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Cast of Characters
The interior of ROGER's mid-sized sedan. Deep within the
black heart of a mall parking ramp in a universe rather
much like our own except for in a few important details
which will become clear in a moment.
Saturday Morning. St. Vitus's Day.
* * * * *
- Mid 20's. Callow, conceited, snobbish and rude.
The kind of guy who sits around racking up bad karma until
one day he gets featured in a TF-related short play and
something predictably awful happens to him to punish him
for his misdeeds. You know the type. Blue jeans and
- Mid 20's. ROGER's S.O. She's too good for him, and
too nice to realize it. Spring-y T-Shirt and Jacket.
And so I said to the guy -- WATCH YOUR FREAKING ASS!
No wonder you got fired.
Naw, naw. I'm talking to the guy in the Tercel. MOVE!
MOVE! GODDAMMNIT, MOVE!
- AT RISE
- As house lights darken, gradual fade in of the noise of
automobiles idling and growling as they trudge about in the
intricate mechanical ballet common to these sorts of places
whenever they're even the slightest bit busy. In the black,
the noise builds to a maddening crescendo. It sounds like
a hell of a day to park a car, and indeed, it is. Lights
up on ROGER and KITTY. ROGER is behind the wheel.
(ROGER slams on the horn a couple times.)
Goddamn Indochinese drivers. Waltz on over here with their
damn fancy-ass Eastern way of driving and their goddamn
Tae Kwon Do and their goddamn Toyotas. Goddamn Chinese
invented gunpowder, didja know that? Fuck it all if this
wouldn't be a more peaceful world without gunpowder.
Fuck the Chinese. Always inventing stuff.
They also invented the Abacus.
Fuck the abacus too. You know what else I hate about the
Chinese? They're _smart_. They're smart bastards. Smart
dangerous bastards with gunpowder, driving on the wrong
FREAKING side of the ROAD!
(ROGER slams on the horn again.)
(peering out the window as the car moves past)
She wasn't Chinese, Roger.
(looking as well)
Huh. Can't understand her choice of Vehic, then.
(KITTY stares at ROGER for a bit.)
Sure. It's the new slang for 'car'. Everybody's saying it,
You know. Short for 'Vehicle'. Thirty or forty years down
the road, _everybody's_ gonna be calling these things
Why not just say 'Car'?
(ROGER shakes his head at KITTY.)
You are _so_ un-hip, it's a wonder your pants stay on at a--
(A massive screeching of tires. ROGER slams on the
brakes as he and KITTY are thrown forward in their
seats and then back to rest.)
CHRIST! Look what you made me do, Kitty! We could 'of
gotten killed there, all because you insist on talking
about your stupid passe slang words for 'Car'.
(ROGER starts the car rolling again.)
Say sorry to my auto detailer. Christ, no wonder I got
fired! I'm in constant stress from nearly being put in
goddamn _car wrecks_ by my GIRLFRIEND all the time.
(sinking lower in her seat)
(ROGER looks around)
Christ, this place is packed.
Everybody's out shopping for Saint Vitus's Day gifts.
I can't believe it's gotten so popular all of a freaking
What, Saint Vitus's Day?
Well, you know. Fads come in, fads go out. This year it's
Slovenian Paraphernalia. Everywhere you look, it's
Slovenian this, Slovenian that. Personally, I'm kind of
glad to have my culture in the spotlight for once.
I still can't believe I let you rope me into this.
Rodge, it won't be _that_ bad.
It'll be four and a half hours of Polka music.
_Slovenian_ Polka music. God knows, Rodge, I'd be just as
uneasy as you are if this were a night of traditional polka.
But the Annual St. Vitus's Day Polka Jamboree and Weiner
Roast is a landmark day for my people. You _know_ how
much this means to me.
(ROGER scans the traffic again.)
DAMN THIS PARKING RAMP SHIT! There's not a place to park
If you would have gotten your Traditional Slovenian Clogs
when I _told_ you you should, we wouldn't be in this mess
Don't you start with me, Kitty. I'm already pissed off at
having to traipse down to the mall to get a pair of goddamn
clogs for this goddamn Polka festival, there's not a single
place to park in all creation, and to top it all off, there's
these DAMN INDOCHINESE DRIVERS ALL OVER THE PLACE!
(ROGER slams on the horn some more.)
Traditional Slovenian Polka is very popular with the
Indochinese people. They're big fans of the traditional
(KITTY waves a hand, airily.)
Doubtless, all these Indochinese people are here for just
the same reason we are, on a last-minute clog and sauerkraut
buying errand, eleventh hour preparations, all scurrying
to try and get their clogs and sauerkraut in place before
the lighting of the sacred BOOSCHABOOSCH candle.
(She checks her watch.)
At this rate, we're going to be pushing it.
Yeah, well, maybe you don't have to light the damn candle
this year, huh?
(KITTY stares at ROGER in open-mouthed shock.)
_NOT_ light the BOOSCHABOOSCH Candle?
Yeah. What's the, er, matter with that?
Roger, the lighting of the BOOSCHABOOSCH Candle is the most
holy of offerings to Saint Vitus. It is by the Candle that
we are reminded of Saint Vitus's beneficent protection against
Inane Plot Twists!
Now, Kitty. You know I have a great deal of respect for
your weird half-cocked religious beliefs. But, I mean, come
on, here, Kit! You believe that just because you don't light
your weird little goat candle--
It's in the shape of a KREIGHEIMMEN Mountain Stag.
