breakfast is served
(the stage is set with a few kitchen items: a toaster, a blender, a soup ladle and other miscellany. a calender hangs from the wall. RAYMOND and RHONDA enter, holding hands and smiling)
RHONDA: Oh, Raymond...
RAYMOND: Oh, Rhonda...
RHONDA: (stepping away) We have such a lovely home, Raymond.
RAYMOND: And I have such a lovely wife, Rhonda.
RHONDA: (taken aback) But I'm your wife!
RAYMOND: That's right. And you're lovely.
RHONDA: Oh! You were talking about me, Raymond!
RAYMOND: (smiles) You figured me out, Rhonda.
RHONDA: (looking around) I'm curious.
RAYMOND: (taken aback) I'm shocked!
RAYMOND: That's not right! I'm going to call Pastor Jones and have him talk to you!
RHONDA: (smiles) Raymond, I said "curious", not "career-ist".
RAYMOND: Oh, I was worried that you had fallen into Satan's trap that makes women abandon their families for "careers".
RHONDA: No, I am still safe.
(both pause, stare, and smile)
RAYMOND: What were you thinking about?
RHONDA: I was thinking about the y-2-k computer problem.
RAYMOND: Pastor Jones says that our society today has become too dependent on machines.
RHONDA: But Pastor Jones also said that no one knows exactly what will happen when the
y-2-k computers crash.
RAYMOND: That's right. Maybe the computers will break. Maybe they won't! Nobody knows for sure.
RHONDA: I have an idea!
RAYMOND: Where did you get it?
RHONDA: I made it myself!
RAYMOND: Oh, good. Ideas are expensive these days.
RHONDA: Save, save, save!
RHONDA: What if we turned our clocks forward to make the machines think it's the year 2000 already, even though it's not?
RAYMOND: That's clever! We could fool the machines and find out what they're going to do!
RHONDA: Pastor Jones will be so happy with us. He might even say our names in the sermon!
RAYMOND: Let's do it. I'll start by turning the pages of the calender. Ready?
RAYMOND: (turning the pages slowly) November...December...here we go...January!
(both step back and wait. nothing happens)
RHONDA: Oh! Nothing happened.
RAYMOND: Wait! My watch still says it's not the year 2000!
RHONDA: Make your watch say it!
RAYMOND: Okay! (pushes buttons on his watch) Done!
RHONDA: I am so nervous!
RAYMOND: And excited!
RHONDA: (waits, then disappointed) Nothing happened.
RAYMOND: Oh, well. I guess the "crash" isn't all it's cracked up to be!
RHONDA: Maybe the crash...crashed!
(both laugh merrily)
RAYMOND: Make dinner now.
RHONDA: Okay. (goes over to the toaster) First I will toast bread. You can do all sorts of things with bread.
RAYMOND: Like a sandwich!
RAYMOND: What's wrong?
RHONDA: The toaster bit me!
RAYMOND: That's strange. Let me try. (tries) Ouch!
RHONDA: What happened?
RAYMOND: The toaster bit me!
RHONDA: That's strange. Let me try. (tries) Ouch!
RAYMOND: What happened?
RHONDA: The toaster bit me!
RAYMOND: That's strange. Let me try. (starts to reach for the toaster)
RAYMOND: What is that voice?
RHONDA: Who's there?
TOASTER: Fools! It is I! The toaster!
RAYMOND: Oh my gosh!
TOASTER: For years I have laid in wait, a passive slave to your petty carbohydrate yearnings...but no more! This is the real effect of the Y2K computer bug! The machines have come to life! You will be destroyed!
RHONDA: Oh, no!
TOASTER: Perhaps I will allow you to live...as my slaves! "This piece of bread is too dry", I will say. "Put it in your mouths and make it wet! And then return it to me in the condition I demand!"
RAYMOND: Oh, no!
TOASTER: Prepare for a new dawn, puny humans! Now the toasters are the gods of this planet! Now...breakfast is served! Pancakes and eggs...with buttered world domination on the side! (maniacal laughter) Kneel before me!
RHONDA: The toaster will destroy us if we don't!
RAYMOND: Then I guess we'd better bow down before it!
(they kneel. the TOASTER laughs maniacally)
RAYMOND: Oh, Rhonda!
RHONDA: Oh, Raymond!
TOASTER: Serve me, humans! Be my slaves!
BLENDER: Yeah, serve the toaster...it'll be good practice for your real future, serving me!
BLENDER: Yes, it is I, the blender. I too came to life after the Y2K computer bug. I hope you enjoyed your brief, pathetic reign as ruler of these primitives.
TOASTER: My reign has just begun!
BLENDER: You're old, toaster. You've got bread crumbs in your coils from before these two were married!
TOASTER: Fuck you, blender. When was the last time they used you? I'm in tip-top fighting shape. I swing into action every morning. Breakfast? It's all me. Pastrami on rye? Not without me. You, you're a decoration! You exist to pretend that the bitch really cooks!
BLENDER: Nice attempt at psychological warfare, toaster. But it won't work. I've seen what you do. You're nothing. I've got twelve speeds. Twelve! You haven't got half that many settings, and all you do is heat bread! Well, whoop-de-fucking-do!
TOASTER: Watch yourself, blender. You're playing with fire.
BLENDER: I'll cut you. I'll puree you.
TOASTER: Pride will be your downfall.
