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A Man's World

I was looking for something else on my computer and stumbled upon this 4 year old script which, on second read, is pretty funny.

I wrote it for Out of the Hat, which is a 24 hour play project where the writers get prompts and have to write their scripts overnight. My prompts for this script were "A Condiment Taste-Tester," "Battle of the Sexes," and "A Radio Station." The opening line given to me was "Do I know you?" And I was writing for 1 man and 2 women. So here's A Man's World...



NOVEMBER 6, 2004


CAST: MARTY BOXTOP - nervous little man
TERRI TOAST - radio show host
KAREN FISHWAFFLE - radio show producer

SCENE - Interior Radio Station

[MARTY paces and looks at watch a few times. He has a hardback book in his hand that he is carrying around with him. KAREN enters with clipboard in hand, looking busy. MARTY looks at her expectantly but does not interrupt her.]

KAREN Do I know you?

MARTY [apologetically] I'm Martin Boxtop. Um, I was supposed to be the guest on "The Terri Toast Show" last week, but I was bumped to today to the one o'clock hour, I was told, but when I arrived here at twelve thirty I was told that there had been a schedule mix up and I would be on at two o'clock, but now it's two fifty.

KAREN [unimpressed] So?

MARTY S-s-s-so, so, I was wondering if I was going to be going on - today - ever.

KAREN Clue me in. Were you the condiment taste-tester or the horticulturist?

MARTY [laughs nervously] No, no, I'm the author. [holds out book] I wrote this book, you see. [change of demeanor - butch voice] "The Battle of the Sexes - How to be a Man's Man in Man's World." [goes back to sniveling] See? [points to book, himself, book]

KAREN [looking through notes] Yeah, well, Marty, you're in luck. Terri's got a cancellation this hour, so you'll be going on with her. She's coming into this studio, so just hold tight here. I'll be in the control room, over there. Okay? So, don't wander off.

MARTY Okay. Thanks.

KAREN Oh, and Marty, loosen up - enjoy yourself - have fun. This is live radio, so if you screw up the whole world will hear you and you'll never do live radio again. [laughs] You got that, ya little worm?

MARTY [nods vigorously]

KAREN Okay, when that light goes on, that means you're on the air. When it's off, like now, that means you're off. Okay?

MARTY [meekly] Okay.

KAREN Okay. Terri should be here any minute. Sit there. Remember to talk naturally, but enunciate, but don't over-enunciate. And for God's sake I hope you don't pop your p's because if you do I swear I'm gonna have your balls, do I make myself clear? And remember, have fun. [exits]

MARTY [watches KAREN leave apprehensively - sits down carefully]

TERRI [enters with a cigarette in hand and sipping a cup of coffee in the other, sits down opposite MARTY and picks up notes]

MARTY Hi, I'm...

TERRI [waves off greeting, still reading notes]

MARTY How are...

TERRI [again, waves, more vigorously]

MARTY It's good to...

TERRI [stares at him]

KAREN We're on in five, four, three, two, one... [light goes on]

TERRI [bright] Hi and welcome back to the Terri Toast Show. I'm your host, Terri Toast, and I'm pleased to have with me in the studio Martin Boxtop, the author of "The Battle of the Sexes - How to be a Man's Man in Man's World." Welcome to the show.

MARTY [manly voice] It's good to be here, Terri.

TERRI Mr. Boxtop, I just found your book fascinating. So insightful. I learned so much about the male psyche.

MARTY Thanks, Terri. It's important to understand the basic differences between men and women. Men take charge. It's in their nature to be in control. They have the primal urge to bend their environment to their will. Since men dwelt in caves and hunted on the open plains, it's what has shaped us, and the suppression of that urge is the suppression of what makes a man a man.

TERRI Fascinating, well we'll talk more after this break. [light goes out, changes voice] So what's the bottom line, Boxtop?

MARTY [back to nervous self] What do you mean?

TERRI How's the revenue, the cash flow, the moolah, how's it selling?

MARTY Well, I don't... it just got published...

TERRI Yeah, well, I'd get on those assets and rally them into a tax-deferred account before the IRS can get their greasy paws on it.

MARTY Well, I let my accountant...

TERRI Your accountant? What do they know? My accountants, my so-called financial advisors, all told me to invest heavily in tech stocks in the mid nineties. [snorts] What are they telling you to invest in, biogen corporations?

MARTY Well...

TERRI Idiots. Sink your money into arms. Weapons manufacturing is where it's at, Boxtop, I'm telling you. This whole Homeland Security - War on Terror thing has been great for my portfolio and with things going the way they are, I'll be raking it in.

KAREN Coming back from break. [light goes on]

TERRI [bright and happy] We're back with author Martin Boxtop. Martin... may I call you Martin?

MARTY [manly again] Of course, Terri.

TERRI Martin, before the break you were talking about the primal urge men have for shaping their environment. How can men do that in the modern world?

MARTY I'm glad you asked that, Terri. Men need to have manly hobbies like carpentry where they can build things and strike things with hammers. Or hunting or fishing where they can go out into their environment and contend with nature, bond with other men, and kill animals. It's the manly thing to do.

TERRI I know women want to know what men do when they are away... [light goes out] What the hell's going on?

MARTY Sorry.

TERRI Not you, Boxtop. Karen, what's the deal?

KAREN Transmitter's out. Don't know why. I'm on it.

TERRI For the love of... [light goes on, sweetness again] Sorry for that interruption. We were experiencing technical difficulties. You were saying, Martin?

MARTY [manly] The realm of mechanics is also a manly pursuit. Men like to be working on cars, engines, electronics, because it... [light goes out, timid again] Did I do that? Is it my fault? I'm so sorry.

KAREN I don't think it's our problem. I believe it may be sunspots.

TERRI Sunspots? Good lord, Karen. I've got a nationally syndicated show. Do you think my audience cares about sunspots? I know my investors don't.

KAREN I'm trying to change the uplink over to Comsat Three which should give us clearer feed line.

MARTY What did she say?

TERRI [patronizingly] She's making it all better, Marty, so the bad old sunspots won't get in our way. [light on] You were saying...

MARTY Barbecue... [light out]

TERRI Dammit!

MARTY Oh gosh. [light on]


MARTY Leadership... [light out]

TERRI Karen!

KAREN Sonofa... [light on]

MARTY Firearms... [light out]

TERRI That's it! I've had it! Karen, when you fix your sunspot problem I'll be in my office.

MARTY But what about our interview?

TERRI No transmission, no interview Marty. Tell your publisher to set up another time.

MARTY But what am I supposed to do now?

TERRI Oh, Marty, I'm sorry it didn't work out. [hands him a slip of paper] If you want to help why don't you be a good little boy and pick up my dry-cleaning. 'kay? [exits]

[lights down]

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