(A short play in three scenes in which nothing happens)
* * *
(RICHARD is already in bed, idly flipping through the latest issue of Southern Living and watching a re-run of Family Guy from the corner of his eye. Four hounds lie atop the denim bedspread–which, incidentally, was chosen not for color or style, but because denim doesn’t hold dog hair very well. Two are curled at RICHARD’s feet, one is behind him, and another has nuzzled her way into the nook between RICHARD’s torso and his knees. RICHARD sighs contentedly, enjoying the feeling of being surrounded by dogs, but knowing that he won’t sleep very well pinned in like that.)
(The hounds turn to face the door as JONNO’s flip-flops flip-flop toward the bedroom. JONNO stands at the threshold for a moment, waiting patiently for RICHARD to look up from his gay reading. JONNO’s face bears an expression of mild disbelief, mixed with a tinge of “I told you so”.)
JONNO: Um, our door is locked.
RICHARD: That’s nice, dear.
JONNO: Our front door.
RICHARD: Probably for the best, since it’s getting late.
JONNO: No, I mean I can’t open it. We’re locked in.
RICHARD: Did you try jiggling the key?
(JONNO gives RICHARD a look that roughly translates as “Omigod, do you think I am a complete moron? Don’t you think I’ve been jiggling the damn thing for ten minutes–not to mention the last eight years? What, exactly do you take me for? And by the way, don’t throw out that magazine until I’ve had the chance to cut out the recipe for chicken meatloaf on page 180. I’m thinking of making that tomorrow night, and I have an idea of how to do it, but I want their list of ingredients. Seriously: doesn’t that sound good? Chicken meatloaf? And pretty low-cal, too. You can make the salad.”)
RICHARD: Did you try spraying it with graphite?
(JONNO gives RICHARD another look, meaning “You and your graphite. No, I didn’t try graphite, but BFD–graphite doesn’t fix everything. Besides, with your organizational patterns, I wouldn’t even know where to look for it. I’m serious about that meatloaf recipe. I tried one from Fannie Farmer, and it turned out like a briquette, but this one looks less fussy. I can’t wait.”)
RICHARD: Fine, I’ll deal with it in the morning.
(The sound of flip-flops fades into the distance, and RICHARD finishes reading a Southern Living article on eco-friendly architecture, which just seems weird. Despite those Al Sharpton/Pat Robertson ads, it’s hard to see red-state conservatives hopping on the conservation bandwagon. Especially in the South. Seriously, have you been to the South? Say what you want about rednecks and incest, but the South is kinda like the Land of Milk and Honey as far as natural resources are concerned. The thought of all those pine forests and soybean fields being laid waste by pollution? Poppycock. And bamboo floors have just got to sound bizarre to folks who still think of Jeeps as “foreign”.)
(As expected, the hounds awaken RICHARD. He rolls from one side to the other, trying for an hour or more to go back to sleep. He shuffles to the medicine cabinet for some dolls, but the cupboard is bare. He grabs the issue of Southern Living and–appropriately enough–his copy of Mississippi Sissy and heads to the sofa to read for a while. Two hounds follow and squeeze onto the sofa beneath and atop his outstretched legs. The last time he looks at his watch, it’s 5:00am.)
(RICHARD awakes, groggy. The youngest and largest hound sprawls along the length of his body, her front paws pressing firmly on RICHARD’s chest. Slowly, he shakes her off and heads to the kitchen to make coffee, turning off the alarm and letting the hounds outside for a morning romp. On the way back to the living room, RICHARD has a dim memory about the front door. Something about the lock not working properly. He tries to open the door, but nothing happens. He sprays it with graphite, but nothing happens. He pulls out the needlenose pliers, the vice grips, and every screwdriver in his arsenal, but nothing happens. He sits down in front of his laptop, looks up the number of the nearest top master locksmith, and makes an appointment for 9:00am. He then walks to the bedroom, where JONNO and the eldest hound are sleeping, back to back.)
RICHARD: You win.
RICHARD: I said, “You win”.
RICHARD: Fine, be that way. I’m going to make toast.
(I told you nothing happened.)