Larry Slade is Full of S***: Act 2, Scene 4

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Guess who's coming to dinner? It's Charlie, and he's got a few cards to play. Of course, Vic is having none of it: they don't call him "The Prick" for nothing.




VIC’s Apartment, Evening


VIC sits slumped over, collapswd really, in his chair. His eyes are open, but hes not visibly breathing. A fine meal simmers on the stove. JANE ends to it. She finishes. JANE approaches, kneels down, and sreams in his ear. 


JANE: Hello!


VIC wakes up and tumbles out of bed, terrified. 


VIC: What the hell?


JANE: It’s time to get up. We have company. 


VIC: I don’t want to see Alex. 


JANE: It’s not Alex. 


VIC: That’s ludicrous I don’t know anyone ele. You’re wrong; it’s Alex. 


JANE: It’s not Alex. 


VIC: Just let me win, will you? You shouldn’t leave a dying man in suspense. 


JANE: Ignoring that. And not telling you. Guess. 


VIC: Your mother’s ghost?


JANE (quietly): Fuck you. 


VIC: A lover. 


JANE: No one says “lover” anymore. 


VIC: Larry Slade would say that. 


JANE: Well, you know what you always said: “Larry Slade is full of shit.”


VIC: He’s full of shit, but he’s got style. 


JANE: We’ve been through this. He’s you; you’re him. 


VIC: Oh no, my dear. Have you learned nothing from this little episode? When I say I want to die, I follow through with it.


JANE: We’ll see. 


The doorbell rings. JANE opens the door. CHARLIE enters, carrying a fruit plate and some Non-Fat Cool Whip (generic brand). He looks decent. 


CHARLIE: Hi!... I, uh, come bearing gifts. 


VIC: Oh, dear boy. You’ll have to do better than that. 


CHARLIE: To what end?


VIC: To win my daughter’s affections, of course. 


CHARLIE: You don’t mean that. 


VIC: I don’t, eh? You’re catching on. 


CHARLIE: Well, I don’t think there’s much to catch on to. 


VIC: Oh, goodness!


VIC extends his hand. CHARLIE takes it. VIC pulls him in for a bear hug. 


CHARLIE: Please let go, sir. 


VIC: Vic the Prick’s the name, son. And yours?

CHARLIE: They call me Charlie. 


VIC: Well, entrez-vous; won’t you, Charlie?


CHARLIE: French, eh? Well, de rien. 


VIC: Who the hell is this, Jane? 


JANE: He’s a janitor. 


VIC: Will Hunting, I presume. 


CHARLIE: No, I’m not nearly that smart, but like I said, it don’t take much to keep up with you. 


JANE: Stop it. Both of you. Sit down. 


CHARLIE: Yes, ma’am.


VIC sits down. CHARLIE hands the dessert to JANE. CHARLIE sits down.


CHARLIE: Well, here’s dessert. 


VIC: Yes, I was meaning to ask about that. I thought I was meant to be eating healthy. Given up, have we, daughter. 


JANE: You don’t get it unless you eat real food. 


CHARLIE: How can ya have yer pudding if you don’t have any meat?


VIC: Oh, I hate Pink Floyd. 


CHARLIE: I figured as much. 


JANE: I’m going to the kitchen. 


JANE walks to the kitchen, carrying the dessert. In the kitchen, she prepares three plates.


VIC: Back to you, Charlie. A janitor who speaks French. How does that come to pass?


CHARLIE: I majored in English. 


VIC: Why would you do such a stupid thing?


CHARLIE: I liked books. It’s not like anyone told me not to do it. 


VIC: And why aren’t you a lawyer or something? 


JANE serves the boys. 


JANE: You’re being rude. Here. Eat.


VIC: Who’s the parent here, anyway?


JANE: You tell me. 


JANE and CHARLIE dig in. VIC stares at his food. 


VIC: I don’t want any of this.


JANE: Fine. 


CHARLIE: I like it. 


JANE: Thank you, Charlie. 


VIC: Yes, good boy. 


JANE: Stop it. 


VIC: I won’t. 


JANE: You’re a child. 


CHARLIE: Mmmm...this is really good!


JANE: Thanks. I think so, too. 


CHARLIE: Yeah, you’re really missing out, Vic. 


VIC: Is that the best you can do? Didn’t you prepare at all?


CHARLIE: Prepare for what?


VIC: Oh, please. I know why you’re here. 


CHARLIE: Jane invited me. She said you might get lonely. 


VIC: Very cute. 


CHARLIE: Jane, could you pass the brocolli, please? 


JANE: Of course. 


VIC: Look, whatever you came here to say, just say it. 


CHARLIE: Why don’t you guess? 


VIC: Well, I suppose you’ll start out telling me that it’s remarkable how healthy food can taste so good. 


CHARLIE: It does. 


