Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unwritten Rules

“Unwritten Rules”



Scene I (Library)


Johnny: (Singing loudly) Anchors away my boy! Anchors away!


Jane: Shhhhh.


Johnny: Uhm… excuse me?


Jane: What’s wrong with you? This is a library.


Johnny: What’s your point?


Jane: You’re supposed to be quiet in a library. People are trying to study.


Johnny: Uhhh… no they’re not.


Jane: Yes… they are.


Johnny: How many people do you see in here studying?


Jane: (looking aroung)(sigh) Look… even so, this is a library and you’re supposed to be quiet.


Johnny: Who said?


Jane: Everybody knows that. It’s the unwritten rule of libraries.


Johnny: I don’t give very much credence to unwritten rules. If they were that important, someone would write them down. In fact, I don’t give much credence to anything that has the prefix “un-“ in it.


Jane: …what are you talking about?


Johnny: Think about it. Is there anything that is good that has the prefix “un-“ in its name? Unintelligent, unfavorable, unworthy, unhappy, unfaithful.


Jane: What about unbroken?


Johnny: Well, let’s think about that word for a second. The word “unbroken” comes from three words: un, bro, and ken. In other words, Ken is not your brother. How do you think that makes Ken feel?


Jane: What are you talking about?



Johnny: I’m talking about the Kens of this world that everyday undergo oppression. People keep telling them, “Ken, you’re not my brother.” And they do it under the guise of the word “unbroken.” It’s completely unfair. Therefore, unbroken is a bad word; I’m not going to treat Ken that way. Ken is my brother and I will not accept your world view where every Ken is brotherless. I will not stand for it. What’s wrong with you anyway? I mean, would you like it if people kept saying “unsisjane?”


Jane: Unsisjane is not a word.


Johnny: You’re right and you’re very lucky it’s not.


Jane: (Rolls eyes) Look, how would you feel if you went to a library to read and there was someone singing very loudly?


Johnny: First of all, I would never go to a library to read. Second, I would probably join right in with the song.


Jane: Well some people do come to the library to read, and you should respect that.


Johnny: You’re just jealous.


Jane: …Excuse me?


Johnny: You heard me. (pause) You’re jealous.


Jane: Why on this beautiful, green earth would I be jealous. What do I have to be jealous of?


Johnny: Jane, I’ve known you for a while. You come in here, you sit at that table, and you read. And that’s it. But all the while, deep down inside… there’s something stirring.


Jane: Something stirring?


Johnny: (whispering) Yes… it’s small… very small. It’s deep down inside. It moves inside of you. It wants to be released, but you’re too stubborn to let it go. It’s a song. A familiar song that rings in your heart. For all these years, part of you has wanted it to make its appearance. You’re afraid of what will happen if you do. But still, you can’t escape it… It’s a soft song…. A peaceful song… a soothing song….


Jane: (Losing herself, she’s slightly captivated) What… song is it?


Johnny: (Slowly leans into her ear and then) ANCHORS AWAY MY BOY! ANCH…


Jane: (Shouts) That is enough!


Johnny: I think you just broke your unwritten rule.


Jane: Ugh! (She walks away)




Scene II (Class Room) (It has just been announced that Johnny and Jane are lab partners)


Johnny: Well-heh-ell. Look who’s my lab partner.


Jane: If you think I’m enjoying this, you’re wrong.


Johnny: Why, what ever you do mean?


Jane: You are the most obnoxious person I have ever met.


Johnny: Me!? Obnoxious!? Isn’t that Spider-man calling Arachnid-man stupid?


Jane: There’s no such thing as Arachnid-man.


Johnny: There’s no Arachnid-man? That’s like saying there’s no Santa Claus!


Jane: I don’t believe in Santa Claus and I certainly don’t believe in Arachnid-man.


Johnny: Every time someone says, “I don’t believe in Arachnid-man,” an Arachnid-man dies.


Jane: What are you talking about!?


Johnny: I’m just trying to get my point across.


Jane: And what point is that?


Johnny: That you, madam, are more obnoxious than myself.


Jane: How can you say that?


Johnny: Well, when I was a baby, my parents would talk around me. When I was about two years old, I started saying small words myself like “mom” and “yes.” Now I can say things like, “You, madam, are more obnoxious than myself.” That’s how I can say that. It has a lot to do with the tongue.


Jane: At least I don’t go around singing in libraries.


Johnny: At least I don’t go around not believing in Arachnid-men.


Jane: (Rolls eyes) Listen, neither one of us is happy, so let’s just do our assignment and get this over with.


