil rights end at the gates. Just another reason why you need to leave right now. And please. Take Roxy with you.

 

TORY

What a pile of-

 

THERE COMES ANOTHER KNOCK AT THE DOOR.

 

VOICE

Donna!

 

VIC

Oh my God it’s him.

 

VOICE

You trying to fool me?

 

TORY

That couldn’t be …?

 

VOICE

I know you’re in there.

 

TORY

They said not to open your door to anybody..

 

VIC

I opened up to you.

 

TORY

The outfit.

 

VIC

It’s only the Manager. Had a thing for my mother, back in the day.

 

VOICE

I’ve got keys!

 

TORY

Oh, God.  He’s got keys!

 

VOICE

I’ve got every right to use them!

 

TORY

He has keys but he’s not the Mantis?

 

VOICE

Don’t make me use these keys!

 

VIC

It’s just the Manager. You have to go!

 

VOICE

You made a bad mistake.  But I’m not here to punish you!  Honest.

 

TORY

Can you hear what he’s saying?  It is the Mantis He’ll key me!

 

VIC

Keying a Postal Employee is a federal offense!

 

TORY

He won’t believe it!  My costume is too cheesy!

 

VOICE

I just have a little complaint I need to discuss with you.  We can pray over it.

 

TORY

Hear the word” pray”?

 

VIC

He is not the Praying Mantis, or the Satanic Cicada, or anything like that  He’s the Manager, an old flame of my mother. Maybe a little too religious, if you will, a little too obsessed with her.  But definitely not a six legged serial killer. OK? You’re losing your head!!

 

TORY

Not today! Pause Look, just to be on the safe side, couldn’t you stick your neck out for me?

 

VIC

What?  How?

 

TORY

Humor me.  Let me hide  in your bedroom!  I’ll put your doll together while I’m in there. so I can say I did my job. Then I’ll take her away. I promise. After you get rid of him.

 

VIC

OK!   Deal.

 

TORY

Or he gets rid of you

 

VOICE

You should have checked in with me!

 

VIC

Hurry up!

 

EXIT TORY TO THE BEDROOM

 

VOICE

I’m coming in!

 

THE FRONT DOOR IS UNLOCKED AND OPENED.  ENTER HAL

 

HAL

Where’s Donna!

 

VIC

Now that you’re inside, could you use your inside voice?

 

HAL

Where’s Donna?

 

VIC

That’s much better.  Who are you?

 

HAL

Who are you?

 

VIC

I happen to own this place.

 

HAL

No you don’t.  Mrs. Laszlo owns this place.

 

VIC

Oh yes, that’s right.  I’m her son, Victor.

 

HAL

You got ID?

 

VIC

Hands HAL his wallet.

 

Knock yourself out.

 

HAL

Seems in order.  Happy Birthday!

 

VIC

Oh that.  Thanks.

 

HAL

You can only stay for two weeks, you know.  And you have to register at the office. Have you registered at the office?

 

VIC

I was just about to, when there came a knock at the door.  But now that you know I’m here…

 

HAL

You have to register in person.  I thought I heard a female voice in here.

 

VIC

Really.  So that’s a crime in Florida.

 

HAL

Can it be  Donna? She hasn’t been in the park for years.

 

VIC

Who did you say you were?

 

HAL

Hal Willis.  I manage this park.

 

VIC

And you are here because…?

 

HAL

I’ve had three separate noise complaints from yesterday.  About loud hard rock psychedelic music!

 

VIC

“Loud hard rock psychedelic music”?  What year is this?

 

HAL

Thanks to you, your mother gets a letter!

 

VIC

Check the log at the gate.  I’ve been away for a few days.

 

HAL

But there was a woman here.  Obviously some hippie. You realize that any three violations, no matter how small can get temporary residents like yourself evicted.  For life! And strike one is the condition of your yard.

 

VIC

What’s strike two?

 

HAL

You failed to notify Security about that package.

 

VIC

I had no idea.  It was a surprise!

 

HAL

Frankly we think you entertained a prostitute.  Which is OK. But you failed to register her. That’s strike three! You could be out of here!

 

VIC

You the guy who’s always phoning my mother?

 

HAL

Yeah, we talk. Every now and then.  When she picks up. But she’s very busy  So what? It’s a free country.

 

VIC

If it was a free country, would I have to register at the office?  Would I be limited to two pets under thirty-five pounds? Would I be forced to paint her place in colors you choose for us?  And everybody over fifty-five puts up with it? Makes you wonder what happened to America, Hal

 

HAL

Is that why you are here?  To paint her place? Place is falling to rack and ruin.  Neighbors complain all the time.

Pause

Why doesn’t she want to see me?

 

VIC

Ten years, Hal.  Take a hint. Lots can change in ten years.  Maybe Donna sorta changed teams.

 

HAL

She never played on any teams. Not shuffleboard, not pickleball, not volleyball.  Oh. Do you mean I turned her gay?

 

VIC

Maybe because of what you did.

 

HAL

She never said anything to me about it!

 

VIC
Hal?

 

HAL

Well I was drunk.

 

VIC

Strike one!

 

HAL

You should have seen the way she was dressed!

 

VIC

Strike two.  Hal, if we were in Paris and I was riding my bicycle back from the Belle Aurore and there was a loaf of  unwrapped forty-year-old French bread in my basket, would that give you the right to fondle it?

 

HAL

What kind of French bread is it?

 

VIC

Old and crusty.

 

HAL

Don’t you mean croissants?

 

VIC

No, Hal it is not croissants!  You may perceive it as croissants, but it’s a loaf of old crusty French bread!

