Auuuuuuggghhhhh: A Play in One Act

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Kelley walks dogs into back yard for routine pee break, paying little attention to the grass until Karmann flops happily into a playful down and begins nose-poking something in the grass

KELLEY: Karmann–no–don’t . . . What are you . . . KARMANN!

KARMANN: gazes up, benignly

KELLEY: scrutinizes grass and discovers, with great horror, a small, pale, heaving feathered bosom OH MY GOD IS THAT A BIRD DID YOU HALF KILL A BIRD IN LIKE TWO SECONDS WHILE I WATCHED THE NEIGHBORS START A BONFIRE IN THEIR GRILL IS IT DEAD OH MY GOD!!!

KARMANN: blink

KELLEY: (to nobody) Uh . . . Oh god . . . Schmoopie! SCHMOOPIE! Um . . . Not equipped . . . I AM NOT EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS HELP? Great. Two murderers in the family. I cannot . . . SCHMOOPIE?!? (to dogs) do you need to–can you just pee? I have to . . . Do . . . Something.

dogs pee, KELLEY returns them to the house where SCHMOOPIE is busy preparing spaghetti

KELLEY: (letting Karmann through baby gate into kitchen) She has blood on her paws. BLOOD ON HER PAWS!!!

SCHMOOPIE: blink

KELLEY: there’s a bird–it’s belly up and breathing heavily, I think–I think it may have been pre-maimed! It’s just lying there and I don’t want to look. I don’t know what I’ll find but I have to go back out and what am I supposed to do with the bird?!?? What if it’s half dead?

SCHMOOPIE: just watch the pasta–where is it?

KELLEY: I have to come with you! You won’t find it! I don’t want to see! I’m coming with you!

SCHMOOPIE: watch. the. pasta.

Two minutes elapse. KELLEY paces and stares at pasta. She goes out onto the balcony to see what is happening, and discovers SCHMOOPIE exiting the basement wearing work gloves.

KELLEY: Oh no. Did you find it? Is it dead?

SCHMOOPIE: No. Just stunned. Leans over, picks up bird.

KELLEY: Aw. What kind of bird is it?

SCHMOOPIE: Chick-mumblemumble

KELLEY: A chicken?!

SCHMOOPIE: A chicken. A TINY CHICKEN WHERE WOULD A TINY CHICKEN COME FROM? I don’t know, it’s, like, a chickadee.

KELLEY: Oh they’re very cute. I like them–little fat birdies. (shouts to bird) I’m so sorry! I didn’t raise her to maim birds! (shouts to SCHMOOPIE) We have to keep him safe! Put him in the tomato planter! Or a box! Do you need a box?

SCHMOOPIE strides over toward small, shrubby tree

KELLEY: Yes! Put him in the brush! Is he looking around? Maybe he’ll sit on a branch!

SCHMOOPIE places bird in small tree. Bird immediately flips upside down while clinging to branch.

KELLEY: Is that bird upside down?

SCHMOOPIE: He’s hanging on.

KELLEY: IS THAT BIRD UPSIDE DOWN??!

SCHMOOPIE: Well, he’s hanging on! I don’t know what you want me to do!

KELLEY: Flip him right side up! He can’t hang upside down!

SCHMOOPIE: He’s hanging onto the branch! How should I detach him??

Bird falls from branch, Plinko-style, bounces off lower branches enroute to the ground. A small kerfuffle is seen at ground level

KELLEY: DID THAT BIRD JUST FALL OUT OF THE TREE?! HE FELL OUT OF THE TREE. IS HE OK???

SCHMOOPIE: (leans in for close look) I think–

KELLEY: IS HE RIGHT SIDE UP???

SCHMOOPIE: He’s–

KELLEY: IS THE BIRD RIGHT SIDE UP???!????

SCHMOOPIE: YES! He’s right side up! He’s on a branch. All of his bits are working HE IS FINE! Will you go deal with the pasta!

KELLEY: (under breath, to nobody) Bird is having a worse fucking day than me, anyway . . .

KELLEY proceeds into kitchen, directly to wine. She is joined by SCHMOOPIE after he makes his way up from the basement. They drink.

Fin.

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