Whatever. You think that Saint Vitus is gonna bestow blessing
on you and protect you from Inane Plot Twists just because
you light your damn candle on time?
Don't be silly.
Well, good, 'cuz I thought--
(abruptly dead sober)
You have to eat a salad of dandelions and peppercorns and
drink a dram of water from the GORSCHPEDAGNA Springs by
its fragile light. Even _you_ know that, Roger.
(shaking his head)
You are _nuts_.
Nevertheless. By staying on Saint Vitus's good side, none
of my family have _ever_ run afoul of a Stupid Plot Twist.
Something to think about.
Well, _I'm_ never going to run into a Stupid Plot Twist.
(KITTY's eyes go wide, and she claps her hands over
ROGER's mouth, causing him to lurch at the wheel.
ROGER shakes her off and regains control of his
Vehic, then rounds on her.)
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR!
(matching him in passion for the first time)
_Hubris_, Roger! Saint Vitus _scorns_ those who show
Hubris! You have to recite the Canticle of the Mists of
Cleveland or you'll be in Grave Danger!
(KITTY rummages through her purse.)
Just your luck, I happen to have a couple copies of the
Canticle with me, printed on convenient business cards.
FINE! Fine. When we get into the mall.
But by then, it might be too--
DAMN IT, KITTY! _NOT NOW!_
(KITTY slumps into silence. The two stew for a
moment in their bitterness, ROGER growing
increasingly perturbed at the task of finding a
parking spot. Finally, his face lights up.)
There we go.
(ROGER pulls into the spot and shuts off the ignition.)
Now. Can we get going on this? Daylight's burning, and
we gotta get you home to light your stupid goat candle.
(gathering her things)
Well, I suppose. You have to promise me that OH MY GOD!
Roger, start the car. We can't park here.
As if. What's the matter?
(finger outstretched, out past the "front" of the car)
(ROGER follows her point and begins reading.)
"Know ye that this Parking Spot is RESERVED for the
Proprietor of Ye Olde Superfluous Magick Shoppe. All
others depart away, or risk the Snell Wrath of he
whose car it is wot _BELONGETH_ Here. Violators will--"
(ROGER laughs, and goes for the door.)
Good Lord, Kitty. Come on.
I'm having no part of this.
Look, there's _nowhere else to park_ in this _whole damn
place_. Whoever the proprietor is, he's obviously not
in today. It wouldn't make any sense to _not_ take
advantage of this.
(KITTY sits there, stubbornly.)
Kitty, I hate to have to remind you of this, unless we get
in here, get these clogs, and get out, we'll never make
it home in time for your little ceremony.
I don't care. To leave the car here is to fly in the face
of all of Saint Vitus's teachings.
Oh? Like what?
Like not abusing small courtesies and then making blatant and
obviously rationalizatory statements about why there's a
good reason for doing so. Like not scoffing at reports of
impending natural disasters and holding cheery Town Festivals
in the shadow of smoldering volcanoes. Like not HAVING SEX
in PLACES YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO. These things Saint Vitus
warns us against. Always remember that by the time you deny
the existence of the monster, it's _already too late._
(gesturing futilely at the sign)
But this... this... I mean, C'MON, Kitty, the guy's obviously
a MORON! He didn't even spell his own sign right!
(gravely, attempting to stare into ROGER's eyes)
All the more reason to be worried.
(paying no attention, studying the sign)
He's _Indochinese_, I bet. Damn Indochinese. Never have a
proper grasp of English. That's what I hate about the
Indochinese. They're smart, dangerous gunpowder-toting
bastards who drive on the wrong side of the road and can't
even get through writing a "No Parking" sign without
screwing up with their spelling. Damned if I know how
they can be so smart and still not be able to spell cor--
(shaking her head)
Goodbye, Roger. It's been nice knowing you.
What, go in there by myself and pick out the clogs?
It doesn't matter anymore.
(ROGER blusters for a moment, and finally regains
the ability to speak)
I MIGHT _REMIND_ you, little missy, that the only reason
we're here _AT ALL_ is because of your damn POLKA FESTIVAL!
(KITTY is silent.)
(louder, attempting to evoke a reaction)
HUH? What do you have to say to _THAT_?
(Apparently, nothing. KITTY is as silent as the
grave. A worm of unease enters ROGER's eyes.)
Fine. Whatever. You stay here, and if the shop owner
comes here looking for his spot, you move the car for him.
(ROGER tosses the keys in her lap, and opens the
door. He mutters as he goes.)
Damn needy bitch girlfriends. The things I do for...
(ROGER vanishes from the light, still muttering.
Five seconds pass in aching silence. Then, suddenly,
there is a stunning flash of colored lights from all
directions and a gibbering howl of raw mystical
noise. But despite the sheer volume of it all,
the panicked scream of ROGER can clearly be heard
rising above the cacophony. ROGER's scream
graduates quickly to "agonized" and then abruptly
undergoes an audial transmogrification into a series of
dry, ribbiting croaks before it and everything else
about the maelstrom of light and sound dies into
blackness, leaving nothing but the light on KITTY,
still in the passenger seat of the car.)
Blessed Vitus forgive us.
(KITTY slides grimly over into the driver's seat,
starts the car, and backs out of the parking spot.
The lights slowly fade, even as the sound of traffic
rises again, almost but not quite drowning out the sound
of a single amphibian voice croaking into the darkness.)
END OF PLAY
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