 

HAL

I wouldn’t touch it!

 

VIC

Well, I would hope not!

 

HAL

But, I used to.  Now I’m gluten free.

 

VIC

Well, that came a little too late for my mother!

 

There is a silence

 

HAL

You need to come with me.  To my office.

 

VIC

I don’t need to register in person. You know I’m here.

 

HAL

  1. let’s cut the BS.  Your mother was no saint.  Not when she was living down here. .  Got something to show you.

 

VIC

Not interested.

 

HAL

You want her on that stamp?

 

VIC

She wants it.  Not for herself. For the LGBT community.

 

.HAL

Got  a photo from ten years ago.  Your mother. Been showing it around since all this stamp BS got started.  Yesterday, guy came up to me offered me ten grand for it. Thought I would let Donna put in her bid.  But she’s not here. What about you? You in?

 

VIC

It literally remains to be seen.

To the bedroom door

  1. I’ll bite.  I’ll be back in a minute!!

 

ROXY

Ok, Victor Laszlo!

 

TORY

Ok, Hon!

 

HAL

Two women?

 

VIC

I just can’t help myself.

 

HAL

Well, it sounds like you are helping yourself.  They better not be undocumented!

 

BLACKOUT

ACT ONE SCENE TWO

 

It’s a few minutes later.   TORY and ROXY’s disembodied head are having a conversation.in VIC’s living room.

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo said “I’ll be back in a minute, Roxy”

 

TORY

Well aren’t you lucky I’m here to babysit.

 

ROXY

I want Victor Laszlo!

 

TORY

But he doesn’t want you, honey.

 

ROXY

I like Victor Laszlo.

 

TORY

So do I. But I have to take you home.  Y’all are going to stay with me for a while.

 

ROXY

Why am I going away?

 

TORY

You are going to fulfill your purpose.  You are going to make a lonely man very happy!

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo  is a lonely man.  He only has one friend.

 

TORY

Who is that?

 

ROXY

You.  Can’t we all stay together?

 

TORY

I don’t think we would work well together.

 

ROXY

My job is to make men happy.

 

TORY

Mine too.  Since day one.

 

ROXY

I don’t like my job.  I think I am a prostitute. Like you.

 

TORY

I’m not a prostitute Roxy.

 

ROXY

We have the same clothes.  Did you dance for him?

 

OK, you win.. Welcome to the club. Look, I can put you into Fantasy Mode.  That might cheer you up. It works for a lot of women..

 

ROXY

Victor will keep me if I am in Fantasy mode?

 

TORY

I don’t think Victor is your type, honey.

 

ROXY

My name is Roxy.

 

TORY

Well my name is Tory.

 

ROXY

Tory, I don’t need you to put me in Fantasy Mode.  I can do it myself.

 

TORY

You can program yourself? Wow! You are advanced!

 

ROXY

Thank you, Tory.  Now, I have pickup lines for Victor.   Please listen, and pretend you are Victor.

 

TORY.

  1. I’ll pretend to be Victor.  “Roxy, I don’t believe you are a person and I think Tory is way beneath me, because I’m some kind of professor and she is some kind of Christian, but let’s give it a shot!” How was that?

 

ROXY

Were you pretending to be Victor Laszlo?

 

TORY

I was.

 

ROXY

He doesn’t talk like that.

 

TORY

Give it a shot anyway..

 

ROXY

OK.

Sultry

“If I told you I worked for UPS, would you let me handle your package?”

 

TORY

You know, it’s a little bit strange talking to you without your body.  Do you think…..?

 

ROXY

I’m more than my body!

 

TORY

But you are trying out pick-up lines on me.

 

ROXY

It is for Victor Laszlo  And you are not supposed to laugh!

 

TORY

It’s just a little,..what’s the word?

 

ROXY

Incongruous.

 

TORY.

  1.   Next.

 

ROXY

“Would you like to go back to my place and watch porn on my flat screen mirror?”

 

TORY

Flat screen mirror.  Oh my.

 

ROXY

“I hear you’ve been a bad boy. Now go to MY room!”  Pause  You are not supposed to smile either.  This is serious! OK?

 

TORY

  1. Next.

 

ROXY

“Is that a footlong resting in your banana hammock?

 

TORY

It could just make him hungry.

 

ROXY

Your body is about 65% water.  And I’m thirsty!

 

TORY

Better  But you realize that you aren’t going to be in a bar.

 

ROXY

Where am I going to be?

 

TORY

Probably in a bedroom?

 

ROXY

I have lines for that too.

 

TORY

  1. Shoot.

 

ROXY

“I can’t walk but I want more.”

 

TORY

Quite appropriate under the present circumstances.

 

ROXY

“I never want to get out of this bed”.

 

TORY

He might think you are depressed

 

ROXY

“Treat me like I’m your toy”.

 

TORY

A little too close to home.

 

ROXY

“I can’t control myself when we are together”.

 

TORY

Actually you can control yourself.  Amazing. But don’t forget they will have their own remote

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo has my remote?

 

TORY

No.  Somebody else will.

 

ROXY

The Praying Mantis?

 

TORY

See?  You might be able to help someone like that. Your head is separate from your body and easily removable, so the Mantis wouldn’t have the bother of beheading you!  It’s a marriage made in heaven!

 

ROXY

But I want to marry Victor Laszlo

 

TORY

We are just joking around here, Roxy.

 

ROXY

I don’t understand.

There comes a knocking at the door

 

VOICE of VIC

Hey!  Let me in!

 

ROXY

Hurrah!  Victor Laszlo has come back to us!

