Enter BRUNO, carrying a bowling ball.
BRUNO: Ah, nothing like a good night of bowling. I tell you, if you want to relax but have fun at the same time, in a nice atmosphere with people you like, while balancing factors of personal challenge with a relatively low pressure activity, thereís just nothing like bowling. I tell ya.
RITA: Yeah, and I suppose the fact that itís been the only thing of any interest to do on this deserted space station for the last ten years has nothing to do with it.
BRUNO (dejected): Aw, címon, Rita. Did you have to go and ruin a perfectly good rationalization?
RITA: That was perfectly good? It was one of your weaker efforts. Really, I did it for your own good, Bruno. You have to admit that you hate bowling! Itís not healthy to keep doing something you hate and telling yourself that you like it.
BRUNO (angry): Well maybe if I tell myself I like it often enough, Iíll start to!!
RITA: Even worse, Bruno. I feel sorry for you.
BRUNO: Yeah, then why are hanging around, if I make you feel so damn sorry?
BRUNO angrily rolls the ball down a lane toward the audience. He and RITA watch as it strikes the pins.
RITA: You keep veering left on your approach. Thatís why you always leave the ten pin standing.
BRUNO: Oh yeah? Now whoís talking out of her ass?
RITA: I beg your pardon!?
BRUNO: You know very well that the reason I always leave the ten pin standing is that the entire parallel universe we inhabit revolves around the number ten.
RITA: Oh, not again with that stupid theory.
BRUNO: Itís not stupid! Itís obvious! Look, ten pins in the formation. Ten frames in a game. Ten different bowling balls available. Ten lanes in the alley. Ten rooms in the space station. Ten control stations. Ten light fixtures in every room. Ten colors of M&Ms in our provisions. Ten types of metal used to build the station. Ten planets in the nearest star system. Ten fundamental laws of physics. The speed of light here is ten.
RITA: Ten what?
BRUNO: Just ten. They donít have units here.
RITA: Thatís impossible.
BRUNO: Impossible, is it? Are you certain about that?
BRUNO: Well letís just ask it then, shall we?
RITA: Letís. Iíll bet you ten dollars youíre wrong.
BRUNO: Youíre on. Light!!
LIGHT: Hiya! How are you?
BRUNO: Hi there, light. Iím kinda rotten, but youíre still bright and perky as ever. Did you lose some weight?
LIGHT: Hardly possible.
BRUNO: I suppose not. Listen, Rita and I have a question for you. How fast are you?
LIGHT: How fast am I? Gee, I donít know. You mean, just like, how fast can I get from one side of the room to the other?
BRUNO: Yeah, thatís more or less what I mean.
LIGHT: I have no idea! Letís check.
As BRUNO and RITA watch, LIGHT goes to one door of the stage, and then runs across very fast out the other door.
RITA: So thatís the speed of light, huh?
BRUNO: Kind of pitiful compared to in the world we come from, huh?
Enter LIGHT again.
LIGHT: What was that? Did you call me pitiful?
BRUNO: WellÖ well yeah. But only by comparison. See, in our home world, light can travel millions of miles in a minute. Itís the single fastest thing in existence, and determines the size of the universe itself as well as the contortions of space-time.
LIGHT: UhÖ no kidding?
RITA: Heís right. Can you do any of that?
LIGHT: NoÖ no I canít. Gosh, whyíd you have to tell me that? Now I feel totally inadequate.
BRUNO: Itís always good to know all the possibilities. Now you have something to strive towards, eh buddy?
LIGHT: I donít knowÖ I donít see how Iíll ever be able to go that fast, no matter how much I work out.
RITA: How fast would you say you get from one side of the room to the other?
LIGHT: Oh, Iíd say I was going about ten.
RITA: Fine, fine, I owe you a sawbuck.
LIGHT: Why does it matter?
RITA: Bruno has this weird theory about everything in this world having something to do with the number ten.
LIGHT: Oh, that would explain why the license plate number on my spaceship is 10, just like every other license plate in the universe. Iíve been wondering about that. I mean, whatís the point of even numbering them if theyíre all going to have the same number? But I guess itís one of those things you just grow up with, and you donít bother to question it.
RITA: Pardon me for asking, but why does light own a spaceship?
LIGHT: Well, itís so I can get places, of course! Obviously I wouldnít want to just run everywhere.
RITA: But if youíve got a ship, then you can take us off this horrible lonely forsaken place!
