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It’s Hummer Time!

h2-hummer-limousine.jpgThis script was written for the second night of Out of the Hat 7, June of 2006. It's not one of my stronger scripts, but it was fun to write nonetheless. In the performance I particularly like how the actors used a music stand for the partition between the front and back of the limo and would slide it up and down while the tech would bump up the ever present music when the partition was down. My prompts were:

Who: Cleopatra
What: Osama bin Laden’s Turban
Where: Back Seat of a Car
Common Line: “There’s a first time for everything.”
Cast: 2 Men, 2 Women

It’s Hummer Time!
by Lawrence Lee

June 10, 2006

Arnold – Chauffeur
Karen – Chauffeur in training
MP - Male Partier
FP - Female Partier
Cop – Offstage voice

[Loud party music blares. Lights up. Music fades down to the sound of loud music being muffled. The distinct sound of squeaking can be heard. Arnold and Karen are sitting in the front seat of a car. Karen’s arms are folded. Arnold is working on a crossword puzzle. The car is rocking.]

Karen: Does this happen often?

Arnold: Hmm? Oh, yes, sometimes the client asks us to go someplace, you know, romantic. I usually take them up here to the Coppertop parking lot. Lovely view.

Karen: I think you and I are the only ones appreciating the view.

[Partition comes down and loud music pours out.]

MP: (dressed in some sort of costume) Hey Mac, do you have a bottle opener?

[Arnold pulls a wine bottle opener out and hands it to MP.]

MP: Not a corkscrew, a bottle opener, like for beer bottles, you know. A bot-tle op-en-er?

[Arnold smiles and pulls out a beer bottle opener and hands it to MP.]

Karen: (disgusted) Is this typical? (referring to MP’s behavior)

Arnold: Costume parties? Not really. Mostly proms and weddings, but occasionally costume parties.

Karen: No, I meant… (gestures to the back) never mind. So how long do we sit here?

Arnold: Hmm? Oh, as long as the client wants, of course. Besides, the longer we sit here, the higher the bill. The higher the bill, the fatter the paycheck.

Karen: Yeah, but it’s disgusting. I mean, they are back there doing who knows what.

Arnold: That’s none of our concern, miss. We’re just the chauffeurs. We’re on the clock, and I almost have enough clues to get 34 across and it’s not even 11 o’clock.

FP: (staggers out of the car and finds a bush to puke in)

Karen: That’s what you do? You sit here in this monstrosity of a vehicle and do crossword puzzles while clients have an orgy in the backseat.

Arnold: (adjusting rear view mirror to see FP) Oh dear, looks like Miss Cleopatra tossed her cookies.

FP: (makes her way back into the car)

Arnold: No, miss, not always. Lately I’ve become fond of those Sudoku puzzles. Have you ever tried those? Those are a right mindbender, those are. Sometimes I’ll do cryptoquips. You might try taking up a hobby if you are going to make a career out of chauffeuring. Marge, for example, she likes the crochet. Mike likes opera.

(MP and FP appear coming out of sun roof, do a drunken pantomime, and retreat back inside.)

Karen: Opera? Opera is his hobby?

Arnold: Yes, he listens to opera in the front seat while they listen to their hoochie coochie music there in the back. He sings along too. He got through the entire Ring cycle last prom season. What do you like to do, miss?

Karen: So, this is a kind of distraction? To get your mind off of what the… (waves) client is doing in the back of the limo?

Arnold: Oh, this isn’t a limo, miss. This here is a stretch Hummer.

Karen: (rolls eyes) I know, I just… I’d rather not think about it. I mean, it’s bad enough that we are exhausting fossil fuels riding around pointlessly for rich frat boys, but the fact that we’re in a Hummer? A stretch Hummer?

Arnold: Oh, most of our clients anymore like a Hummer. Yep. They come in and ask us what we can give ‘em, and when we say, we can give you a Hummer, the discussion is pretty much over right there, I can tell you that. You know, they are mostly men, and men really appreciate a good Hummer, don’tchyaknow? Yep, you tell a guy he can get a Hummer for his next party, and not just any Hummer, but a nice long one, well, that’s a deal closer right there.