JANE: I told you that. 


VIC: Oh, I suppose it is remarkable! I’m not a fool. I know what I’m eating’s going to kill me. That’s the idea. 


JANE: That’s getting old. 


VIC: It’s not a line. 


JANE: Of course it is. 


CHARLIE: Play nice, folks. Anyway, that’s not it, Vic. Guess again. 


VIC: Why is everyone asking me to guess tonight?


JANE: Because we did prepare for this. 


VIC: I lament the wasted effort. 


CHARLIE: Come on now, Vic. Guess again. 


VIC: Oh, I assume you’ll tell me some maudlin anecdote regarding a dead grandmother leading inevitably to your ordering me to seize the day. 


CHARLIE: Nope. Never knew my grandma. Try again. 


VIC: Or maybe you’ll indulge in some armchair philosophy about the meaningless nature of existence: “Like, it doesn’t matter that nother matters. You can still have a good time, man.” 


CHARLIE: Well, that sounds pretty damn true to me. 


JANE: Me too. 


VUIC: Oh please, what a facile argument—


CHARLIE: Please, Vic. Let me. 


VIC: Pardon me?


CHARLIE: Let me guess. 


VIC: What I’d say? 




VIC: Fine… by all means. 


CHARLIE: You would say it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter. You have personal autonomy, and if you have no reason to live then the logical conclusion would be to remove yourself from the world and thus, like conserve resources. 


VIC: I would never use “like” in that way. 


CHARLIE: So you would say that. 


VIC: I most certainly would not… but if I did, may I guess what sort of rebuttal you would lob in my general direction?

JANE: Jesus, you’re giving me a headache. 


CHARLIE: Take an Advil, Jane. This ain’t ending anytime soon. 


VIC: I’ll take that as a yes. In any case, given your fondness for colloquial diction, I’m sure you’d slip into a lower register and ask, “Ain’t you got kids,” or some such drivel. 


CHARLIE: Well, don’t you have them?


VIC: I do. What of it? They’re gainfully employed and rather independent until recently, are they not?


JANE: It would still hurt. 


VIC: What would?


JANE: If you died. 


VIC (shrugs): Take a Valium. 


JANE: Goddamn you! 


JANE runs off crying. 


CHARLIE: Hey, folks. Can we chill a little bit?


VIC: Chill? This is no Phish concert, son. 


CHARLIE: I think you should keep your mouth shut, dude. 


VIC: Oh, goody goody! Now for a bit of the old ultraviolence?


CHARLIE considers it, wants it. Long pause. 


CHARLIE: Come on, JANE. How about that dessert?


VIC: Running out of ammunition, I see. 


CHARLIE: Just shut up, man. 


CHARLIE goes to the kitchen, helps JANE get plates, etc.


VIC: But enough about me, as they say? Who the hell are you? English major, never knew his grandmother--no, I still don’t see it. Where’s the malfunction? Where’s the trauma?


JANE: Stop it, Dad!


They carry the plates, etc. downstage. 


CHARLIE: Whatever, Jane. I don’t give a fuck. 


VIC: Please. Everyone does. 


CHARLIE: Nope. Do your worst. 


VIC: Well, let’s see. Maybe your wife left you. 




VIC: Some pathetic manuscript festering in a drawer?




VIC: Get a little too drunk at a party and feel some female up, quasi-consensually?


CHARLIE: Nope? Who says “female?”


VIC: I culturally appropriated it. 


JANE: That’s not a word. 


VIC: It’s a neologism. 


JANE: You know words. Big deal.


CHARLIE: Hey, I know words.


VIC: No, she’s right. We’re both idiots.


JANE: Thank you?


VIC: Very welcome, my dear.


CHARLIE: Off track.


VIC: Fine. (pause) You must have had some sort of breakdown. And you’re a sort of boring, normal person. What makes someone like that disintegrate, throw away their learning, and wipe shit for next to nothing?


CHARLIE: The glamour, of course.


VIC: A child.


Charlie flinches.


CHARLIE (weakly): No.


JANE: Dad…


VIC: A dead child.


CHARLIE: This fruit is so good, Jane.


VIC: Yes, a dead child. Cancer? SIDS? Drunk driver? You. You did it.


CHARLIE attacks VIC. They wrestle on the ground. CHARLIE chokes VIC. JANE tries to pull him off.


JANE: No, Charlie! His heart!


CHARLIE releases his grip. VIC gasps for breath. JANE consoles him. 


VIC (coughing): Don’t touch me.


CHARLIE: You piece of shit.


CHARLIE attacks again. He chokes VIC again, harder. 


JANE: Stop! It’s what he wants!


CHARLIE lets go again. He covers his face. VIC coughs. JANE removes the dishes. Slow fade. 

End Scene.

Submitted: May 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Tony Chiba. All rights reserved.

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