LIGHT: ErÖ sorry, no can do. Itís only big enough for me.
RITA: How big is that?
LIGHT holds up fingers pressed together on one hand.
LIGHT: Oh, aboutÖ this big.
RITA: Thatís no size at all.
LIGHT: Well, itís a convertible, and I donít take up very much room.
BRUNO: You drive a convertible spaceship?
LIGHT: Yes, I can convert it into either matter, energy, or Soviet Russia.
BRUNO: Wasnít Soviet Russia made of matter?
LIGHT: Yes, and a lot of energy and other stuff as well.
BRUNO: Okay, well, still, you can deliver a message to someone in the nearby star system, canít you?
LIGHT: Sure! What should I tell them?
RITA: Tell them weíre trapped on this space station and weíd be very grateful if they came and got us off!
LIGHT: Okay, Iíll be right back.
BRUNO: Do you think itíll work?
RITA: Itís our only shot, isnít it? God, Iím sick of listening to you trying to make everything seem all right. I canít stand you. I donít know why I ever married you.
BRUNO: What? You married me? When did this happen?
RITA: Oh, never mind. I guess that must have just happened in my parallel world.
BRUNO: Yeah, I guess. Wow, think of that. You actually married me?
RITA: Yeah, for some reason or other.
BRUNO: Wow, you have my sympathy.
RITA: Thanks. So how long do you think itíll take light to get there with our message and back?
LIGHT: Hi again! So, it looks like the only planet capable of sustaining life is the fifth one from the center.
LIGHT: Yeah. One side is inhabited by intelligent cows, and the other side is inhabited by midget kangaroos with polka-dotted fur. They only understand Ethiopian, unfortunately, so they didnít understand the message I gave them.
BRUNO: What about the cows? Did you tell them?
LIGHT: Yeah, but I think I scared them. Theyíre a devout monotheocracy, and when they heard me talking to them they mistook me for God and I threw their whole belief system into turmoil. Thatís when I asked for directions to the land of midget kangaroos.
RITA: I see. So basically, weíre screwed unless we can figure out how to ask for help in Ethiopian.
BRUNO: Oh, thatís no problem. Here, Iíll write it down for you.
LIGHT: Oh, thanks!
BRUNO writes down his message on a piece of paper and gives it to LIGHT.
LIGHT: Be right back.
Exit LIGHT. RITA sighs.
BRUNO: I guess I might as well try to take down that ten pin. Blasted thing.
BRUNO picks up a bowling ball and bowls it down the lane, as before.
RITA: You got it! Good for you.
BRUNO: Yeah. I never managed that before. You know, that was the last thing I wanted to accomplish with my life. Now that Iíve actually scored a spare, I have nothing left to aspire to.
RITA: Well, you could try and get a strike.
BRUNO: Ridiculous! Then the ten pin wouldnít still be standing like it always is! No, I have nothing left to accomplish. I might as well just lie down and die.
RITA: But you wanted to get off the space station! What did you want that for, if not to do great things?
BRUNO: I was hoping to find a better bowling alley on the nearby planet so I could get better traction. I never dreamed Iíd actually be able to manage a spare here on the station.
RITA: Oh. So, what then? Youíre just going to lie down and wait to die?
BRUNO: I guess so. Have a good time escaping.
BRUNO lies down. Enter LIGHT.
LIGHT: Hi, back again! Okay, so I gave the kangaroos your message, and they said theyíll pop by as soon as they develop space travel. They said theyíd like to spend the night and bowl a few games. They donít have bowling alleys on their half of the planet. Apparently the cows occupied all their bowling zones during the great war.
RITA: Wait, they donít have space travel yet?
LIGHT: No, but theyíre very hard-working. Now that Iíve inspired them to new heights, they estimate they should have it in a couple of hours.
BRUNO: Really? You know, that inspires me to keep on living.
BRUNO gets up.
LIGHT: Oh? Well, thatís nice!
RITA: We have to get the place ready for kangaroos in a couple of hours, Bruno. Polka-dotted kangaroos, no less. We should put up a polka-dot décor to welcome them.
BRUNO: Yeah, that sounds like a decent thing to do!
RITA: How many polka-dots are left in inventory?
BRUNO: I think last I checked there were ten.
RITA: Thatís it? Weíll just have to make the most of them, then! On your mark, get set, go!
Exit RITA and BRUNO in opposite directions. LIGHT starts to run offstage and trips.