Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

It’s January 31st – You all know what that means!

It’s National Gorilla Suit Day!!!

To commemorate this special holiday, I’ve written a short play.

Enjoy!

(This piece debuted at Dandelion Theatre’s THE MAKE READY on August 11, 2015)

GORILLAS IN THE DRIZZLE by John Weagly

(Lights up.
PETUNIA works at her desk. The desk next to her is empty. After a moment, ALISON enters and sits at the empty desk.)

PETUNIA
Is it still raining out?

ALISON
A little bit. Drizzling.

PETUNIA
I wish it would stop.

ALISON
Me, too.

PETUNIA
I suppose it’s good for the flowers. Or the grass. Or something.

ALISON
I suppose. (Pause.) I saw a gorilla.

PETUNIA
Just now?

ALISON
Yeah. While I was at lunch.

PETUNIA
Did you go to the zoo?

ALISON
No.

PETUNIA
Where were you?

ALISON
Just out and about.

PETUNIA
You must’ve been somewhere where they have gorillas.

ALISON
No. Just out. And about. In the rain. The gorilla was right outside.

PETUNIA
Outside of our building?

ALISON
Yes.

PETUNIA
What was the gorilla doing?

ALISON
Selling tacos. It had a cart it was pushing around.

PETUNIA
Did you buy one?

ALISON
I bought three. I was hungry.

PETUNIA
You bought three tacos from a gorilla.

ALISON
They were delicious.

(PETUNIA thinks for a moment.)

PETUNIA
It must’ve been some kind of promotion.

ALISON
What do you mean?

PETUNIA
Some kind of promotion to boost taco sales. They put a guy in a gorilla suit and see if he can sell more tacos than a guy who’s not in a gorilla suit.

ALISON
You think it was a guy in a gorilla suit?

PETUNIA
It had to be.

ALISON
That’s a little insulting.

PETUNIA
I’m sorry. It’s just that…

ALISON
You think I’m that much of a dum-dum?

PETUNIA
No! Of course not! But, where gorillas are concerned you’ve been known to…

ALISON
I think I can tell the difference between a guy in a gorilla suit and an actual gorilla.

PETUNIA
You think so?

ALISON
I know so.

(PETUNIA thinks for a moment.)

PETUNIA
How did you pay for the tacos?

ALISON
Cash.

PETUNIA
So you think an actual gorilla understands finance and money and currency? That a gorilla can make change?

ALISON
Sure! I mean, they learn sign language. I’m sure you can train one to make change from a twenty.

(PETUNIA thinks for a moment.)

PETUNIA
The gorilla made the tacos?

ALISON
Yep. It had the shells and the cheese and the lettuce and the beef and the tomatoes. It put them together right there in front of me.

PETUNIA
In broad daylight. On a city street. In front of our building.

ALISON
Right.

PETUNIA
You think the health department gave a food license to a gorilla?

ALISON
I’d be surprised if any of those food carts have the proper paperwork.

(PETUNIA thinks for a moment.)

PETUNIA
How much would you say the gorilla weighed?

ALISON
I don’t know – 160, 175.

PETUNIA
The average weight for a gorilla is in the neighborhood of 484 pounds.

ALISON
You’re thinking of male mountain gorillas. Western lowland female gorillas average around 158 pounds.

PETUNIA
Really?

ALISON
Give or take a pound or two.

(PETUNIA thinks for a moment. She tries to come up with another argument, but can’t.)

PETUNIA
Did he…

ALISON
Yes?

PETUNIA
What if…

ALISON
What if what?

PETUNIA
Was there…

ALISON
Use your words.

PETUNIA
I give up. I guess you really did see a real gorilla.

ALISON
And bought three tacos from it.

PETUNIA
And bought three tacos from it.

(They get to work. After a moment, a person in a gorilla suit enters.)

GORILLA
Can I use your bathroom?

(PETUNIA and ALISON both point at the bathroom.)

PETUNIA
I wish it would stop raining.

ALISON
Drizzling.

PETUNIA
I suppose it’s good for the flowers. Or the grass.

ALISON
Or something.

(Lights down.)

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