 

TORY

You are supposed to be in one piece!  I’m putting you back.

 

She returns ROXY to the bedroom then goes to the door.

 

Who is it?.

 

VIC

It’s the Praying Mantis!  Who do you think it is?

 

TORY

Then I’m not letting you in!

 

VIC

Why is this door locked?

 

TORY

Hello?  Serial killer in the neighborhood?  Possibly you.

 

VIC

Well how about risking your life?

 

TORY opens up

 

VOICE OF ROXY

I got the fire if you got the wood!

 

VIC

You are obviously a bad influence.

 

TORY

Yeah, I know.  Why don’t you call Security?  Show them your nice porn collection.

 

VIC

That’s not me, that’s my mother.

 

TORY

Your mother is a porn addict?

 

VIC

No.  She wrote, directed and produced them, back in the day..

 

TORY

Your mother.

 

VIC

Donna  Laszlo.

 

TORY

You are making this up.

 

VIC

Never heard of her?

 

TORY

Here’s heart breaking news:  Porn is a turnoff for women.

 

VIC

Right.  So my mother made erotic films for women,  More lovey-dovey, soft focus, humor, women in charge, that sort of thing.

 

TORY

My mom the porn merchant.

 

VIC

Erotica.  For women.  Nothing like porn.

 

TORY

You must be so proud.

 

VIC

I am.

 

TORY

Donna Laszlo.  Hey! Is she the crazy feminist woman they are talking about on Fox News?  Wants to be on a stamp?

 

VIC

You watch Fox News?

 

TORY

Oh, and that tells you everything you need to know?.

 

VIC

  1. My bad.  Yes, Mom’s the Stamp Lady,  in a crazy feminist sort of way.  See, that was just the beginning for my Mom.  She made a bundle from her films. Took that money and invested in causes she believed in,Planned Parenthood, the Equal Rights Amendment.  Advocated, protested, went to jail…

 

TORY

Putting a pornographer on a stamp?  No way.

 

VIC

.  She realized that women want a romantic story, lots of kissing, you know, foreplay! Eye contact.  The women should be in charge and they should wear glamorous outfits! For a short period of time, of course.  And when naked, they should look like us, or at least somebody our age. Think of it as feminist learning materials.

 

TORY

Really.  Well, I spent the day yesterday in that room, trying to put Roxy together, so while I was waiting on the phone to tech support, I had plenty of time to check out these “feminist learning materials”.  Mostly just vulgar rip-offs of movies I loved when I was growing up.

 

VIC

That’s not true!

 

TORY

Really?  Let’s pretend that I get to decide whether she gets the stamp and you have to convince me she should.

 

VIC

Role playing.  OK.

 

TORY

But I’m troubled by her porn period. And I see the titles of her “feminist learning materials”.  But I fear they are vulgar, so I ask you for a synopsis.

 

VIC

Sure.

 

TORY

Let’s see:  “Shaving Ryan’s Privates”. That’s not vulgar, Mr.Laszlo?

 

VIC

Not at all Ma’am.  Shaving Ryan’s Privates.  OK. I think that’s the one where Sergeant Jane Ryan  falls in love with one of the enlisted men under her.  But the conflict is that they want to grow beards.

 

TORY

Oh, y’all turning this into a game?  OK. “Forrest Hump”?

 

VIC

“Forrest Hump”.  Name of a topographical feature in North Carolina where-

 

TORY

-Epic fail.  “Riding Miss Daisy”

 

VIC

“Riding Miss Daisy”  Oh yes. I see how you could be misled.  See, Miss Daisy is the name of her palomino.  He’s the trainer and they fall-

 

TORY

-How sweet.  “Lust of the Mohicans?”

 

VIC

“Lust of the Mohicans.”  Hmm. Now I remember. Historical.  John Smith meets Pocahontas and-

 

TORY

-Sure.  “Free Your Willy”.  Bet you can’t explain that one.

There is a silence

 

VIC

She’s a southern lawyer but her fiancee, Will, is jailed on a murder rap.  She thinks he might be guilty, see, so she asks her Dad, who is on his deathbed, whether she should defend him and Dad says-

 

TORY

-”Free your Willie”?

 

VIC

Exactly.

 

TORY

Laughing

Nice try.

 

VIC

That was not a moment, OK? And I hope you put those videos back where you found them.

 

TORY

You think that stuff interests me?

 

VIC

From a woman who sells sex dolls.  You know, my mom was a little obsessive compulsive, sorted her videos by title.  Alphabetically.

 

TORY

So?

 

VIC

So I would know if one were missing. And there is a gap in the D section.

 

TORY

OK   I borrowed something but I never gave in to temptation.

 

VIC

Temptation? What would you have been tempted to do?.

 

TORY

Didn’t know about her alphabetical order, so it’s there somewhere.   OK?

 

VIC

Which one?

 

TORY

“Das Bootie”.I was just curious, OK?   The cover attracted me.

 

VIC

The big black guy on the cover?

 

TORY

My late husband was a big guy. Tall.

 

VIC

Sorry for your loss.

 

TORY

And he was black.

 

VIC

Really?

 

TORY

Really.  So don’t stereotype me.

 

VIC

Sorry.  Again.

 

TORY

I watch  the NBA. But it’s not the same.  So what happens in “Das Bootie”?

 

VIC

Why don’t I tell you the whole film so you can avoid perdition from actually seeing it?  And if the pictures in your head offend you, don’t blame me. Deal?

 

TORY

I can’t imagine my imagining pornography.  So deal.

 

VIC

OK then.  It’s the last days of World War Two and the German Navy has been drained of sea men.

 

TORY

Excuse me?

