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The Short Play Brigade

And They're Off

(DEPRESSION enters, stands center.)

DEPRESSION: (very affected voice) This is a play about depression.  I will now perform for you an interpretive dance.

(DEPRESSION begins to dance a weird, faux modern dance piece about depression, howling like a wolf as he goes.  Should be played for slightly comedic effect.  As he continues, however, he begins coughing, lightly at first, then very aggressively.)

DEPRESSION: (in between coughs) I've... gotta quit... smoking...

(The coughing continues until eventually DEPRESSION collapses, wracked with pain.  As he writhes, PAIN enters SL.)

PAIN: This is a play about pain.  I will now recite for you a poem, entitled "Pain."  (she recites)  Pain/Oh dear God/It hurts/I have been wronged/Will the pain ever stop?/Oh dear God----

(PAIN suddenly doubles over and collapses, howling in sudden physical agony.  SELF-PITY enters SR)

SELF-PITY: And now I will perform for you this song about self-pity.

(SELF-PITY begins wailing a mournful tune; only a few bars in, however, she collapses in a ball of abject pain.  ANNOUNCER enters USC.)

ANNOUNCER: (race announcer voice) And they're off!

(Throughout his next speech, the three others attempt to crawl upstage toward the ANNOUNCER.)

ANNOUNCER: Depression has an early lead out of the gate, but pain is bringing up a close second, and it's never safe to count out self-pity, not in such a tight situation!  Look at the staying power that self-pity has!  It looks like depression is squandering an early lead, no doubt due to apathy and one too many naps along the way.  Now pain is making a strong resurgence -- just when you think the wound has healed, there comes pain around the third turn, it's as though pain had never left!  Depression has fallen back, and that seems to have made depression even more depresseed -- that's right, folks, depression seems to have hit that self-fulfilling prophecy around the third turn awful hard!  I don't think there's anything the pit crew can do!  Now it's self-pity and pain neck and neck toward the finish line, self-pity's neck already in the noose.  We should remind our viewers that we've got a healthy purse of personal validation and emotional well-being just waiting for the winner here-- oh no!  Oh no!  Self-pity has hit the wall of frustration and despair, and it looks like we have a winner!  We have a winner!

(PAIN leaps to her feet and begins giggling gleefully)

ANNOUNCER: Just look at that!  Look at the transformation!  Pain, do you have anything to say to our audience?

PAIN: (totally giddy)  Fuck you!  Fuck everybody!  Fuck all of you fuckers!

ANNOUNCER: All right!  We'll be right back after these words from our sponsor: Doubt, the choice of a cynical generation!

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