Johnny: I’m as happy as they come.


Jane: Well I am not.


Johnny: I’m not so sure.


Jane: (Gives a glare) OK. Question one says, “How many aortic arches does an earthworm have?”


Johnny: Five.


Jane: Why do you say that?


Johnny: Am I right?


Jane: Yes.


Johnny: Then why does it matter why I said it. I’m right, so we can move on.


Jane: You can’t just guess; you need to look up the answer so that you know you are right.


Johnny: When I’m 35 years old and have 3 kids, is it really going to matter if I know that an earthworm has five Arabic arches.


Jane: Aortic.


Johnny: What?


Jane: What do you want to do with your life?


Johnny: If you must know, I’m gonna go to college; get a degree. Get married. Get a job doing something important.


Jane: Well, if you want to do those things, you have to start by looking in your book and making sure that earthworms have five hearts. Don’t just take my word for it.


Johnny: I’ll work when I get to college.


Jane: You’re never going to work and you’re not going to get into college.


Johnny: Excuse me?


Jane: You heard me. You’re a slacker and you’ll always be one.


Johnny: I could make straight A’s if I wanted to. I just choose to have a social life.


Jane: You choose to be stupid.


Johnny: Oh really?


Jane: Yes.


Johnny: Well, if you’re so smart, how many quarters do I have in my wallet?


Jane: That has nothing to do with anything.


Johnny: Ah hah! You get an F minus for wallet quarter guessing!


Jane: Fine. You have 3 quarters in your wallet.


Johnny: Dude, how did you know that?


Jane: Am I right?


Johnny: Yes.


Jane: Then why does it matter how I know it?


Johnny: Because I don’t like strange women going through my wallet.


Jane: Then you have nothing to worry about.


Johnny: You didn’t go through my wallet?


Jane: I’m not strange.


Johnny: Ooooook, well this assignment isn’t due till Friday, so let’s just work on it later.


Jane: Typical.


Johnny: (Frustrated) What’s your problem anyway? I was doing just fine before you started getting into my business.


Jane: I’m not so sure.


Johnny: Whatever.



Scene III  (Library)


Jane: What are you doing here?


Johnny: (Looked surprised, closes a book) I’m not doin nothin.


Jane: That’s a double negative ya know? And two negatives make a positive. That means you must be doing something.


Johnny: Two negatives make a positive?


Jane: Yep!


Johnny: So killing someone while at the opera actually makes for a good thing?


Jane: Not…


Johnny: (Cutting off) Of course, if the person you killed was actually enjoying the opera, you might be doing them a favor. They obviously weren’t in their right mind. Who knows what kind of destruction they were capable of administering to the world.


Jane: What book is that in your hand?


Johnny: I don’t know nothin, man!


Jane: I’m not a man. What book is that? (She takes the book) Earthworms and Their Habitats. Why Johnny, are you doing school work?


Johnny: I would never even think of doing school work. And wipe that smile off your face. This isn’t what you think it is.


Jane: What do you think I think it is?


Johnny: I think that you think that you’re having an influence on me.


Jane: I think that what you think I’m thinking is correct.


Johnny: I’m thinking that thankfully what I’m thinking you’re thinking is not the right thing to think.


Jane: Admit it. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be here reading this book.


Johnny: I wasn’t reading it.


Jane: What were you doing then?


Johnny: I was looking at the pictures.


Jane: You mean to tell me, you came all the way down to the library on a sunny Wednesday afternoon to look at pictures of earthworms.


Johnny: You have your hobbies and I have mine.


Jane: Indeed.


Johnny: I mean, who wouldn’t come down here on a sunny Wednesday afternoon and look at pictures of earthworms?


Jane: Kevin wouldn’t


Johnny: Kevin’s an idiot.


Jane: Kevin asked me out for Saturday night.


Johnny: And what did you say?


Jane: Yes.


Johnny: Then you’re an idiot as well.


Jane: You’re just jealous.


Johnny: Why would I be jealous?


Jane: Because Johnny, deep down inside of you, there’s a song. A familiar song. It’s wanted to get out of you for years. It’s a soft song… a peaceful song… a soothing song.


Johnny: Clever indeed.


Jane: Anchors away, Johnny. (Winks)





Scene IV (Classroom, Lab partners, Date with Kevin has already happened, Johnny seems to have something on his mind)



Jane: Did you enjoy the rest of your book?


Johnny: What book?


Jane: Your book about earthworms.


Johnny: Yeah… real great. (Johnny opens his lab book)


Jane: Oh my word.


Johnny: What?


