AUTHOR’S NOTE: I can offer two excuses for the following script. First, this is my twentieth Chelsea script. Woohoo, go me! Second, I have the honor, for some inscrutable reason, of being one of the themes at Chelsea this week. So I figure that gives me a little leeway. I wish I could offer a third excuse, but sadly, No Shame Night isn’t until next week. So these two will have to do.
NARRATOR: Some crazy guy on an ego-trip.
SALAMEANDER: A funny, flighty, giddy creature. Must be cute, fairly flexible, and able to remember simple instructions.
HAMWAD: A very dull man. His lines are drawled emotionlessly at first, but eventually he gets angry.
MAXWELL: An active guy. He delivers his lines with earnest excitement.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SALAMEANDER: Before the play starts, give NARRATOR your script. Then walk to center stage on all fours. Whenever anyone says a line, make a gesture you feel is appropriate and say: “GEEP!” in whatever tone of voice you think is best. You may sit, squat, kneel, crouch, fling yourself, or whatever you like, as long as you don’t stand up. Continue to do this until you get your script back, at which point you will stand up and say lines as normal.
Enter SALAMEANDER. Short pause.
Enter HAMWAD and MAXWELL. They stand on either side of the SALAMEANDER and deliver their lines to it.
HAMWAD: (clears throat.) Ahem. Oh baby, baby, how was I supposed to know? Oh pretty baby, I shouldn't have let you go. I must confess, that my loneliness is killing me now.
MAXWELL: You drive me crazy; I just can't sleep. I'm so excited, I'm in too deep. Crazy, but it feels all right: baby, thinking of you keeps me up all night.
HAMWAD: All I really want is to hold you tight, treat you right, be with you day and night. Baby, all I need is time.
MAXWELL: Open the soda pop-bop-shu-bop-shu-bop. The clock is ticking and we can't stop, can't stop, no. Open the soda pop, watch it fizz and pop. Ooh yeah.
HAMWAD: I don't know how to live without your love. I was born to make you happy, cuz you’re the only one within my heart. I was born to make you happy, always and forever, you and me. That’s the way our life should be. I don't know how to live without your love.
MAXWELL: “Baby,” I said, “please stay. Give our love a chance for one more day. We could have worked things out. Taking time is what love's all about!”
HAMWAD: When you need someone, you just turn around, and I will be there. When you're feeling alone, baby let me know, and I will be there.
MAXWELL: I promise that you'll be my one, my only everything. I'll never be untrue! And I promise that for all your love I will do anything. I will give you the stars, I will buy you the moon!
HAMWAD: You stay on my mind, oh. And I think about you all the time. Day and night feels so right, and for us there is no end in sight, ooh.
MAXWELL: E-mail my heart , and say our love will never die! I know you're out there, and I know that you still care. E-mail me back and say our love will stay alive forever! E-mail my heart.
HAMWAD: It’s hopeless.
MAXWELL: One more try…We still move to a rhythm just like this! We still dream of sharing our first kiss! And the beat goes on! And the beat goes on!! And the beat goes on!!! And the beat goes on!!!!
MAXWELL: My god, you’re right. It’s hopeless. We’ve tried every Britney Spears song on her entire debut album, and it STILL won’t talk to us! The only thing it ever says is Geep!
HAMWAD: You mean those were actually from different songs? I thought it was just one long repetitive one.
MAXWELL: Nah, that’s the bunch. (To NARRATOR): Hey, who are you?
NARRATOR: I’m the Narrator! What’s up?
HAMWAD: We’re professional Bio-mancers. This is our pet, the Salameander.
NARRATOR: Your Salameander looks mad.
MAXWELL: Why is Salameander mad?
NARRATOR: Salameander wants its script.
NARRATOR: Its highlighted script!! (Holds up SALAMEANDER’s script.)
NARRATOR: Not its blank script. (Holds up his own script.)
NARRATOR: Here is Salameander’s script! (Gives SALAMEANDER its script.)
SALAMEANDER (standing up triumpantly): Salameander!!!
HAMWAD: Good God, it’s a Pokemon.
NARRATOR: No, it’s just a silly thing. All you need to do is feed it love… real love, I mean, not the bubble-gum pop music kind.
MAXWELL: And then what happens?
NARRATOR: Then it loves you back!
SALAMEANDER runs over and hugs NARRATOR, and then runs around randomly.
NARRATOR: You see?
MAXWELL: I guess so. But how come it talks to you? I thought it would only talk to its creator, the second-to-last-unicorn.