Karen: I can imagine. (pause) So, on this job I can expect mainly to be doing this?

Arnold: Pretty much. Oh, and we don’t just have Hummers, you know. We do have your typical stretch limo, black, white, and purple.

Karen: Purple?

Arnold: Prince was having an estate sale. Also we have a stretch Pinto.

Karen: (stares at Arnold in disbelief) A stretch Pinto?

Arnold: Sees a lot of action at Geek Prom.

[SFX: Police siren]

Karen: (nervous) What do we do?

Cop: (garbled voice over PA)

Arnold: (rolling down window) Good e’en officer. Nice night. What did you say? (to Karen) Hand me that bag under the dash.

Cop: (repeats garbled command)

Arnold: Oh yes! I’ve got what you want right here. (opens bag and throws Cop a couple donuts) And one for the Captain! Send my regards! Night officer!

Karen: Nothing fazes you. Cops, orgies, environmentally incorrect cars – nothing. You just sit here doing your crossword puzzle and collect your paycheck while the world goes to hell in a handbasket. Don’t you even care?

(MP staggers out of the car in an Osama bin Laden type outfit, unzips his fly away from the audience, and relieves himself. Drops his turban getting back into the car.)

Arnold: Miss, I keep my nose out of other people’s business and in my own. It doesn’t get out of joint that way. You’d do well to follow my lead on that one, but do as you will. Let’s see, 10 letters, second letter is a “p,” “moment of unveiling.” Hmm. (Checks his rear view mirror.) Oh dear, it seems like Mr. bin Laden lost his turban. (Goes back to his crossword.)

Karen: Arnold, suppose that really was Osama bin Laden in the back of the limo.

Arnold: Hummer.

Karen: Whatever. Suppose that was really him. What would you do?

Arnold: But it’s not really him. It’s just a young man of high spirits dressed up in a sheet.

Karen: Never mind that. What if you got a fare from someone you actually suspected was a terrorist, what would you do?

Arnold: (purses his lips in thought) I suppose I wouldn’t give Bill his usual donut when he came by.

Karen: But you wouldn’t just sit by and do nothing. That’s my point.

Arnold: That’s a real nice point you’ve got there, but I think I’d take up a hobby other than forensics if I were you. I mean, once I got you all trained you’ll be going solo and I don’t think the clients will be as keen to engage in your witty banter as I am.

Karen: No, you’re missing my point. My point is that you just sit here as if nothing you do matters, but it does. These gas guzzling cars that you give people pleasure cruises in cause global warming and wars! And you just sit around in them letting people have their own mobile orgies and you think that’s okay?

Arnold: As you pointed out earlier, miss, we’re just sitting here in this here parking lot enjoying the view. No gas wasted doing that, I don’t believe. Now, I see what your hobby is, and I think you better get a new one.

Karen: What are you talking about?

Arnold: You’re a busybody. You got your panties all in a bunch because they are having a good time back there and you weren’t invited, so you have to go and rain on their parade, thinking you’re all morally superior to them.

Karen: But they’re…

Arnold: You know, back when I was a young man we had a saying – “Make love, not war.” Now you want to reverse that or something? You young folk and your high ideals!

FP: (rolling down partition, loud music coming through) Hey driver, we’re dry back here. Drive us to a liquor store.

Arnold: Yes, ma’am. (puts down his puzzle and adjusts his mirrors preparing to go)

[SFX: Car starting up]

Karen: (after a sulking silence) I’m sorry. I… I am a little judgmental, you’re right. I’m just, this is so new to me.

Arnold: There’s a first time for everything, miss. You got high-faluting ideas about how the world is supposed to be. How people are supposed to act. I’m here to tell you, it don’t always work out the way you plan and people can disappoint you.

Karen: I suppose that’s true. But it doesn’t mean I can’t try and make a difference.

Arnold: I’d be less interested in trying to make people act like I’d want them to and spend more time learning why people act the way they do.

Karen: Wow, Arnold, that’s… I never thought about it that way. I guess you can learn a lot driving around in a limo.

Arnold: Hummer. Ah! I got it. Here, write, I’m driving… 34 across. A P O C A L Y P S E - Apocalypse!

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