Jane: (Amazement) You’ve got all the answers written down. Johnny, you’ve never done your homework.


Johnny: Well, I made an important decision.


Jane: What’s that?


Johnny: I decided that you probably shouldn’t go on any more dates with Kevin.


Jane: Oh? And why’s that?


Johnny: Did you know that the name “Kevin” in the Greek means “serial killer and hater of babies?”


Jane: That’s not true.


Johnny: It is too! I don’t make this stuff up.


Jane: Yes, you do.


Johnny: In fact, just the other day I was thinking, “Who, out of all the people that I know, probably hates babies the most?” The answer inevitably came back as Kevin. I tried to fight it. I said, “Surely not sweet Kevin.” But yes! He’s a baby hater!


Jane: First of all, the name Kevin does not mean baby hater. It means gentle.


Johnny: Yeah, if by gentle you mean baby-hating obese guy.


Jane: Don’t call him obese!


Johnny: Look. There are only so many words in the English language to describe a man who is grossly overweight. However, for your sake, I’ll choose another. How about fat incarnate?


Jane: Kevin is not fat! He’s a sweet guy and for your information, I kind of like him!


Johnny: I can picture your tombstone now. “Here Lies Jane: She Kind of Liked a Baby Hater.”


Jane: Why do you care so much about whether I like Kevin or not?


Johnny: I don’t care. I couldn’t care less. For real! I sat in my room yesterday for 3 hours and tried my hardest to care less than I do now, and I couldn’t do it. I care about you and Kevin more leaster than anything else in the world.


Jane: Oh yeah?


Johnny: No. Actually, that’s not true at all.


Jane: What is the truth?


Johnny: The truth comes in the form of a question.


Jane: What’s that?


Johnny: Will you go out with me?


Jane: Johnny.


Johnny: Yeah?


Jane: That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.


Johnny: Oh.


Jane: And no. I’m afraid you’re not my type. (Bell Rings, She Gets Up and leaves)




Scene V (Library)


Jane: (Hums anchor’s away while looking at a book and then catches herself)


Johnny: (Enters the scene) Jane?


Jane: Yes?


Johnny: I got you these. (Hands her four tulips)


Jane: Johnny?


Johnny: Yes?


Jane: These tulips are property of Remmington County. You can’t just pluck tulips from the library grounds.


Johnny: My mom and dad pay taxes. And it is a public library. Therefore, those tulips are mine to give to whom I choose.


Jane: Well, that’s sweet, but I can’t accept these.


Johnny: Jane, listen. We haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but I think you should know that I can be a great gentleman when I want to be. And I know that I’m better than any guy you’ve ever dated. Plus, I wrote you a poem.


Jane: Go on.


Johnny: Well, it goes like this:

Her name is Jane and she is a girl.

I’d rather date her than befriend a squirrel.

She’s prettier than a pretty rock or a pretty tree.

Jane, I think that you should go out with me.


Jane: That was… lovely.


Johnny: Jane, look in my eyes. You know that you want me. I know that you want me. I want to be with you. You hesitate because you know I’m not like you. I don’t have the same caution or orderliness as you. And yet, because of that, you can’t stop thinking about me. You wonder what goes on in my mind because it’s so unlike yours. You would never act the way that I do, and yet, my behavior amuses you. Give me three good reasons why you shouldn’t go out with me.


Jane: You’re obnoxious, you’re arrogant, and your socks don’t match.


Johnny: Jane, at least two of those things are correctible.


Jane: Give me three reasons why I should go out with you.


Johnny: You’re the only girl I want, you’re beautiful, and you’ve got the wildest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.


Jane: Those are three things about me; they’re not three reasons why I should go out with you.


Johnny: Ok, I’m charming, I’m sensitive, and I’m the one that carved Mt. Rushmore.


Jane: Is that so?


Johnny: That is so. Now can I pick you up at seven on Friday night?


Jane: I know I’m going to regret this.


Johnny: There are three and a half things that I’m sure of in this world, and one of them is that you won’t regret it.


Jane: What’s the half thing?


Johnny: The gopher I encountered while I was mowing the lawn this morning, but that doesn’t matter right now.


Jane: Well…


Johnny: Well nothing. You’re finally realizing that I’m not that bad. And the truth is, you know that we have no choice but to be with each other.


Jane: You’d like me to think that.


Johnny: You do think that, and it scares you to death. And I’m glad for it. I hope it always does. (Smiles) (Leaves while singing: Anchors away, my boy! Loudly)


Jane: (Watches him leave, then after he exits) Anchors away…




The End



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