medication, to fill the hole.

(off to one side of the stage are two chairs, one behind the other; in the front seat sits the BUS DRIVER, who mimes driving, and in the rear one sits JAKE, who is reading a newspaper. the rest of the stage is occupied by three co-workers: SALLY, KEN, and MEREDITH. SALLY sits at a desk while the other two pace around. when action is occuring, the other section freezes)

DRIVER: Rafelson Square, next stop. (silence, JAKE keeps reading) How ya doin' back there, Jake?
JAKE: Hm? Oh, fine.
DRIVER: Beautiful day we got goin' here, eh?
JAKE: Yeah. Yeah, uh, really nice.
DRIVER: Rafelson Square! All'a ya's for Rafelson Square, this is your stop! Next stop, Washington Center!


SALLY: All is in place.
KEN: Ah, geez, Sally, I don't know. Can we trust the mail girl with it? How reliable is she?
SALLY: She's fine. She'll be here soon enough.
KEN: Maybe vanilla wasn't the right choice...
SALLY: Are you kidding? Everyone likes vanilla. You can't object to vanilla. It's just there. Vanilla is a deal-with-it sort of flavor. Trust me, kid, if you're playing the odds, vanilla is the flavor to stick by.
MEREDITH: If he doesn't like vanilla, fuck 'em. More for us.
KEN: Aw, now that's not the right attitude at all. If you'll pardon my saying so.
MEREDITH: (slightly ashamed) No, you're right. This day is about the miracle of birth. The emergence of a beautiful little boy from the loving womb of a mother. Out of the darkness peeked...well, what would become the best darn co-worker I think anyone could have hoped for. The cornerstone of this office.
SALLY: Closes deals like jars of cheez wiz gone bad.
KEN: Tears into portfolios like porno mags.
MEREDITH: What a great guy. Here's to Jake.
SALLY: Okay, if my timing is correct, and there's no reason to believe that it isn't, he should be getting off the bus...


DRIVER: Washington Center! All'a ya's for Washington Center, this is your stop! Next stop, Mounfeld Auditorium!
JAKE: (rising) Have a nice day.
DRIVER: Hey, you go get 'em today, Jakey old boy. Right outta the box like a tiger!
JAKE: Will do.


SALLY: (pulling out a walkie-talkie) Alright, he's on his way up the elevator!
KEN: Shit! The cake! I knew we couldn't trust that mail girl!
SALLY: Quiet! We'll deal with the cake later. Everyone into position!

(all three hide. JAKE walks in)

JAKE: That's weird. Where is everyone?
ALL: (jumping out) SURPRISE!
JAKE: (startled) What the...
ALL: (singing) Happy birthday to you...happy birthday to you...happy birthday dear Jake...happy birthday to you!
JAKE: (confused) Uh...
SALLY: Gotcha! Gotcha, ya nutty kid! This is the one business deal that blindsided ya!
KEN: Happy birthday, Jake! It's great to have you here. It's a privelege, man.
JAKE: Hey, uh, "happy birthday"?
KEN: You're damn right it's a happy birthday, Jake. It's happy because it's yours.
JAKE: Guys, this is cool and all, but it's not...
MEREDITH: No, Jake! No more words! No modesty that masks the beauty inside of you! It's your birthday, and it's your day! Seize this day, Jake! Carpe this diem! You're the most talented ad executive I've ever met...and...and...(knowing look from SALLY and KEN, who knew this was coming) I love you! (throws herself around him)
JAKE: (stunned) That's...that's, uh, great, it really is...
SALLY: Glad ya like it, kid. You do great work, and today's the day that your star rises up to junior vice president of our firm here. Ya think ya can handle it? (laughs)
KEN: (smiling) Why don't you just ask a monkey if it can swing from a tree, while you're at it? Is ice cold? Is the sun bright? Is...
JAKE: (interrupting) I'm really blown away by this, everybody, you're all great, but I'd feel dishonest if I didn't tell you all this...
SALLY: (smiling) Here it comes! This kid's a nut!
JAKE: Well, not that I don't appreciate it and
SALLY: (laughs) Out with it!
JAKE: Well, it's not my birthday. (everyone goes dead quiet. pin drop silence.)
SALLY: (after a pause, then laughs) You kidder! (KEN and MEREDITH laugh too)
KEN: You really had me going there, Jake!
JAKE:, uh, really, it's not my birthday. (dead quiet again)
MEREDITH: Jake...what do you mean?
JAKE: I mean that my birthday isn't for another four months.
SALLY: You're kidding.
MEREDITH: (she steps back from him)
JAKE: (quickly) But this is wonderful, it really is...I mean, it's just one of those goofy misunderstandings! (laughs) Someone comes in the wrong door and all hell breaks loose, right?
KEN: (disgusted) Yeah. Yeah, something just like that. You antelope fucker.
JAKE: What?
MEREDITH: I can't believe I just had my arms around you. My god. I don't think they'll ever be clean from the stain of asshole.
SALLY: Answer: Where can shitface Jake stick his promotion up? Question: What is an asshole, Alex?

(JENNA, the mail girl, enters with a cake-shaped box)

JENNA: Hey, everyone! I'm sorry I'm late! I had to go all the way across town to get this cake, and traffic was a real pain, but here I am!
KEN: Jenna...
JENNA: Only the finest, though! You're gonna love this cake! It was flown on a supersonic jet from the finest bakery in Italy just hours ago...
KEN: Jenna, it's not his birthday.
JENNA: (shocked) It's not?!?!
KEN: No.

(JENNA throws the cake violently down and rushes at JAKE. KEN and MEREDITH struggle to restrain her)

MEREDITH: It's not worth it, Jenna! He's not worth it!
JAKE: I'm...I'm, uh, sorry, but geez, I can't help it if it's not my birthday...
KEN: (sneering) Of course you can't. Raped any puppies lately, you bastard?
JAKE: What?!?
KEN: Oh, wait, I'm sorry, you were probably too busy doing the horizontal mambo with...
JAKE: Hey, look, guys, I'm sorry you went to all this trouble, but really, aren't you making kind of a big deal out of this?

(there is another dead silence for a moment. then KEN and MEREDITH let JENNA go)

MEREDITH: Kick his ass, Jenna.

(she rushes forward and throws a right to JAKE's chin, who stumbles backwards. a bell, like one ringside in a boxing match, rings. everyone crowds around the two, JAKE in shock and JENNA dancing, feinting, and throwing punches. JAKE stumbles backwards and the BUS DRIVER appears)

DRIVER: Jeezus, ya gettin' killed out there, Jake! (JAKE gets hit) They's moiderizing ya! (another hit) Come on, kid! Ya gotta pull it tagether, Jake! (JENNA hits JAKE one last time and he goes down. the DRIVER crouches down beside him) One...two...ah, fuck it, stick a fork in 'em! He's done!

(everyone stands around JAKE's body and stares for a moment. finally, SALLY speaks)

SALLY: (hands DRIVER twenty dollars) So, he got on your bus looking all disheveled like that?
DRIVER: Oh, yeah. Smellin' a booze and all.
SALLY: Nice doing business with you, sir.
DRIVER: My pleasure, ma'am. (he leaves)

(MEREDITH and KEN shake their heads. JENNA is still worked up, feinting punches)

SALLY: Ken, could you go notify security to remove our friend here? (KEN nods, leaves)
MEREDITH: Boss, can't you just fire somebody like a normal human being for once?
SALLY: Ah, you're no fun, kid. (lights down)

medication, to fill the hole by marc heiden april 1998