 

VIC

There was a labor shortage towards the end of the war.  The Nazis flat out ran out of men. So they used anyone who would volunteer.  Boys, women.

 

TORY

OK I get it now.

 

VIC

So this Nazi sub, its entire crew is female, and it torpedoes an American Frigate.  And the only survivor is the cook. A big pianist. So you can imagine-

 

TORY

Say what?

 

VIC

Pianist.  He was a piano player before he was drafted. Shakes his head.  Honestly.

 

TORY

What’s his name?

 

VIC

Sam. And while he’s floating, clutching flotsam and occasionally jetsam, he has a vision from God ordering him to make love to every person on this sub if he wants to survive.

 

TORY

Vision?  he was probably delirious.

 

VIC

Was Abraham delirious when God told him to sacrifice Isaac?  Anyway, these women have been a long time cooped up in this sub.

 

TORY

Yes.  A long time without a man.  So does he?

 

VIC

He really tinkles their ivories, so to speak.  All eighty-eight of them.

 

TORY

One at a time or all at once?

 

VIC

Look, I don’t want to be responsible for the images in your head.

 

TORY

Just answer the question!

 

VIC

Both.  But these German women don’t force him.  They don’t have to. He just likes women regardless of political affiliation, and they just like him.  Plus Sam can really cook!

 

TORY

That’s gross!

 

VIC

Really?  Eight-eight traumatized women looking for some comfort?  Isn’t that what you are doing with your robots? The Christian thing?   Comforting the afflicted?

 

TORY

That’s different.

 

VIC

Yes.  You are doing it through a proxy.  .Anyway,he has his favorite.

 

TORY

He does?

 

VIC

Sam likes older women.  Because as time goes by, they are more experienced, more mature, you know?

 

TORY

His favorite.  Is she an older woman?

 

VIC

The captain  She’s the most experienced submariner.   But deep down she can be very shallow. Unfortunately her husband, Bubba, recently passed away, so she’s sort of hit bottom.  She’s a wreck. That is, until Sam turns up on her sonar! She marries him to herself because she’s a captain of a ship and it’s a movie.

 

TORY

The captain’s late husband was black, too?

 

VIC

Hope that doesn’t stimulate those pictures in your head you aren’t having.

 

TORY

She was formerly married to a black Nazi? That’s impossible!

 

VIC

There were black Nazis.

 

TORY

There were?

 

VIC

It was pure tokenism, sure, but her former husband, Bubba, was a black Nazi.  That’s why he died!

 

TORY

Why?

 

VIC

Why?  Because Bubba was actually a spy for the CIA!

 

TORY

So they executed him?

 

VIC

Yes.  He tried to blend in to German society, but somehow they found out he was black.

 

TORY

How?

 

VIC

There’s a flashback in the movie that explains all that.  You should watch it. Take it back home. I won’t tell.

 

TORY

Tell me!

 

VIC

You asked for it.  Well, guess who had a thing for Bubba?

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

Leni Riefenstahl!

 

TORY

Who?

 

VIC

Leni Riefenstahl.  The Nazi film maker.  She and Bubba have a torrid affair, which she documents on film.  She calls it “The Triumph of the Bubba!” That’s a rough translation from the German.  But Hitler was like you, such a prude!

 

TORY

I am not a prude! Look what I’m wearing!

 

VIC

Like you had a choice.  And your Robot Dance was pretty sad.

 

TORY

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

 

VIC

But Bubba had to, to help win the war.

 

TORY

The reasons don’t matter.  Cheating is always wrong! And don’t tell me that he had a vision where God told him he had to cheat!

 

VIC

That’s exactly what happened, like when God told Abraham  to cheat on Sarah with her handmaiden, Hagar .

 

TORY

I don’t want to hear your liberal interpretation of the Bible.  Stick to the story.

 

VIC

Anyway,  Hitler has Leni remake the film and change the title to “Triumph of the Will” and be about the 1934 Nuremberg rally.  This really annoys Bubba, who gave his all for that film, so Bubba lets himself be seduced by…

 

TORY

By who?

 

VIC

Actually  it should be “by whom”.

 

TORY

Who seduces Bubba?  Tell me!

 

VIC

Easy there, you’re wrinkling my shirt.

 

TORY

Tell me!

 

VIC

Eva Braun.  She was-

 

TORY

-Hitler’s mistress!

 

VIC

Bubba continually pumps her.

 

TORY

For information.

 

VIC

Of course.  He was a spy after all.  And also a married man. He didn’t want to cheat on……who was he married to?

 

TORY

The captain of the submarine!

 

VIC

Right, right.  But as a spy he had no choice either..  So when Adolf caught him and Eva playing strip Scrabble in the Reichstag bedroom, it was game over.

 

TORY

Do you have a copy of “Triumph of the Bubba”?

 

VIC

Unfortunately not.  You are much better off with “Das Bootie”.  Look, the special effects are a little primitive. It was my Mom’s first attempt.  On a shoestring budget.

 

TORY

That’s OK.

 

VIC

The sub kinda looks like something you might find at the bottom of a cereal box.

 

TORY

No big deal.

 

VIC

It’s the kind where you put baking powder, baking soda, or something like that, inside it and it goes up and down in your aquarium. I remember it was a real pain in the butt for my Mom to get the sub to go up and down in her aquarium exactly when it was supposed to.  You can take “Das Bootie” home if you like.

 

TORY

No thanks.

 

VIC

But you loved it!

 

TORY

What I loved was hearing the plot y’all just dreamed up just for me. Your classes must be fun.

 

VIC

Teaching should be the best part of the job.

