Written for Tanvi Dodia and Jason Felipe
Spontaneous Combustion #27
April 20, 2007
Cast of Characters
Barnacle Festivus: Inventor-Detective
Snaky Jane Wilbury: Burglar-Metaphysician-Detective
Setting: Barnacle Festivus sits at his desk, trying to fit a small battery-operated fan into a rubber chicken's ass. Snaky Jane reads Aristotle's Metaphysics, occasionally casting an annoyed glance at Festivus over the top of the book. A copy of Sartre's Being and Nothingness lies on the floor beside her.
FESTIVUS: This isn't gonna work out, Snaky Jane.
SNAKY JANE: It wouldn't have helped us anyway.
FESTIVUS: You don't know that.
SNAKY JANE: Listen to me, Barnacle Festivus. You're a mad inventor. I'm a burglar who moonlights as a professor of metaphysics. I don't know why anyone would hire us as detectives in the first place.
FESTIVUS: Well they did. And we're going to solve this case if it kills us.
SNAKY JANE: You know what we are, Barnacle Festivus? We're a couple of prize chumps.
FESTIVUS: We're a couple of nut jobs, Snaky Jane.
SNAKY JANE: We're a fine couple of saps.
FESTIVUS: We're a couple of eggs short of a dozen. A couple of elevators short of the top floor.
SNAKY JANE: What is being? What is nothingness?
FESTIVUS: A couple of tough questions. God, you're gorgeous when you talk like that, I love metaphysical women! Wait! It moved!
(He is referring to the chicken.)
SNAKY JANE: I don't think it did.
FESTIVUS: It did! It did! It did! No, you're right, it didn't. It's not going to work.
SNAKY JANE: I just don't think, even if you did invent a flying rubber chicken, that it would help us solve this case.
FESTIVUS: It's not...you don't...it isn't...the chicken idea, it's not just a flying chicken that happens to be rubber, that's not the point.
SNAKY JANE: No?
FESTIVUS: No! It's a, it's a, it's a, the idea is, it's a rubber chicken, right, that flies, OK, and spies. It gathers information, dumbhead, and helps you solve detective cases!
SNAKY JANE: OK, I apologize, Barnacle Festivus. I take it back. That would be pretty good.
FESTIVUS: I'm sorry I called you a dumbhead, Snaky Jane.
SNAKY JANE: OK, so we're both sorry. We're a couple of sorry-ass losers, that's what we are.
FESTIVUS: We're a couple of goddamned bozos. Fuck this chicken!
(Festivus angrily hurls the chicken across the stage.)
SNAKY JANE: All right, all right, let's take this from the beginning. What we have here is a case of somebody going into somebody else's house in an illegal manner. Now, this somebody...
FESTIVUS: Or somebodies...
SNAKY JANE: Very good, Barnacle Festivus! So this person or persons, they go into this house, and they take stuff that doesn't belong to them.
FESTIVUS: They're burglars is what they are, Snaky Jane.
SNAKY JANE: Or a burglar.
FESTIVUS: Right. So let's see. Burglary. Who do we know who's a burglar?
(Snaky Jane looks nervous.)
SNAKY JANE: Um, well...
FESTIVUS: And what did they take?
SNAKY JANE: Um, a couple of books is all, I think.
FESTIVUS: A couple of books. What kind of books?
SNAKY JANE: Aristotle, I think, some Sartre...
FESTIVUS: Right, right. I feel like we're getting so close here, I just...
SNAKY JANE: It was me.
FESTIVUS: Of course! I was just going to say that! I swear! You beat me to it! Because you're a burglar and those are the exact books right there! We did it!
SNAKY JANE: It's funny how the criminal always thinks she's been so clever, but in the end she trips up somehow.
FESTIVUS: Especially when you've got a couple of ace detectives on the case!
SNAKY JANE: We're a couple of bonafide sleuths!
FESTIVUS: We're a couple of private dicks!
SNAKY JANE: So what do we do now?
FESTIVUS: I've got a couple of ideas on the subject.
SNAKY JANE: Want to go for a couple of drinks?
FESTIVUS: Well, I guess I've got a couple of minutes anyway...
(She holds out her hand, Festivus takes it.)