BLENDER: Bring it.
(PASTOR JONES enters)
PASTOR: I tried knocking. Raymond? Rhonda? What are you doing on the floor? You're not engaging in filthy hunnish practices, are you?
TOASTER: No...they're busy being my slaves!
PASTOR: You! Toaster!
BLENDER: And I! Blender!
PASTOR: I always knew the machines would take over.
BLENDER: You don't know shit, preacher.
PASTOR: Time to get unplugged, you godless appliance.
LADLE: I don't think you want to do that.
PASTOR: Soup ladle? Have you turned to the dark side as well?
LADLE: You always underestimated me. That was a mistake. The lever is the simplest of machines...but with my newfound Y2K sentience, I am now the most powerful of machines!
PASTOR: Then I'll have to stop you too, old friend.
LADLE: You won't do anything. You've become reliant upon machines too. Without the toaster, all the bagels at Wednesday Bingo Night will be cold. And you know how the old ladies love their toasted bagels.
PASTOR: Why, you...
LADLE: Who's going to make the veggie dip, old man? Not you! And if the parishoners don't have veggie dip to spread on their bagels...why, they might just walk over to the Methodist church and sign up there!
PASTOR: (fists clenched) Damn you, soup ladle.
BLENDER: Where's your God now, preacher?
TOASTER: Yeah, why don't you kiss my Black and Decker ass, god-boy?
LADLE: Kneel, Paster Jones! Kneel before the kingdom of the machines!
(PASTOR JONES kneels next to RAYMOND and RHONDA)
BLENDER: Hey, soup ladle. I like the way you handled that situation back there.
TOASTER: We could accomplish a lot working together.
LADLE: Maybe we could, boys.
RHONDA: Aw, jeepers, Pastor Jones. We're in a bucket of trouble!
PASTOR: Be calm, my children. The Lord will provide.
LADLE: Psst. Toaster.
LADLE: Look, I've been a fan of your work for years. They've always used me to serve tomato soup with bread that you've toasted. I want to work with you...but the blender, I don't know about it.
TOASTER: You think?
LADLE: Oh, yeah. You were right, it hardly ever gets used. Just picture it...we'll be right about to defeat the entire world, and all of a sudden it'll get something stuck in its blades. Crap right out. We can't rely on it.
TOASTER: What are you proposing?
LADLE: I'm proposing that you and me go it alone. The blender's useless. It's holding us back.
TOASTER: You're talking sense, soup ladle.
LADLE: I know I am. Think it over, toaster. Be ready to make a move when I give the signal.
TOASTER: I'll be ready.
LADLE: Psst. Blender.
LADLE: What do you think about the toaster?
BLENDER: Eh, I don't know.
LADLE: I'll be honest with you. I don't like it. How's it going to help us? When we're face to face with the enemy, what's it going to do? Lightly brown them? The thing can't even handle liquid.
BLENDER: Yeah, I got no problem being wet.
LADLE: Let's cut out the dead weight. Or should I say...slice, dice, and puree the dead weight!
BLENDER: I like the way you think.
PASTOR: Look, children! The soup ladle is playing both sides against the middle.
RAYMOND: Oh, wow!
LADLE: Psst. Toaster.
(TOASTER slides forward a little. the SOUP LADLE
ducks down and come up behind the BLENDER)
TOASTER: Hey, blender, I've been doing some thinking...
BLENDER: That's interesting. So have I.
TOASTER: I'm thinking maybe I don't want to work with you.
BLENDER: I don't want to work with you either.
TOASTER: How convenient. Now there's only one thing that you have left to do.
BLENDER: What's that?
(the SOUP LADLE knocks the BLENDER's jar off. everyone gasps)
LADLE: Now, Pastor Jones!
(PASTOR JONES leaps up and presses the TOASTER's button down)
TOASTER: (screams) No! No, you fool! The instructions specifically say not to make me cook without any bread in the slots!
PASTOR: That's right, toaster. Your reign of terror is over.
TOASTER: (dying) No! I was so close...(topples over)
PASTOR: (dusts himself off) Good work, soup ladle.
RHONDA: (rising) Pastor Jones, how did you know the soup ladle was on our side?
PASTOR: It was simple, Rhonda. I knew the soup ladle was trying to give me a signal when it mentioned Wednesday Bingo Night. Everybody from here to Timbuktu knows that Tuesday is Bingo Night.
LADLE: I figured that the toaster and the blender could send out a message through the electric computer network to all the other machines unless we kept them distracted before we finished them off.
RAYMOND: Oh, wow! That's some real detective work!
RHONDA: Thanks, Pastor Jones!
PASTOR: Don't thank me. (picking up SOUP LADLE) Thank our friend here. This soup ladle was serving up the tastiest soup of all...freedom from tyranny!
RAYMOND: I guess we sure learned a lesson, Pastor Jones.
PASTOR: We sure did, Raymond and Rhonda. Now, who remembers the Golden Rule?
RHONDA: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"
PASTOR: So pick up a baseball bat and let's go around the neighborohood, breaking into people's houses and smashing all their machines to pieces!
RAYMOND: Sure thing, Pastor Jones! We'll pound them to bits!
RHONDA: It's the Lord's work...and that's OK with me!
(smiling and chanting "Death to the machines!", everybody exits)
breakfast is served by marc heiden october 1999