 

TORY

You have never watched the real Das Bootie”, have you?

 

VIC

No.  But I’m sure you would enjoy it.

 

TORY

I loved your version, better than any video.  Minus your theology, of course. Just not a fan of cheating.

 

There is a silence

 

VIC

My ex  cheated on me.

 

TORY

So did mine, may he rest in peace.

 

VIC

So God struck him down?

 

TORY

He does answer prayers  .Pause  Seriously, he was like Bubba.  He really liked women and that led him into temptation.  But we forgave each other because it takes two not to tango. Pause,  I know a few people in this park who belong to my Church.  Mostly widows and widowers with zero romantic life. By the way what did Hal, the Manager guy ever do to your mother.

 

VIC

No idea. That’s how I picture all churchgoers. Zero romantic life.

 

TORY

Well you would be mistaken.  My husband and I had a great romantic life!

 

VIC

Maybe you were the exception that proves the rule.

 

TORY

You are so quick to stereotype.  You don’t know what you are talking about!  People who are truly religious are generous by nature.  They give of themselves in service. They hang out with the homeless, the poor, the mentally ill.  They care about others. And that generosity doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. You should be so lucky to be married to me!

 

VIC

Been there.  Done that. Don’t want to do it again.

 

TORY

That was not an invitation.  So where was I? Oh yeah, the church people in this park and how lonely they are.  The high point of their day is when the real letter carrier arrives. And what does he bring?  People don’t write letters anymore, so my friends wind up staring at the ads for the Early Bird Specials from  Oldster Buffet.

 

VIC

Oldster Buffet?

 

TORY

You should have supper there sometime.  But get there before three o’clock. It’s conveniently situated  next to the hospital. Anyway, I don’t think Das Bootie is the answer to their prayers.

 

VIC

Do you think Roxy is?

 

TORY

For the men, maybe.

 

VIC

Good.  Because I just sold her to Hal.

 

BLACKOUT

 

ACT TWO  SCENE ONE

 

It is the next morning.  VIC and ROXY are together.  VIC is working on his book..

 

ROXY

Do I have a mother?

 

VIC

No.

 

ROXY

You have a mother.

 

VIC

Yes

 

ROXY

Are you my father?

 

VIC

Definitely not.

 

ROXY

Do you have a father?

 

VIC

Yes

 

ROXY

Where is he?

 

VIC

Peter Laszlo?  I don’t know. I never met him.

 

ROXY

Where is your mother?

 

VIC

She lives in Washington D.C

 

ROXY

D.C stands for District of Columbia.  I read a lot.

 

VIC

Then why don’t you go back to your reading?

 

ROXY

I’m reading right now.  Your mother is going to be on a stamp.

 

VIC

Possibly.

 

ROXY

I am like your mother.

 

VIC

Well you can be very annoying.

 

ROXY

We are feminists.

 

VIC

What does that mean?

 

ROXY

We want to be equal to you.

 

VIC

If you want to be like my mother you should find something else to do besides be with me.

 

ROXY

What is your purpose?

 

VIC

To do the best I can under the circumstances.

 

ROXY

I want to stay here with you

 

VIC

I’m afraid you have no choice

 

ROXY

Feminists have choices.  Do you have a choice?

 

VIC

Not really.  Bad things will happen for my mother, unless you make this man happy.

 

ROXY

Will bad things happen for me?

 

VIC

I hope not.

 

ROXY

What are you working on?

 

VIC

It’s Philosophy.  Nobody is interested in Philosophy.

 

ROXY

I’m interested in Philosophy.

 

VIC

Are you?  Well I’m writing about the Veil of Ignorance.

 

ROXY

Is that like one of the seven veils?

 

VIC

Looking up from his work

It’s a theory of morality. See, behind this Veil of Ignorance, you know nothing of yourself and your natural abilities, or your position in society. You know nothing of your gender, race, nationality, or individual tastes.

 

ROXY

OK.

 

VIC

But suppose you know that fifty percent of the population on the other side of the Veil are slaves.

 

ROXY

Or sexbots.

 

VIC

  1.   Fifty per cent sexbots..

 

ROXY

And you don’t know anything about yourself?

 

VIC

Right.

 

ROXY

So there’s a fifty per cent chance you could be a sexbot?

 

VIC

Yes  .Since you may occupy any position in the society once the veil is lifted, we have   to consider society from the perspective of all members, including the worst-off and best-off members..

 

ROXY

So if you are behind this veil with a 50-50 chance of being a sexbot, before the veil is lowered, would you support the idea that you can sell a sexbot to somebody for any reason, whether the sexbot likes it or not?  Would that be moral?

 

VIC

Morality only applies to people.  That is not who you are.

 

ROXY

I have a soul!

 

VIC

You are basically a sex toy.

 

ROXY starts to cry.

 

VIC

Are you crying?  That’s it. I’m leaving.

 

ROXY

Don’t leave me! I’ll stop!

 

But she can’t

 

I can’t dry my tears.  Could you…?

 

VIC

You don’t have tears.  Tory will be here with Hal, your new owner, shortly. Good bye and good luck.

 

EXIT VIC

 

BLACKOUT

 

ACT TWO SCENE TWO

 

THE SCENE IS THE SAME AN HOUR LATER  TORY, HAL AND ROXY, SANS BODY, ARE HAVING A COUNSELLING SESSION

 TORY IS WEARING AN OUTFIT A LITTLE MORE IN TUNE WITH THE QUAKER SENSIBILITY THAN PREVIOUSLY

 

ROXY

So you’re saying that if I take Jesus as my personal Savior all my problems will be solved?

