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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R.I.P. David Bowie

January 11th, 2016

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I doubt there’s any living artist in any medium that hasn’t been influenced by David Bowie (whether they know it or not).

For myself, on a Sunday night in August of 2009 I watched and episode of MAD MEN followed by Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, which starred David Bowie.  Later that night, with these two viewings swirling around in my head, I wrote my short play “A Spaceman Rides An Elevator in an Office Building.”  This short script, which I was extremely proud of, became the centerpiece for an evening of my short plays called TALES OF THE TWINKLING TWILIGHT (produced by Raven Theatre in Chicago in 2012).

I doubt that short script would’ve been written if I wasn’t a David Bowie fan.

Rest in Peace.

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The Devil’s Garden

January 7th, 2016

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I always wanted to write a Devil at the Crossroads story – so I wrote one.

It’s called “The Devil’s Garden.”

It’s a Whispering Gulch story and I’ve been lucky enough to have it published in the Texas Gardener Newsletter SEEDS.

You can read it here.

Want to read more about Whispering Gulch?

Check out “The Devil’s Kiss” at THE OTHER OTTER.

And “The Woman Who Waltzed With Ulysses S. Grant” at SPELK.

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A new Whispering Gulch story!

My western story “The Woman Who Waltzed With Ulysses S. Grant” is available today at the wonderful flash fiction web-zine SPELK.

Check it out!

Want to read more about Whispering Gulch?

Check out “The Devil’s Kiss” at THE OTHER OTTER.

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Knife Fight on Christmas Avenue

December 21st, 2015

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My short story “Knife Fight on Christmas Avenue” is available today at the terrific web-zine SHOTGUN HONEY.

A very wise man gave me the best compliment in the world when he said my title sounded like a Tom Waits song.

So here’s a Tom Waits Christmas song.

Today’s the day!

In honor of THE FORCE AWAKENS opening, here’s a short STAR WARS themed monologue I wrote for a theater in London.

Yoda Tries to Ride a Rollercoaster

by John Weagly

(Lights up.
An amusement park. YODA reaches the front of the line for the Screaming Bantha rollercoaster. The amusement park attendant stops him.)

YODA

Board this Screaming Bantha rollercoaster I wish to do. The Tatooine Tumbler have I ridden. And the Womp Rat Wipeout. And the Besbin Bumper Boats. Now steep drops and loop-de-loops do I desire.

Tall enough I am not?

How tall does one have to be? Forty-eight inches?

Height! What is height? Inches not make one tall.

In line for forty-five minutes I have stood and you tell me tall enough I am not?

Nine-hundred years old am I.

Spoken at the Galactic Senate I have.

Lifted x-wing fighters from gluttonous bogs I have.

Helped defeat the malevolent Empire I have.

And tell me I’m not tall enough to ride the Screaming Bantha rollercoaster you do?

Very un-Jedi this is, but into a Sarlacc Pit go jump.

(YODA storms off in a huff.
Lights down.)

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Five-Play Day

December 11th, 2015

I have FIVE plays taking place tonight across these continental United States – a personal record for me!

7:30 – “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose”
Raven Theatre – 6157 N. Clark
Chicago, IL

8:00 – “Raccoon Pants” part of THE FIVE MINUTE MILE: THEATRE ON THE RUN
Cone Man Running Productions at Queensbury Theatre – 12777 Queensbury Lane
Houston, TX

7:30 – “A Pigman Walks Among Us” part of POP UP THEATER 2015: FREAK SHOW
Panglossian Productions at the Williamsburg Library – 515 Scotland Street
Williamsburg, VA

8:00 – “Azzmetta Abbington’s Mistletoe Meatballs” and “Syphilis Steve and the Christmas Miracle” are both part of A VERY SPECIAL THEATREGASM CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Theatredart at Cottonwood Center for the Arts – 427 E. Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO

If you’re near any of these places – go see a show!
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Free Syphilis Tonight!

December 8th, 2015

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My short holiday play “Syphilis Steve and the Christmas Miracle” will be part of Dandelion Theatre’s THE MAKE READY reading series.

And it’s FREE!

Tuesday 12/8 at 7:00.

At The Galway Arms – 2442 N. Clark

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Happy Halloween!

Here’s a short play I wrote just for the holiday.

Enjoy!

 

OSCILLATING SASQUATCH

by John Weagly

(Lights up. A cemetery. The dark of night. October 30 – Halloween Eve. TRIXIEBELLE-WREN and PEACH-CALLIOPE stand waist-deep in a grave. They are both in their early-twenties and are slightly-goth, slightly-punk and slightly-hillbilly. There are piles of freshly-turned dirt behind them. They both have shovels. They dig for a moment.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Can we take a break for a minute?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Sure.

