copyright © 2000 Paul Rust

"Your Permanent Record" (a monologue) written by Paul Rust

(speaking into desk inercom) Hey, Betty, could you send in Brian Miller please? Thanks so much.

(greeeting Brian in pantomime) Hey, Brian, I’m Roger Philips. Welcome to my office. How was your tour of the campus? Beautiful, isn’t it? Here, take a seat and let’s talk about your future here at the university.

Now, Brian, I want you to know you’re getting a special treat by being here. Most prospective students don’t get the opportunity to talk to the President of Admissions, but I thought you were an exception to the rule.

You see, the rest of the board and I were looking over you high school records this morning and well… I thought I should talk to you before we officially accept you as a student of the university.

First, let’s have a quick review of your record. It says here you’re ranked number one in your class, you have an ACT composite score of 32, and are a member of many activity clubs. Brian, this is great. You couldn’t be more ideal of a student. However… I couldn’t help, but notice another little tidbit on your record.

(standing up with record in hand) It says here that on April 27, 1999 you were the sole participant in a school shooting. At approximately ten thirty that morning, you entered the school doors and proceeded to kill ten fellow students and one faculty member with various firearms and explosives. Of course, I don’t need to tell you that because you’re the one who did it.

Now, I want you to know that I’m not "coming down on you" for the school shootings. I know you went to see a counselor for a couple weekends after that and got yourself straightened out or something like that. In fact, it isn’t the school shooting that’s the problem. Hell, if we rejected every kid that shot up his high school, we’d only have ten students here at the University.

No, Brian… the problem isn’t that you did shoot up your school, it’s how you shot up your school. Brian, if I can be frank, your school shooting was a piece of shit. Allow me to critique it, if you will. (sits on desk edge)

First off, there’s your timing. Your school shooting came exactly one week after the par excellence known as Columbine. One week, Brian! I mean, Jesus Christ, give us some time! This meant not only having to compete with Columbine for media airtime, but also suffering numerous comparisons.

And believe me, Brian, when one compares your school shooting to Columbine, yours looks pretty damn pathetic. The boys at Columbine had a name like the Trench Coat Mafia. Just listen to that name, Brian… Trench Coat Mafia. A name like that could strike fear into any jock, Christian, or minority student across the country. I know when I hear it, it still gives me shivers. But then there’s your name… The Mystical Dragon Lord. What the hell is that? It’s quite possibly the nerdiest name for a kid who shoots up schools, Brian. You might as well have called yourself The AV Nerd with Acne Whose Never Gonna’ Get Laid. Same difference.

And then there’s the actually killings themselves. Out of the ten students you killed through firearms and explosives, not one of them was a popular or well-known student. Not one! You should have taken down the school heroes, Brian! No one cares if Joe Nobody gets killed. I mean, what were you trying to say with these killings? That you resented your own nerd kind? That’s, at least, an interesting angle. Your work suffered from a complete lack of thought or theme, so no one cared what you were doing!

And the most glaring mistake of them all was that you didn’t kill yourself in the end. Can you say, "pussy?" At least with a suicide, you could have given yourself a martyr-like status. The type that allows the media to let its listeners, readers, and viewers know how tragic this really was. But you left them with nothing and therefore, you only got a total of two minutes airtime on national news. And that, my friend, is the real tragedy. No, no, no, Brian. (stand up) Take that gun away from your head. The suicide story angle has long passed and if you did it now, it’d only be pandering.

You see, that’s why we’re reluctant to accept you here at the college. You didn’t show too much dedication or creativity in your school shooting. What if you decided to hand in a college paper with the same work ethic? However, I think we’re going to accept you because I have a great idea. I’m going to have you sign a 4-year plan this fall that says you will have a successful school shooting before the end of college. That way, your parents can be proud of you. And don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of workshops to detail how to shoot up a school well.

All right, Brian, thanks for coming in. See you next fall and remember: A school shooting is all in the execution.


"Your Permanent Record" debuted November 10, 2000, performed by Paul Rust.

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