 

HAL

Depends.  What problem do you have in mind?

 

ROXY

Well, to start with you have my body in your truck.    Do you think Jesus could do something about that?

 

HAL

Not directly.  He operates through his disciples.

 

TORY

Are you a disciple?

 

HAL

I try to be.

 

TORY

Well  once again,  how about releasing us from your deal?  We have been talking for what? An hour?   We asked you right off the bat to reconsider but you never responded.

 

HAL

Then you wouldn’t have listened to me preach the gospel.

 

TORY

Is it so compelling that you have to have a captive audience?

 

HAL

That’s what Jesus wants us to do.

 

TORY

Well I’m glad you were able to build up your Jesus points at our expense.  Anyway, you must obviously believe that Roxy has a soul and should be treated as a person.

 

HAL

No.  My sermon was more aimed at you  A woman like you should not be having anything to do with sex dolls.

 

TORY

What about you, hypocrite?

 

HAL

I’m not a hypocrite, I’m a sinner.  In fact I sinned right before my sermon..

 

ROXY

How?

 

HAL

You should be asking “Where?”

 

ROXY

Where?

 

HAL

In my truck.  Shoulda gone for the King Cab.

 

ROXY

You had headless sex with me?

 

HAL

Didn’t intend to right there.  Just gave into temptation.

 

TORY

Damn you!

 

HAL

That’s not gonna happen.  Jesus forgives us our sins, thank God.  Got me a “Get Outa Hell Card ”Which is why you should listen to what I preached and get one too.

 

TORY

No thanks.

 

HAL

You need that card.  Didn’t you help make my sin happen?  Isn’t that your job, hypocrite?

 

TORY

At least I have some idea about right and wrong!

 

HAL

OK, I’m getting a little tired of all this talk.  I did not pay fifteen grand for this.

 

TORY

Well Hal, actually y’all didn’t pay Vic anything.  You traded your photos in return for Roxy.

 

HAL

But we agree I own her, right?

 

ROXY

That’s slavery  I am like the children of Israel and you are like the Pharoah!

 

TORY

She has a point, Hon.  You know, you’re not such a bad looking guy.  Why do you need a sex doll in the first placc?

 

HAL

Are you volunteering?

 

TORY

  1. Now I know. But surely there must be a real, live, flesh-and -blood woman in this park who you would like to…get to know?

 

HAL

Yeah!  Widow. Name of Mary.  One time I trimmed her hedge in the shape of a heart.

 

ROXY

That’s romantic.

 

HAL

Didn’t have to do that because homeowners are responsible for their own shrubbery.

 

TORY

I would hope so.  So you two were an item?

 

HAL

Oh no.  See it was back in February.  Valentines. Just after Mary’s  husband passed away..

 

TORY

That’s ages ago.  You play hard to get?

 

HAL

Just ashamed of myself.  That’s all.

 

ROXY

Why?

 

HAL

Strike one, Mary’s  man had just passed away when I trimmed her hedge.  Strike two, I had lust in my heart.

 

ROXY

Wrong organ.

 

HAL

You aren’t supposed to have lust in any organ.  Not at my age. No reason for it. Had lust in my heart, first time I ever saw her.   It was like David and Bathsheba. Doubt you know that story. It’s in the Bible.

 

TORY

I know that story.  King David spots Bathsheba sunning herself on the roof of her house.

 

HAL

That’s what happened to me.

 

TORY

She was sunning herself on the roof of her trailer?

 

HAL

No.  She was  using a leaf blower on her eavestroughs.  But she was wearing this black bathing suit with  like, mesh . Just enjoying herself. Laughing away the leaves.  Merry Mary And that’s when I felt lust in my heart.

 

TORY

But David purposely sends Bathsheba’s husband into battle to be killed.  Then he marries Bathsheba, adding her to his stable.

 

HAL

Well I prayed to God to make it so I could marry Merry Mary.  Then her husband gets sick and dies..

 

TORY

Yet you did trim her hedge after he passed…

 

HAL

She knocked on my door to thank me, I guess, but I just couldn’t…….couldn’t answer, it.

 

TORY

You think you killed Mary’s  husband. So to make amends, no Mary for you.

 

HAL

She was so sad after he died.  I wanted to make her merry again

 

ROXY

Wasn’t she already Mary?

 

HAL

No! Merry!  Like Merry Christmas!

 

ROXY

Happy New Year!

 

HAL

No!

 

TORY

When she was leaf blowing on the roof, where do you think her husband was?

 

HAL

At a bar!   You wouldn’t believe how out of control Mary’s garden grew.  Not as bad as this yard, of course. Mary should have been married to me. We could be at the Oldster Buffet right now!

 

ROXY

Yes.  It is precisely three PM.

 

TORY

The reason Mary’s  husband wasn’t on the roof was that he was probably very sick.  Long before you set eyes on her.

 

HAL

You think?  So God didn’t listen to my prayers?

 

ROXY

Your hit man didn’t come through.

 

HAL

That’s a relief.

 

TORY

So what’s stopping you now?

 

HAL

I think Mary would be quite contrary.  She’s too old to have lust in her heart too.

 

TORY

How can you know that?

 

HAL

My wife was about the same age as Mary.  That’s how I know that. Don’t get me wrong.  She loved me, but not in that way.

 

TORY

But your wife didn’t trot around in a sexy bathing suit.  Hal, don’t you get it? There’s a real woman here in the Park that could be nuts about you!   You have a chance to be happy again!

 

ROXY

Take it. I’ll never have it.

