to Get a Single: The Lenny Dee version
(The Lenny Dee players were a group that put on occasional rehearsed shows drawing from the Chelsea 11:17 archives. I provided this version at their request.)
An instructive comedy by Thorin N. Tatge
BRETT: A rising junior. Starts out melancholy; becomes fiendish.
LAWRENCE: An suave and devious rising junior.
SARAH: A slightly flaky rising junior.
GREG: A moody rising junior.
PROPS: None required. A chair or sofa for Sarah and/or Lawrence to lounge on would enhance the mood.
SETTING: The four students begin on stage, lounging listlessly at the tail end of the Roommate Connection.
All are standing or sitting silently. LAWRENCE suavely goes over to GREG who is sitting miserably.
LAWRENCE: Hey, buddy, what’s your number?
LAWRENCE draws away, visibly repulsed. GREG sighs and rests his head in his hand. LAWRENCE walks over to eavesdrop while SARAH speaks with BRETT. GREG only kind of listens.
SARAH (to BRETT): And so I told her I had this medical condition where I have to be within running range of the pinball machines at all times in case I get jittery and I need my fix, right? So they got me this great room in Sevy with my friend Nancy . . . I’m pretty psyched. So, Brett, where are you gonna be staying, d’you think?
BRETT: I had my heart set on a single.
SARAH: Cool! Isolated hermitry is so you! Think you’re gonna get one?
BRETT: Um . . . maybe.
SARAH: Well, what’s your draw number?
BRETT: Er . . . it’s eighteen thousand, one hundred twenty-six.
SARAH: Uh… oh. Huh. Well.
BRETT: Do you think I have a chance, Sarah?
SARAH: Well, if you were a snowball drawing into Hell, maybe…
LAWRENCE (incredulous): Did you say eighteen thousand?
BRETT: Yeah . . .
LAWRENCE: So . . . what, I don’t get it, are you drawing after the entire population of Northfield?
SARAH: Well so I figure first the rest of his class draws, then the rising sophomores draw, then the students that don’t like their rooms get to draw again, then the prospies draw, then the next sixteen freshman classes, the visitors from St. Olaf, the downtrodden, the homeless, the butchers, the bakers…
BRETT: And then me.
SARAH: Well, I wasn’t done making stuff up, but yeah.
LAWRENCE: Hey, maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get that little empty closet on 1st Watson! I think that’s a single, isn’t it?
SARAH: Actually I think it’s a quad. Besides, it’s designated female next year.
BRETT: I could get an operation . . .
GREG: Dude, why don’t you just find a roommate? Get a single your senior year! Be an RA if you want to guarantee it.
BRETT (shaking his head): I want to live in Power Tools Awareness House as a senior! I want a single next year!
LAWRENCE: Well Brett, we don’t always get what we want! With a number like yours, how do you expect to get a single?
BRETT (brightening): I know! I’ll become a marauding conqueror! I’ll set ingenious traps outside people’s doors, and when they’re all disposed of, I’ll move in!
LAWRENCE: No, no, man, that’s not cool. Look, if you’re gonna do this right, you’ve gotta work from the inside. Get yourself a roommate and then screw with his academic life until he drops out.
BRETT: How do I do that, Lawrence?
LAWRENCE: Well, if he’s a CS major you just plant a bug into his favorite compiler so it erases a line at random every time he compiles. If he’s a poli-sci major you divide up the room into regions, declare his stuff contraband, pass noise pollution laws about his music, that sort of thing, and make him sort out the flaws in your logic. If he’s a chemistry major you replace his samples with ground Pez. You wouldn’t believe the properties that stuff has.
BRETT: What if he’s an English major?
SARAH: Ooh, I know this one! You go through his textbook and change all the commas to semi-colons. They hate that!
GREG: NOOOOO, NOT THE SEMI-COLONS!!!!!
The others look at Greg, then resume talking.
BRETT: And if he’s a Philo major?
LAWRENCE: Easy. Make him define everything. Whenever he says something, ask him to define it. Eventually he’ll realize that all Philosophy is ultimately meaningless.
SARAH: Meaningless? Meaningless?? No, it can’t be!!! (Sarah gasps.) But it makes so much sense! NOOOOO!!!!! (Runs offstage.)
BRETT: Wow, it works! I think I’ll try it! (Gets up and faces audience.) Hi, I'm Brett! Would any of you like to be my roommate?
LAWRENCE: A little more discreet, my friend. Play it cool.
BRETT: Oh, right.
BRETT struts up to GREG.
BRETT (trying to be cool): So, uh, what’s your number, bud?
BRETT: 452? Hallelujah! Whass'yer name, Greg, right?
BRETT: Want to room with me next year?
GREG (shrugging): You’re not into fermenting socks, are you?
BRETT: What? Of course not!
GREG: Then you beat the last two guys I roomed with. I’m in.
(The two rise and begin to leave.)
BRETT: Cool! So what’s your major, Greg?
GREG: Tofu Studies.
BRETT: Tofu? Ooh, this should be easy!
BRETT: Never mind…
They exit. The end.