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Plastic Dreams

astroe.jpgIn Out of the Hat 3 I struck pay dirt. Plastic Dreams was not only a hilarious script, I drew amazing actors for the production. My prompts were:

Who: Barbie
What: Palm Pilot
Where: Hockey Game
Opening Line: "Goodnight everybody, and be kind."
Cast: 3 Men, 1 Woman

This show brought the house down when it was first performed and was performed again as a directing project at the College of St. Scholastica.

Plastic Dreams
by Lawrence Lee
June 5, 2004

BARBIE - a real live Barbie doll
KEN - a real live Ken doll
MARTY - friend of Ken's, regular joe
SAM - another friend of Ken's

MUSIC The closing strains of the Star Spangled Banner as if being played on a hockey rink organ.

LIGHTS up on KEN and MARTY standing at attention, hats off (if any), hands over hearts. KEN is rigidly at attention. MARTY less so.

BARBIE (from offstage, bubbly) Goodnight everybody, and be kind! And Budweiser wants everyone to get home safely so drink responsibly! (giggles) Bu-bye! Bu-bye!

KEN & MARTY (sit)

SAM (enters carrying beers and food) Did I miss it?

MARTY Oh yeah...

SAM Damn! How was it?

MARTY Let me put it this way, Ken you are one lucky S O B.

KEN Thanks, Marty! And, yes, I feel lucky. Lucky to live in such a great country. To know the fruits of freedom that so many men - and women - have fought for and laid down their lives. Yes, I am a lucky man.

MARTY Earth to Ken! I meant lucky to be bringing home the bacon to Barbie. She's something else. Hey, there's the puck drop!

SAM The visiting team got it. They're good. C'mon, Marty, at least tell me what I missed.

MARTY Well, Barbie took the ice in this sparkly -

KEN sequined

MARTY - sequined red white and blue thingy -

KEN cape

MARTY - cape and then she skated -

KEN ice danced

MARTY - ice danced to the National Anthem. She twirled these burning sticks -

KEN batons

MARTY - batons and stuff and then she took off the cape and twirled it around her head and started doing these flips and turns and twists and things. Ken, I never knew Barbie was so flexible.

KEN Since 1989 Barbie has been much more flexible through the use of new polymers and subdermal joints.

SAM Yeah I bet she is! But I didn't know she could ice skate...

KEN Barbie has been skating since 1976 with the introduction of Ice Queen Barbie and was an unmitigated success largely riding on the popularity of Dorothy Hamill. But Barbie hasn't been seen skating much since 1994 and the unfortunate series of events involving another blonde figure skater - Tonya Harding. Mattel found the parallels were too disturbing and so Barbie hung up her skates for awhile.

SAM Well, that explains that...

MARTY But, Sam, the best part is that (leaning in) under the cape, she's wearing this get up. I mean, I'm telling you, yowzah!

SAM (punching Ken in the shoulder) You lucky bastard.

KEN Thank you, Sam. Yes, I feel lucky... (starts to launch into same spiel as before)

MARTY (interupting) Ken, I've always wanted to ask you something.

KEN Marty, you know you can always ask me anything.

MARTY Yeah, you know, your wife...

KEN Barbie...

MARTY Yeah, Barbie, um, what size (waves hands vaguely in front of him) you know...

KEN (guessing) Ring size?

MARTY Nah-oh... You know...

SAM (coughs) I think what Martin is trying to ascertain, Ken, is the bra size of your wife. (laughs)

KEN (laughs jovially too) Oh! Ha ha ha! I have no idea.

SAM What?

MARTY No idea? C'mon...

KEN (shrugs) Nope. She's never worn a bra.

SAM & MARTY (look shocked at each other and in amazement out toward the ice where as if trying to contemplate this fact)

MARTY But...

SAM how...

MARTY do...

SAM they...?

KEN (good naturedly) The magic of modern science.

SAM & MARTY (pause to take this in)

SAM Okay, I have a question then too. Why is it you guys have never had kids? I mean... (lecherous look)

KEN (for the first time doesn't look chipper) Well, Sam, I can't have kids.

SAM Oh, Ken, God. I'm sorry. I didn't know...

KEN It's okay, but you see...

MARTY (encouragingly, hand on KEN's back) It's okay, buddy.

KEN I'm not... entirely...

SAM (hand on KEN's shoulder) It's okay. I understand.

KEN anatomically correct.

SAM & MARTY (a take, pause, withdraw hands from KEN simultaneously)

MARTY Ohhhh kay.

SAM (changing subject) Who's got the puck?

BARBIE (storming in, to KEN, none of the bubbly quality of earlier) There you are! Gawd! These crowds are murder. I swear. First I have to parade around like white man's eye candy and then I have to skate by those scumbag hockey players. Coping feels. (flatly) Hi Sam. Hi Marty.

SAM & MARTY (wave weakly, feeling uncomfortable)

BARBIE (rummages in purse) If it wasn't for that fat endorsement check from Anheiser Busch I'd grab one of their overgrown, detached phallic symbols that they carry around and I'd show them how to use it. I swear I will sometime. Assholes! (pulls out palm pilot) Okay, I've got to get to the hospital by 2:45 for scrub, surgery is at 3:30 so assuming the bypass is fairly typical I should back home by 6. Have dinner ready. Oh, but I may be late. I have to teleconference with Houston for that preflight briefing before Thursday's launch. So, be a dear, and keep it warm for me. (looks patronizingly at MARTY & SAM) You boys have fun. (clicks the palm shut and storms out)

SAM & MARTY (watch BARBIE leaving as if watching a freight train move out of sight, look at each other, then at KEN)

KEN (eyes look to SAM and then to MARTY, sighs) It started with the Dream House, and we got the Car, the Camper, and even a Jeep. And it seemed at the time that Barbie was happy. And everything was going to be Barbie Forever. But then Barbie started changing. She seemed to go through these identity shifts. Every time I turned around. There was Teacher Barbie, Runway Barbie, Secretary Barbie, Pop-star Barbie, Silver Screen Barbie, Nurse Barbie, Stewardess Barbie, later to be Flight Attendant Barbie. But she still wasn't happy. Then came Pilot Barbie, Doctor Barbie, Executive Suite Barbie, Veterinarian Barbie, WNBA Barbie, and even Astronaut Barbie. And it never ends. Career girl! She's had 81 careers over the last 50 years! And it never seems to be enough. She never seems... satisfied.

SAM Whoa.


SAM So... what exactly do you do, Ken?

KEN (shrugs) Get dressed up in really nice clothes and get paraded around like a plaything.


SAM Dude. (pause) You need another beer. (stands up)

MARTY So do I. I'll get 'em this time... (gets up to go)

SAM Nah, I'll get 'em. I gotta whiz anyway.

MARTY Yeah, but I want a brat too.

SAM & MARTY (exit talking)

KEN (transforms from his dejected self back to his normal, stiff, plastic happy self perhaps with a twinge of sadness)


MUSIC soundtrack - "It's a Pose" by Nellie McKay ("Get Away from Me" Disc 2, Track 1) at timecode 0:27 fading up so it comes in full at timecode 0:30


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