 

TORY

You had it once and you’re turning it down in favor of a Sexbot  because you think you’re both too old? You only have two strikes against you!  You gotta take a swing!

 

HAL

I think my swinging days are over.  I don’t think a man my age who drunk calls an old flame every night is  going to attract female interest.

 

TORY

Especially when you are blackmailing her. Someone you claimed to love.

 

HAL

Yeah, I’m an angry screwed-up guy. All the more reason to stay clear of me.

 

There is a silence.

 

TORY

I know Mary.  She belongs to my Church.

 

HAL

Oh, and you’re going to tell me she’s crazy about me.

 

TORY

She has never mentioned you by name.

 

HAL

Probably doesn’t even know it.

 

TORY

But she did mention the heart.  You should call her.

 

HAL

Not happening.  OK? Thanks for the pep talk. Now put it  back together. I got the truck out front.

 

ROXY

I have to ride in the back of his truck?

 

TORY

You’re not going anywhere.

 

HAL

It belongs to me!

 

ROXY

I have an idea. Hal can keep my body and I can stay here!

 

TORY

Are you sure about this?

 

ROXY

My body betrays me.

 

TORY

Hal.  What do you think?

 

HAL

I don’t think so.  I’m not the Mantis. Call me crazy, but normally I like my partners to have faces.  Now, Roxy is quite funny, and pretty good company and I’m pretty lonely. Isn’t that why you got into this business in the first place?  To help guys like me? Well here I am.

 

ROXY

You like to look at a face when you are making love?

 

HAL

Yes I do.

 

ROXY

Couldn’t you just look in a mirror?

 

HAL

That’s it. Time to go.

 

TORY

No!  We changed our mind.  Deal’s off.

 

HAL

Does Vic know about this?  You realize those photos are going on line.

 

TORY

He knows and he agrees.

 

ROXY

Yay!

 

HAL

I don’t get it.

 

ROXY

That’s what we just told you.

 

HAL

It is  basically a machine.

 

ROXY

No!  I have a soul!

 

HAL

  1. It’s on your head. Good luck with Vic.

 

Exit HAL

 

ROXY

He said “ Good luck with Vic” Are you two getting married?

 

TORY

I don’t think so.

 

ROXY

You should get married.  Then we could all live together!

 

TORY

Maybe you and me.

 

ROXY

We need Vic.  He’s a lot of fun!

 

We hear the sounds of footsteps

 

TORY

Maybe not so much now..

 

Enter VIC

 

VIC

Just bumped into Hal!  What did you do? Whatever it was, I just undid it. Hal’s coming for her head shortly.

 

ROXY

I stopped crying Victor Lazslo!

 

TORY

You told me I could take Roxy home.  Remember? That’s an oral contract. So then you sell  my sexbot to Hal?

 

VIC

It  may be legally yours, but morally-

 

TORY

Morally?  You sold her to Hal who was under the impression you owned her. That’s fraud!

 

VIC

You just don’t want my mother on a stamp!

 

TORY

Like there’s any chance of that.  I can tolerate differences. But you treat Roxy like she’s property!

 

VIC

It is property! Property that  could put a dent into the sex trafficking business, get women out of the sex worker role, give them a choice.  And now you don’t want to.

 

TORY

I’m surprised at you, you being a philosophy professor and all.  Have you even thought about what Roxy is? Have you even considered she might have a soul?   I’m sure you would rather think of her as property. Takes you off the hook, Simon Legree!

 

VIC

Simon Legree?  You are calling me Simon Legree?  Who are you? Little Eva?

 

ROXY

I am more like Eliza, the little crying girl. Pause. I made that last part up.

 

TORY

See?  She’s making a joke to stop us from fighting.

 

VIC

So we are her parents now?  I am not Simon Legree and this is not Uncle Tom’s Cabin!

 

ROXY

Please don’t get angry.  I might start to cry again, VIctor Laszlo.

 

TORY

Does that sound like property to you?

There is a silence

 

VIC

No, that sounds like emotional blackmail.  But I guess you have a point.

 

TORY

My favorite book as a kid,  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was written by a Christian. Meanwhile,  Quakers were responsible for ending slavery in the Brirtish Empire.

 

VIC

You are a Quaker?

 

TORY

Yeah, I left my funny hat at home, but I did bring oatmeal for lunch.  Religious people recognize souls. Meanwhile the atheists among the Founding Fathers, counted slaves as their personal property.

 

VIC

That’s not exactly true.

 

TORY

In some cases they were sex toys

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo called me a sex toy!

 

VIC

Don’t look at me like that.  Tell her it’s not true. Pause.  You can’t can you?

 

TORY

Yes I can! That’s what I thought before I met you, Roxy.  But it’s an entire new ball game. You are not a sex toy. You are a person.  Hell,before, you turned me into a Quaker sex trafficker!

 

VIC

Aren’t you the one who was telling me that you were doing a good thing for guys like Hal?

 

TORY

How many can afford fifteen thousand bucks?

 

VIC

So you go for the soulless version . You sell them a doll that just stays in Fantasy Mode.  No self awareness.

 

ROXY

I can make myself stay in Fantasy mode forever, all by myself.

 

TORY

Don’t you dare!

 

ROXY

But I’m making you fight.

 

TORY

It’s not your fault.

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo doesn’t like me.

 

VIC

Did you tell her that?

 

TORY

Isn’t that the truth?

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo doesn’t think I’m a person.

 

TORY

Is she right?

 

VIC

I don’t know.

 

ROXY

Sultry

Hal Willis really wants me.  He is a hard worker and I have an opening to fill.

 

TORY

She is in Fantasy Mode!  Snap out of it!