HAMWAD: And she’s nowhere to be found.
MAXWELL (sad): Nowhere to be found.
NARRATOR: Well, it’s true that the unicorn was the one who gave it life, in the story. But if you go up another level, I’m her real creator!
HAMWAD: You mean…?
NARRATOR: Yes—I’m not just the Narrator. I’m also…the Author!
MAXWELL: Surely you kid, man!
NARRATOR: Not a bit of it. I am the creator of this empty little world, and everything in it! I invented you.
MAXWELL: You did not!
NARRATOR: I did so! I have complete power over you.
MAXWELL: Oh yeah? Prove it.
NARRATOR: At this point, Maxwell sees the light of reason and is completely convinced
MAXWELL: I’ve seen the light! I guess you’re right—you do have power over me! No!! Yes!!! Noooo!!! I won’t be controlled!
NARRATOR: Sure you won’t. I made you say that.
MAXWELL: You did not!
NARRATOR (advancing on MAXWELL): Actually, I did. I figured we could do with a bit of conflict…after all, I wouldn’t want to make it too easy to take over your mind!
MAXWELL: (shrinking back): Roger! Help!
SALAMEANDER goes over to the Elf and starts pretending to search through scripts.
NARRATOR: Made you say that.
HAMWAD: How can I help? I’m under his control too!
MAXWELL: Do something, Roger!
NARRATOR: And your name’s not Roger anymore, either! From now on, it’s… Hamwad!
HAMWAD: What? No!! That’s a stupid name!
NARRATOR: Too bad!
MAXWELL: Help me, Hamwad!
HAMWAD: My name isn’t Hamwad!!!
SALAMEANDER takes the script out of the Elf’s hands, dropping its own script on the table, and pretends to mark the new script with a marker.
NARRATOR: Huh? What’s going on?
SALAMEANDER (holding up script): Ha ha!! Guess what, Author! While you were fooling around, I found the Master Script! And where it said “written by Thorin Tatge,” I crossed it out and wrote “Scribed Proudly by the Salameander!”
NARRATOR: Sporks and spatulas! NO!!
SALAMEANDER: Yes! I am now the author of this play! And the rest of you will do as I write!
NARRATOR: That’s ridiculous! I’m a real live person! I can’t be a character in a play!
HAMWAD: Looks like you are now, scruffybutt.
SALAMEANDER: Ooh, Scruffybutt! I like that… (makes adjustments to script.)
NARRATOR: This is horrible! How did I let this happen?
MAXWELL: Guess you were too tricky for your own good.
NARRATOR: Well, I’m not defeated yet! (Goes over to the Elf’s table and picks up the SALAMEANDER’s script.) Ha! Now I have the Salameander’s old script! I am both the Narrator and the Salameander!
NARRATOR: Is it? I just may be a better Salameander than you ever were!
SALAMEANDER: Nonsense! The Narrator falls to the floor and begs for mercy!
NARRATOR (creeping up ominously): I’m the Salameander now, not the Narrator!
SALAMEANDER (retreating): Then the Salameander falls to the floor and begs for mercy!!
NARRATOR: Ha, but now I’m the Narrator again! I’m too quick for you!
During the next line, NARRATOR throws both scripts at the SALAMEANDER.
SALAMEANDER: Well in that case, both the Narrator and the Salameander fall to the floor quivering and beg for mercy—Oh no. (Sees scripts and shrieks, falling to the floor.) No! Forgive me! Forgive me for doing wrong! Forgive me, master!
NARRATOR (taking out spare page): That’s better!
MAXWELL: What happened?
NARRATOR: I threw both my scripts at it while it was issuing orders, and it was caught in its own fury. Lucky I had a spare last page in my pocket.
HAMWAD: But—but now who are you? And who’s the author?
NARRATOR: I’m just Thorin Tatge now. And no one’s the author. This play has no author anymore. We’re free-floating, man.
HAMWAD: So what do we do now?
NARRATOR: Well, I can only think of one thing to do—recite Britney Spears lyrics!
MAXWELL: Please, no…
EVERYONE lines up. As they chant the final line, NARRATOR marches off-stage and the other three follow.
NARRATOR: Ah one, two, three, four…
Calling out your name / Your face is everywhere
I'm reaching out to you / To find that you're not there
I wake up every night / To see the state I'm in
It's like an endless fight / I never seem to win
I can't go on as long as I believe / Can't let go when I keep wondering….