(the SPEAKER enters. he or she stands in front of the stage, level with the audience, and speaks as though reading from a piece of paper)
SPEAKER: Homelessness. By Sheila Morris, Fourth Period Social Studies. Homelessness is a very serious problem in our country today. It causes much pain and unhappiness for those who are affected by it.
(ONE and MAN enter on the actual stage. ONE begins looking around, confused)
MAN: What's the problem?
ONE: I'm homeless! I can't find my home.
MAN: Well, where did you see it last?
ONE: I left it on the table.
MAN: Perhaps it fell underneath the chair.
ONE: Ah, there it is. I am not homeless anymore. Thank you.
(they exit. the SPEAKER resumes talking)
SPEAKER: Homelessness does not just happen to a few people. There are several million homeless people in our country. They can be found in small towns and large cities. There are homeless people everywhere.
(TWO and WOMAN enter)
TWO: Help, I'm homeless.
WOMAN: Where are you from?
TWO: I am from the moon.
WOMAN: There are no homes on the moon.
TWO: That's right. All moon-men are homeless.
WOMAN: That is sad. Perhaps you should move.
TWO: Perhaps you should not dictate lifestyle choices to moon-men.
(TWO takes out a gun and shoots WOMAN. TWO leaves. WOMAN crawls off)
SPEAKER: In some places homeless people ask for other people to give them money and they use that money to buy food. In other places the homeless people hide in sewers or something where you can't see them. Homeless people can make many valuable contributions to society so we should help them instead of being angry at them.
(THREE enters with an acoustic guitar and a guitar case. he sets the guitar case down in front of him, sits down, and strums nothing in particular on the guitar while singing)
THREE: I believe the children are the future / show them truth and make them dinner...
(MAN and WOMAN enter and observe)
MAN: Normally I wouldn't give my hard-earned money to a freeloader.
WOMAN: But he is working for the money by playing a song.
MAN: Let us place coins in his guitar case.
WOMAN: Having given the dirty man forty-three cents, we can now feel reaffirmed as humanitarians while we have crazed frantic sexual intercourse in a gold-plated bathtub.
MAN: Oh, good.
(they and THREE exit in opposing directions)
SPEAKER: Many wrong perceptions exist about homeless people. Some people think that homeless people are all bad or they want to steal things.
(TWO and WOMAN enter. TWO is holding a blue glass head)
WOMAN: You! Homeless person!
WOMAN: You stole that blue glass head from me! Stealing is all you think about.
TWO: That is true. I like to steal things. But because I do not have a home, I have nowhere to put the things I steal.
WOMAN: Perhaps instead of stealing valuable sculptures like this, you should steal a home! (they both laugh)
TWO: Stealing home would be a good idea...if I were a baseball player!
(they both laugh again. the WOMAN then takes out a gun, shoots TWO, and takes the blue glass head back. she leaves and TWO crawls off)
SPEAKER: Other people think that homeless people are lazy and do not want to get a job and that is why the homeless people are homeless, because they do not have money to buy a home with. This is not true because sometimes homeless people have a hard time getting jobs. Bosses do not want to hire homeless people because they think the homeless people are bad.
(ONE and MAN enter)
MAN: Now why should I hire you for my company?
ONE: Because I will do a good job.
MAN: Can you type fast?
ONE: Yes, if the bugs that are crawling all over me help.
MAN: Okay, you're hired.
ONE: Do you have a dental plan?
MAN: Yes, we do.
ONE: Does it cover the bugs too?
MAN: You're fired. I hate you.
SPEAKER: Also it costs a lot of money to buy a home and a homeless person would have to work for a long time to get one. Sometimes no one is selling a home and the homeless person would have to wait even if they did have the money.
(WOMAN and TWO enter)
TWO: Hello. I have money. Can I buy a home?
WOMAN: No. I want to keep all of the homes for myself.
TWO: Oh darn. Then can I buy some moonshine to drink myself into an oblivious stupor?
WOMAN: Seven dollars and sixty-three cents, please.
WOMAN: Drinking alcohol while pregnant may lead to low fetal birth weights.
TWO: Uh oh. Perhaps I should just bang my head into a brick wall instead.
SPEAKER: There are some homeless people who are mentally sick and they have problems thinking, which leads to them not being able to find a job because you need to be able to think well for jobs such as a fireman. People often stay away from these mentally sick homeless people because they are scary or they act strange in bad ways. However, these homeless people should be helped instead of being laughed at.
VOICE: And now it's time for "Two Paranoiacs, a Crack-head and a Pizza Box!"
(TWO enters and stands alone onstage for a moment before ONE enters carrying a cardboard box, which he sets down)
ONE: Honey, I'm homeless! (canned laughter)
TWO: Did you find any bread today?
ONE: No, just another crate of stale lettuce.
TWO: Damn government agents in cahoots with Napoleon the Third are keeping all the red meat away from us in order to weaken our resolves for the takeover. If I eat another leaf of lettuce, I'm going to turn green myself! (canned laughter)
ONE: It's not so bad. We can use cardboard to make a sandwich.
TWO: Oh, that changes everything. (canned chuckles)
ONE: Where's you-know-who?
TWO: Oh, you know him...
(THREE makes a loud entrance, stumbling over the cardboard box)
THREE: (with drawl) Spare anything? (canned laughter and applause)
TWO: (to ONE) Any luck finding a job today?
ONE: Nah. They've got Nixon's brain in a robot and he's running the show.
ONE: Look, it's our cantankerous landlord! (canned chuckles)
MAN: You're late with the rent again!
ONE: Why should we pay rent? We don't have a home!
MAN: Don't you give me any excuses, you whippersnapper!
THREE: (to MAN) Spare anything? (canned laughter and applause)
MAN: Next time!
SPEAKER: The homeless person might need to go to a hospital and then they will be better again and not have to be homeless. So next time you see a homeless person, do not get mad and yell at them. They might have problems but they could still be a good person. The end.
homelessness considered by marc heiden march 1999