Waiting for Mr. Squiggles

A One Scene Play

by Richie Narvaez and Stephen Du Marais

Scene: Two chairs at center stage. To the left of the chairs is a potted banana tree plant. In one chair, WALLACE sits dressed in khaki outfit and pith helmet. WALLACE is using binoculars to look straight at audience.

GODFREY enters from stage left, wearing khakis, pith helmet. He unfolds a chair.


GODFREY
How did you get here so fast?
 
WALLACE
I never left.

GODFREY
Well, you had the gorilla band to watch. They're looking wonderful in all their loverly gorillaness today. (He waves to them.) Has Mr. Squiggles shown himself?

WALLACE
Sit down before you cause a commotion!

GODFREY (sitting)
Any more mating behavior? Loverly, tumescent behavior.
 
WALLACE
Well, you see those two in the back. The burly male, the one we call Carlos Fuentes, with the, um, burly female, Mrs. O’Malley. He’s tried several times to arouse her interest.

GODFREY
Any luck?

WALLACE
You remember that time you tried to get that pretty marine biologist to go to Cancun with you?

GODFREY (wistful)
Dr. Debra Mulvingflosser, PhD.

WALLACE
Same situation. Notice the crossed arms and frosty stare.

GODFREY
Do you think he’ll ever come back?

WALLACE
Debra was too smart for you. A woman like that doesn’t need your intellect to fulfill her. What you need is a supermodel, my pathetic friend.

GODFREY (looking through his own binoculars)
Now that young male's got some work ahead of him.

WALLACE
Start by giving them copies of your book. Tell them, "I thought you in particular might appreciate this," and then look meaningfully into their vacuous eyes.

GODFREY
He’s showing her a banana and miming fellation. Fascinating.

WALLACE
You should take solace in what I’m saying, Godfrey. It's exemplary of the cliché that opposites attract.

GODFREY
And all the while, the Alpha Male continues to brood somewhere in the treetops. Poor old bugger. He'd better get down here soon. If he doesn't, some amorous young male will horn in on his place.

WALLACE
Shw didn’t need your intellect to fulfill her, you know, yang. Did you hear that? I just used a new-agism to support one of my theories. I’m becoming accessible to the masses. Yin/yang. Feng shui. Tantras. Mantras. Self-empowerment. It’s big! It’s sexy! Whatever it takes.

GODFREY
What you’re saying brings to mind the story of Nim Chimpsky. Chimpsky was the subject of a landmark experiment in teaching sign language to apes. He learned to use basic signs and was able to sign things such as "Apple me eat," "Hug me Nim," and "Banana me eat banana."

WALLACE
What were you going to do in Cancun? Climb Chichen Itza? Surf?

GODFREY
Then there was the chimpanzee Viki, who was reared by scientists along with a human child. The scientists attempted to teach the Viki to communicate vocally in English.

WALLACE
No, I just can’t picture you surfing. You’re going to come running across the sand with your board and you’re going to say things like, "Hey Debra, did you see me hang ten out there on that twelve-foot pipe?"

GODFREY
Well, despite intensive training for more than seven years, Viki was only able to speak four words in a hoarse whisper: "Stop me fuck with."

WALLACE
It’s probably a good thing that your first date with Debra isn’t a trip to Cancun anyway.

GODFREY
This band needs its silverback back. If for no other reason than to hold this terrible silence at bay.

WALLACE
Never, never travel with your girlfriend. I have never successfully traveled with a girlfriend. That is to say, we always break up after a trip.

GODFREY
Once in the Congo, I saw a similar situation. And the primatologist in charge, Dr. F. Corona Hefferveisen, a brave man, saw that the silverback was in bad straits after a faux pas regarding proper termite removal.

WALLACE
Women don't hate me. They just hate themselves and take it out on me.

GODFREY
The silverback finally returned, but approached the band from a path directly behind where we primatologists were hidden. He saw us and began to charge.
 
WALLACE
Hey, did you know I tell women I'm terrible in bed? I can't take it when they're disappointed.

GODFREY
Dr. Hefferveisen realized the poor ape needed a victory. So while we hid, he supplicated himself, giving the beast his proper respect, the chance to beat.

WALLACE
Yes. Actually, no. I'm hilarious in bed. I tell a lot of jokes.

GODFREY
Ah, but the gorilla needed a little more than that and stomped on, kicked, and bit Dr. Hefferveisen until it had tired itself out. Eventually, it took the doctor as its mate. Lovely ceremony.

WALLACE
Women go away disappointed with the sex but happy with the dialogue. I get a real rapport going. Sometimes I think women keep having sex with me just for the comedy.

GODFREY
After that the silverback once again proudly mingled with his band, safe in the knowledge that he was top dog, numero uno, ruler of the roost. That reminds me: I must send them an anniversary present.

WALLACE
Where did you say you got your primatology degree from anyway? One of those mail order things? One of those matchbook courses? TV repair was too difficult, so you chose primatology. Still I admire you.

GODFREY
Poor Mr. Squiggles. I hope the poachers haven’t got him. Think of all there is to lose. All that has been lost.


WALLACE                                 GODFREY
(turning his binoculars to GODFREY)        (still looking ahead)
You have                               She has
such beautiful                          such beautiful
ears.                                     ears

GODFREY
Ahem. Well, then, Wallace. I believe it’s time for me to go back to camp for my afternoon nap.

WALLACE
Very good. Very good, Godfrey.

GODFREY
I think I'm going to write a letter to Debra while I'm there. Invite her to Cancun maybe.

WALLACE
Glad to hear you're listening to reason.

GODFREY
Good talk, Wallace. Thanks.

WALLACE
My pleasure. I’ll be here when you get back! And bring me some vodka and lime while you're at it!

END SCENE

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