Limited Capabilities
by Carolyn Space Jacobson

copyright © 1991

Performed by Carolyn Space Jacobson

(Lights up. Carolyn [Space] Jacobson is standing on stage. There are two chairs on stage, about eight feet apart.)

ALL RIGHT! For those of you taking notes, this is piece number 6. My name is Carolyn Jacobson. That's C-A-R-O-L-Y-N [Space] J-A-C-O-B-S-O-N. But enough about me. More about my piece. The piece I am presenting tonight is titled "Limited Capabilities." One thing that you might want to do with your friends later in the evening is to talk about how that name relates to what I am about to present. It might also be interesting to talk about my movement on stage--in other words, how the presentation of my piece relates to its content. Another post-show discussion topic might focus on the relationship between my persona on-stage and my personal biography. Have any of you ever done biographical criticism? All Right.

The following is a multiple choice quiz consisting of five questions. If examinations make you excessively nervous, and if you have sufficient proof of this phenomenon, alternative arrangements may be made after the show.

All Right.

1. After NoShame several weeks ago, a man came up to me and said, "Strong women turn me on." What was my response?

  • A. I was flattered. I said, "Cool, do me. Or better yet, let me do you."
  • B. I said, "I don't like men much."
  • C. I said, "I'd lose my virginity if it wasn't strapped on."
  • D. I said, "Yeah, right, as if radiance were the meaning of meaning. Dick."

2. Why do the women who perform at NoShame sit on chairs more often than the men who perform at NoShame?

  • A. Because performance is a way of relieving ourselves, and so when we get in front of a large group of people, we automatically assume our own individual urinary position. [Carolyn runs to first chair, sits down, crosses her legs.]
  • B. Because it's hard to face the audience, that great unknown, that sea of strange faces, pressing on you, demanding of you. [Carolyn runs to the second chair, looks at the audience, frightened.]
  • C. Because we're afraid of dripping menstrual blood on stage. [Carolyn runs to the first chair, cupping her hands between her legs.]
  • D. Because if you're friendlier to the animals, they'll be friendlier to you. [Carolyn runs to the second chair again.]

[Carolyn gets up, walks around again]

3. Which of the following is an excerpt from my partner's most recent Valentine's Day letter to me?

  • A. Carolyn, you've got such a sexy body. How do you disguise it so well?
  • B. I don't hate you, I just don't like you as much as I used to.
  • C. You should be ashamed of yourself. He's too skinny, and too old, don't you think?
  • D. I like my women the way I like my kiwi fruit: sweet yet tart, firm-fleshed yet yielding to the touch, and covered with short brown fuzzy hair.

4. Which of the following was the first thing I thought of when the optimistic Quik Trip attendant told me to "come again" after I bought a box of condoms?

  • A. I thought about the way men sort of cruise in silent packs.
  • B. I thought about the fact that size--despite what all men say--really does matter.
  • C. I thought about how strong women turned me on.
  • D. I thought about that horrible moment--or is it series of moments--when you first meet a professor's spouse, and you can't stop thinking of them going down on each other over and over.

5. Why do I think any of this matters?

  • A. Because you haven't bared your breasts to me in far too long, and I miss them.
  • B. Because when they're ready, penguins will take to the skies in great flocks so they can rule the air like they did in prehistoric times. And T-rex will reappear with long arms and will, for the first time in his life, be able to touch his own face, and lick his own fingertips.
  • C. Because despite what my family says, I do have internal conflict.
  • D. Because after the Lady Ishtar hides herself in anger, the bull no longer mounts the cow, the ass no longer mounts the she-ass, and the man no longer bends over the woman in the street: the man sleeps in his place, the woman sleeps alone.

"Limited Capabilities" debuted February 22, 1991, performed by Carolyn Space Jacobson.

Performed at Best of the Best of No Shame on October 11, 1996.

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