The Tea bag Divisions: A Ten Minute Play by William R. Cathcart
(It takes place an a stage with a doctor in a white coat sitting in a rolling chair with a folder on a long horizontal desk in front of him. The desk will latter be turned up right for the judge to sit in behind in a bar stool. The patient is in his mid-twenties to early forties, he sits in a stationary chair. The play begins in mid conversation.)
Eliot (a patient): …and then, the other day- my dog was struck by lightening.
Dr. Hulme: Ohh, come now such things aren’t impossible.
Eliot (a patient): It was through the window.
Dr. Hulme: Was it open.
Eliot (a patient): Yes?
Dr. Hulme: What was your dog’s name?
Eliot (a patient): Navy. A window Dr. Hulme, a window, not a skylight or even a door- and the thing is, I think it was a mistake, that it was supposed to be me.
Dr. Hulme: A mistake, interesting. He was a good dog? (Eliot nods affirmatively and the Doctor pauses in a sudden and peculiar manner, staring distantly off in space. Then his gaze returns just as sudden. His voice serious and louder) Have you tried religion?
Eliot: Not really.
Dr. Hulme: Perhaps we should assign a higher power to your misgivings.
Eliot: A higher power?
Dr. Hulme: Yes, any will due- Do you enjoy warm tea? We’ve a great response lately to Taoism- And of course Zoroastrianism- Wait, Charles have you checked your Randometer?
Eliot: Not today.
Dr. Hulme: (He grabs Eliot’s wrist looking at his watch, pressing it’s buttons with his thumb) Ahh, see here, you had a nice little streak going in the early nineties, looks like you’ve been paying for that lately, but your due here for some eventual luck.
Eliot: When do you think that might be.
Dr. Hulme: There’s really know way to be sure. But... (he picks up a chart and manila folder and speaks while flipping through it)… going by this chart mailed to me by an anonymous- government- agency (he says this bobbing his head in a sing song voice like he’s said it a million time and like the patient knows what he’s talking about, and he then winks)… who’ve supposedly compromised God, that is after he was re-resurrected at the close of the post-modernism era- I’d say mid July.
Eliot: Mid July? (He looks confused) How exactly did they compromise him?
Dr. Hulme: It’s actually We, now to be secularly correct, not him, the United States Government won a very complicated kind of class action suit against God, which they filed back in the eighties. They sued We for being falsely monotheistic on grounds of the Trinity. It was real ugly, even got the pope to testify. They were gonna go after him on the whole Free Will dilemma, until they were discouraged by a series of minor earthquakes.
Eliot: You said Mid- July, Well What month is it now.
Dr. Hulme: Ahahh you’re having memory problems. (He reaches over and taps Eliot on the temple)
Dr. Hulme: Hmmm, (then shouting) Nurse, this man needs enema immediately and after that, a cat scan. (Two nurses male or female roll a stretcher in, grab him by him arms throw him face first onto the stretcher and tie down his arms, he is too confused to physically resist, but does so vocally,)
Eliot: (Shouting as they Roll him off) Dr. Hulme, please, tell me the month.
Dr. Hulme: (Shouting to Eliot being rolled off stage) Do I look like a calendar to you. (He then mumbles to himself as he takes off his white coat) Good question, good question. ( He is wearing a black tee shirt with the word October written across the front. He pulls a black robe and a grey wig out from under the desk and puts them on. Then he turns the desk upright pulls over a bar stool sits in the very high chair behind the desk and pulls out a gavel. Elliot is rushed back onto the stage and left in front of the judge, still tied down to the stretcher, on his stomach, his rear in angled slightly upward. He says nothing, there is an agreeable look on his face. The nurse approaches the bench)
Nurse: We’ve given him a 30ml dose of compliance, your honor, you have fifteen seconds.
Judge: Well done Ebert. (He says affectionately, then addresses Eliot judiciously.) What brings you to this courtroom, son.?
Eliot: I am here for enema, your honor.
Judge: Of course and so be it. Charles Pining Eliot you are sentenced to nine seconds of thoughtless silence.
Judge: 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
Eliot: (Eliot looks around panicked) What time is it- Who am I.
Judge: Mr. Eliot you’ve just been received by psychological enema, do you have anything thing to say to your self.
Judge: Precisely. Your conscious self was just slaughtered for seven seconds
Eliot: Then why?
Judge: Because you were received by enema Mr. Eliot.
Judge: Yes, the eradication of the negligent erroneous mind association, the e.n.e.m.a. We had reason to believe that you weren’t keeping time Mr. Eliot, you were convicted on several counts of second person chronological negligence. (In a louder investigative tone) Mr. Eliot, what do you know about the year 1978, and the question why?
Eliot: Nothing your honor, I know nothing about that or anything else that is going on.
Judge: Mr. Eliot if you can not find it within your self to cooperate, this court will hold you to further contentment. 1978 and why just keep popping through your head, for absolutely no distinguishable reason, no TV commercial, catchy song, relevant birth date or definitive worldly disaster. Our mind police are working around the clock.
Eliot: Mind police? (a man and women dressed in black suits holding files and wearing sunglass walk from either side of the stage and stand next to the judge.)
Judge: We think it might be the answer to advertising, possibly even hair loss, obesity, and why suction cups fall off windows at unpredictable times, one random digit which always occurs in the mind.
Eliot: Wait, it was the year I lost my virginity, yes 1978, that was the year ha, haha haha.
Judge: (leaning down) To any sort of maternal figure?
Eliot: (emphatic) No.
Judge: Nonsense. (He turns to the female agent on his right) Officer Castration, what do have on Eliot’s virginity.
Officer Castration: Your Honor, we’ve checked our files, it appears that he never had virginity, nor is there any actual record of Mr. Eliot’s existence.
Judge: (to Officer Castration) Remarkable, call 1938- tell the Frenchmen he is correct. (He turns to Eliot.) I’m afraid there has been some sort of mistake. (He takes his wig off and climbs down.)
Eliot: What’s wrong, I don’t understand the problem Please tell me what is happening. (The doctor turns to him as he buttons his white coat.)
Dr. Hulme: Your subsistence Mr. Eliot. (The pulpit falls behind him back to its position as a desk; the female agent walks off stage. The doctor walks away from Eliot and sits down where he was at the beginning. Eliot turns to the audience and looks at them for three seconds as though they are a mirror. He looks back to the doctor with no idea what to expect. The doctor begins again in mid sentence just as the play began.) …accompanied with severe headaches and cold sweats. Tell me more about these visions, Mr. Elliot, are they discernable from reality?