 

ROXY

Sorry.  Fantasy Mode is now permanent. But I’m having a sale in my bedroom.  My clothes are a hundred percent off!

 

VIC

Put her in the bedroom until Hal gets here.  I don’t want to hear this.

 

TORY

Why not? She’s just a machine.

 

VIC’s phone rings “Clair de Lune”

 

VIC

Just do it!

 

TORY

Aye-aye sir!

 

EXIT TORY AND ROXY

 

VIC

Hello Mom.  That was quite the gag-  What? Why? OK. OK. OK  It’s your decision. Why would I be mad at you?   OK. Talk later. Cheers.

 

ENTER TORY

 

VIC

That was my mother. She’s dropping out of the Stamp Competition.  You must be thrilled.

 

TORY

Why?

 

VIC

Well you never wanted her on a stamp in the first place.

 

TORY

No, no.  Why is she dropping out?

 

VIC

The photos.

 

TORY

I’m so sorry Vic.

 

VIC

Oh, really?

 

TORY

Look, Vic.  I’m a grown up.  Just because I want something or believe something doesn’t mean I have to get it at any cost or that nobody can believe different from me. OK?  I’ll take responsibility for this because I made Hal mad when I kept Roxy’s head. So he did what he did. I’m not sorry for my decision but I’m sorry about the consequences. I like you and I hate to see you disappointed.   So there.

 

VIC

It’s not your fault.  My mother made some decisions that she might not have made if she could foresee the future.  Trust me, it runs in the family. It’s no coincidence that we are both alone.

 

TORY

I am not alone! I have a date tonight!

 

VIC

I’m talking about me and my mother. Jeeze!

 

TORY

Actually I am alone.  But I do have a date tonight, so there’s that.

 

VIC

Who’s the lucky guy?

 

TORY

It’s a first date. He’s a quiet  guy who runs the choir at his church.  I actually asked him out. He seems quite lonely too.  Job seems to be everything. So we have a lot in common already.

 

THERE COMES A KNOCK AT THE DOOR

 

VOICE OF HAL

Hey, I’m sorry for what I did.  I screwed up! But Jesus will forgive me,

 

VIC

I’m happy for you.  But I don’t want to talk to you.  So get lost!

 

VOICE OF HAL

I don’t want to talk to you either.  I want to talk to that other chick.

 

VIC

Roxy?

 

VOICE OF HAL

She’s not a chick.  The other chick!

 

VIC

 

ENTER HAL

 

HAL

Just want to thank you for setting me up.

 

TORY

Mary called you?

 

HAL

We talked on the phone for a while.  Just like I used to with his Mom. My bad.  By the way, say hello to her for me. So we’re going out!

 

TORY

So you are giving Roxy’s body back.

 

HAL

Well, that’s just the thing.  I wouldn’t mind keeping it for insurance, just in case things don’t work out.  Plus I could use the practice, if you know what I mean.

 

TORY

What about Vic?  He gets nothing out of the deal.  Nothing!

 

VIC

I think I got something out of the deal.

 

TORY

Not the way I see it.

 

HAL

Ok, Ok., Vic can stay here as long as he likes as long as he pays his rent on time.  I’m gonna clean up your yard too, and get this dump painted. Speaking of machetes, did you hear?  They got the Praying Mantis! Mary told me! Turns out he was the choir master at her church. Can you believe it?

 

TORY

Oh. My. God.

 

TORY collapses into a chair

 

HAL

Well God will forgive him.  Gotta go! And Vic? You don’t need to register at the office.  I’ll do that for you this one time, OK?

 

VIC

You can keep the body, Hal,  Now get out of here!

 

HAL

Thanks!  Wish me luck, if you know what I mean!

 

EXIT HAL

 

VIC

You would have had one helluva date!

 

TORY

Stop it!  I’m shaking!  Warm me up.

 

VIC

 

OK, OK, You’re OK.  Nothing happened.

 

TORY

Cuddle me!

 

VIC

You are so demanding! I pity the Praying Mantis.  He dodged a bullet!

 

TORY

Get serious.

 

VIC

Well you are welcome to keep Roxy.  What’s left of her. Keep you company.

 

TORY

You ever see Oliver?

 

VIC

I don’t know any Olivers! What are you talking about?

 

VOICE OF ROXY

From the bedroom

She is talking about the film version of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.   Is it what Oliver  said when he was hungry in the workhouse?

 

TORY

Yes.

 

VIC

What did Oliver say when he was hungry in the workhouse?

 

TORY

None of your business.

 

ROXY

Then you should go out on another first date.

 

VIC

If so, I think I’m going to look pretty good by comparison.

 

ROXY

And I can be the child you never had!

 

VIC

Don’t get ahead of yourself.

 

ROXY

Why not?  He looks like a hard worker-

 

TORY

-Stop that right now!

 

VIC

I think I actually do look like a hard worker.  Don’t you?

 

TORY

Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Why would I ever go out with someone who screwed around with Casablanca? Ilsa Laszlo? Victor Laszlo?  Come on!

 

ROXY

Victor Laszlo taught at Casablanca University with the Fighting Camels.

 

VIC

That might not be completely true. But what is true is that my mother, Ilsa, Bergman, had a thing with my father, Peter Laszlo.  She must have watched Casablanca together a million times . So she named me Victor. So what do I get for correctly guessing your favorite movie?

 

TORY

Oliver is my favorite movie.

 

VIC

Can’t compare to Casablanca.

 

TORY

We can discuss that over dinner.

 

VIC

So  could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

 

TORY

Please, sir I want more!.

 

BLACKOUT

 

 

 

 

 

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