(They stop digging and catch their breath.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
How much deeper do we have to go?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
I don’t know – six feet under, so I guess we have to hit six feet.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
This is wild.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
It’s not my fault.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
I’m not saying it is. I’m not even saying it’s bad. I’m just saying – it’s wild.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Cooter-Cain loved Oscillating Sasquatch. He wanted to be buried with all of his Oscillating Sasquatch CD’s.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
And our tickets.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
I had no idea.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
For tomorrow night’s Oscillating Sasquatch Halloween concert.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
I didn’t realize he put the concert tickets in the CD case for “Bigfoot Barf.”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
That’s their best album.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Without a doubt.

(Pause.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Do you miss him?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Not really. I know I should, he was a pretty good boyfriend, but… meh, I just don’t.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
I don’t miss him either. I liked him well enough, but – yeah, meh, I just don’t.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Meh.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Meh.

(Pause.)

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Interesting way to go.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
No kidding!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“The worst pumpkin-carving accident since the Jack-O-Lantern Jack-knife Slaughter of 1978.”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
He’s a part of history.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Did they ever find his toe?

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Nope. Never did.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Good-bye Cooter-Cain McGillicuty.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
That’s what he’ll be remembered for. The way he died.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
That and his love for Oscillating Sasquatch.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
The greatest punk jug band in the history of punk jug bands!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
So many great songs! “Anarchy Rag!”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Everything Blows Except Me & My Jug.”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Blitzkrieg Washtub.”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“My Baby Got The Spoons, So Go Fork Yourself!”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN & PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Bathwater Lobotomy!”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Cooter-Cain and I met at an Oscillating Sasquatch concert.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
I remember!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
They were touring for “Diseased Brain in the River Bottom.”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
That’s their best album.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Without a doubt. Cooter-Cain was dancing and screaming like his soul was on fire.

(PEACH-CALLIOPE starts singing/screeching and dancing. After a moment, TRIXIBELLE-WREN dances with her and joins in.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Don’t tell me about your life,
Don’t tell me about your wife,
I don’t care about your ugly mug,
All I care about is me and my jug!”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Cause I’ve got a…”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN & PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Diseased Brain in the River Bottom,
A Diseased Brain in the River Bottom,
A Diseased Brain in the River Bottom!”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
He swept me off my feet.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Being swept off your feet is so over-rated.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Yeah. I didn’t like it. Meh.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Meh.

(They pick up their shovels and start digging.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
I never really liked pumpkins.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
No?

PEACH-CALLIOPE
No. Even before Cooter-Cain’s mishap. They’re so orange and stupid.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
You’re right! They are orange and stupid! Now that I think about it, I never liked pumpkins either!

PEACH-CALLIOPE
You’re such a good friend.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
You, too.

(They hug.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
You know I slept with Cooter-Cain, right? A bunch of times.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Yeah. I know. How did you like it?

PEACH-CALLIOPE
He was okay.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Yeah. He tried pretty hard, but he was just okay.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Meh.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Yeah. Meh.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Meh. Still, he loved him some Oscillating Sasquatch.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
He was really looking forward to the Halloween concert.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
You’ve heard their new one, right?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Moonshine Meltdown on Sedation Street?” Hell, yes!

PEACH-CALLIOPE
That’s their best album.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Without a doubt.

(Their shovels hit something.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Got it.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Huh. I guess we didn’t have to go six feet.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Still, when I go, I’m going to be cremated. I don’t want to put anybody through this.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Good idea.

(TRIXIEBELLE-WREN crouches down. We hear a creak as the coffin is opened.)

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Oh! Wow!

PEACH-CALLIOPE
What?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
It’s not him. This isn’t Cooter-Cain’s grave.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
It’s not?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
No. This is Jethro-Dante. I dated him, too.

PEACH-CALLIOPE
So did I!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
(Waving at the corpse.)
Hi, Jethro-Dante!

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Hey, J.D.!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
(Pointing to another part of the graveyard.)
Want to try over there?

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Why don’t I just buy us new concert tickets?

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Can you do that?

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Sure. They’re not sold out. And they’re only five bucks.

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
You’re such a good friend!

PEACH-CALLIOPE
Woooooo! Oscillating Sasquatch!

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
Oscillating Sasquatch rules!

(They start singing/screeching and dancing again.)

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Shuck that corn…”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Throw it in the still…”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Dump in the sugar…”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Careful not to spill…”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“I got no shoes…”

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN
“Down on my feet…”

PEACH-CALLIOPE
“I’m havin’ a…

TRIXIEBELLE-WREN & PEACH-CALLIOPE
“Moonshine Meltdown on Sedation Street!”

(Lights down.)

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My short play for older performers, “Blinking Lights in the Middle of the Night,” has been published by ArtAge Publications and the good people at the Senior Theatre Resource Center.

In this short, otherworldly comedy, Sally and Carl receive a late-night visit from an alien tourist making a pit stop while traveling among the stars. But should this extra-special visitor be trespassing on Sally and Carl’s lawn?

Buy a copy today!

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