by Tara Seibel
Theater of the Truly Mundane
by Ted Kane
public library of a medium-sized Southern California beach city
Patron (middle-aged, male)
Librarian (slightly younger, male)
Librarian is seated at reference desk center stage, appearing
to be busy but perhaps is not, it's hard to tell; meanwhile,
snoring is audible coming from the direction of the stacks.
Librarian walks in the direction of the snoring and comes upon
Middle-aged Library Patron, slumped over a book in a chair and
stands over him.
Library Patron: (looks up making sputtering noises, such as
one is wont to do upon awakening)
Librarian: Hi. We do need you to stay awake while you are in
Patron: (indignant) I'm awake.
Librarian: Yes, you are awake now. But just now you were asleep.
Patron: No, I wasn't.
Librarian: Yes, you were. I heard you snoring.
Patron: You're hearing things.
Librarian: Yes. I'm hearing you snore.
Patron: You're hearing things.
Librarian: If I have to come back and talk to you about this
again, I will have to ask you to leave.
(Librarian returns to reference desk)
Loud snoring is heard from behind the curtain.
by Rick Brown
Theater of the Truly Mundane
The beer and spirits department of an upscale gourmet food market.
Shelves of liquor in rows run at a 45-degree angle to the room’s
walls. Several beer coolers are set against these walls. A cash
register sets on a glass display case stage right. An attractive
young woman dressed in the store’s button down shirt and
khaki pants is standing behind the glass counter. Beneath her
shirt’s market logo is a nametag that reads “Sam”.
The room is lit with fluorescent light both from the ceiling
and the beer coolers.
enters stage left and immediately strolls up to Sam.
– Hi Sam! How are you?
– I’m fine thanks.
– I’ll have a small bottle of the Belvedere vodka.
Thanks for the recommendation. It’s good stuff, especially
in a martini!
(smiling) – I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
pays for the bottle and exits stage left.
few moments elapse when Rick again walks in, this time with
a more confused air.
– Do you have any bottled limejuice?
escorts him over to a shelf in the corner of the room.
– All we have is this Key Lime stuff. And, of course the
sweetened kind. But that’s not very good.
– Yeah. It’s pretty terrible.
glides back to behind the glass counter.
is perplexed as he tries to decide, then turns with an air of
epiphany and begins to walk past Sam.
(turning to Sam) – I’ve decided to squeeze a couple
(giggling) – That sounds like FUN!
Sam – herself
Rick – himself
2 Limes – real ones
by Sue Lense
Easton town Center
Despite the fact it was the tail end of the 1960’s, I never
did any recreational drugs in high school. I drank a tiny bit
but not enough to mention really. Even at college I was pretty
upright all the time. Attending a small Lutheran university in
the middle of the Midwest did not present the opportunity much.
Although after I did begin smoking marijuana I occasionally
bought it from seminary students at the Lutheran Seminary. At
the time it seemed appropriately ironic given my divorce from
all things Lutheran. And by this time it was the 70’s…an
era arguably much harder to explain to those who didn’t
experience it…more difficult than the 60’s perhaps.
Back then it seemed like everyone smoked pot…bankers, college
students, cops…even so called “straight people”.
It felt as if we were trying to get the angst (and it was mostly
angst) of the 1960’s behind us by throwing caution to the
wind and experimenting. The so-called “Establishment”
couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth after all the lies
of the previous decade. And grass was cheap! Fifteen
bucks could purchase a four-finger bag (the depth of the herb
in the baggie) of “Mexican” pot that would get you
high enough to feel somewhat euphoric and giggly…unlike
today’s pot which can leave you sitting on the couch drooling
on yourself wondering why Radiohead goes so well with NFL football.
Or so I have read in a magazine. Thus began my “making up
for lost time” era.
Whether I smoked an exorbitant amount of marijuana is open for
debate. Those who frown on it would say a lot. Stoners might have
called me an amateur. I’m not here to lecture anyone or
make a value judgment. A little experimentation without being
overtly reckless is probably a good thing in my mind. I did give
it up for good finally. I had a very good reason to quit…give
it up entirely…although it uh…hmm...escapes me at
the moment. Funny, I can vividly recall the first time
I smoked it but cannot for the life of me remember the last.
But…it don’t matter MAN!! (Before there was
“dude”…there was “man”.)
So one day I just finish smoking a doobie of this Mexican and
my wife Yvonne says to me, “I’m going shopping at
Gold Circle. Wanna come along?” For those of you too young
to remember, Gold Circle was a decent discount store that later
became what is now Kohl’s. A single story store with clothing,
household items, etc. Not particularly interesting. But when you’re
stoned just about anything mundane can seem interesting…sometimes
exciting even. I said “sure”.
It being a warm late spring day I was in a t-shirt and cutoff
shorts and Yvonne wore cutoffs as well with a bright yellow tube
top. A tube top was a stretchy piece of material that was worn
over the breasts not unlike a rubber band around some items you
were trying to keep together. It was worn sans bra. No self-respecting
woman in 1977 wore a bra. At the time she had her blond hair very,
long and straight…almost waist length. It was her neo-hippie
“make up for lost time” phase as well. Although her
parents might just say I was a bad influence on her…still
might. I don’t care. She looked mighty fine to me.
We’re meandering around the store when I wander off to look
at something across the way…doesn’t matter what
because I probably forgot 5 minutes after I looked at it anyway.
Then I see the long blond hair, the bright yellow tube top and
frayed cutoffs and begin following at a safe husbandly distance.
Five…maybe ten minutes pass…it’s hard to tell
when you’re high…and I’m getting a little anxious
to go home and drink a cup of hot coffee while eating a bowl of
ice cream. Still she continues looking at frocks and such hanging
on a rack instead of sensing my cravings! This makes me more and
more frustrated. I must experience the sensual extreme
polarities of hot and cold soon! Can’t she realize that?
What’s wrong with her anyway? This is when I get
into the stereotypical husband mood of shortness at which I excel!!
Finally I grab an elbow, whirl her around, look her directly in
the eyes and say, “Are you gonna BUY something or are you
gonna fuck around ALL DAY?!”
The usual annoyed wifely “whatever” look I should
have gotten was replaced by one of shock mixed with a bit of bemusement.
It was NOT Yvonne! It was a different woman with long blond hair,
frayed cutoffs and bright yellow tube top!! My face flushed red
like a tomato and the sounds coming out of my mouth were only
amping up my turmoil.
“UHHHH…BWAA!!! BLAH Sorry!! Bwaph – uh –
My brain failed me as well. I could not for the life of me get
it engaged. And I knew saying “My, you certainly look great
in that bright yellow tube top” was NOT going to help matters.
After what seemed like my 50th attempt at “Sorry.”
I began a manic search for the woman I came in with.
Once I found Yvonne I was no better at explaining to her why we
needed to leave Gold Circle…hell…the STATE…as
soon as possible.
“BWAH! DUH-DAH! UHHHHH…Hubbubububub.”
I told Yvonne my story later over a cup of hot coffee and a bowl
of ice cream.
Frank Sinatra once sang, “Regrets…I have a few…but
too few to mention.” But I have one regret I’m willing
to share with you now.
I regret tube tops ever went out of style.